After Alabama lost its opener to Mississippi, Coach Bear Bryant called his offense "a bunch of big babies" with no "guts and determination." "We'll practice till nine at night or five in the morning if we have to," Bryant said, and promised that if Alabama lost to SMU there would be practice at sunrise the following Monday morning.
On the second play of the SMU game, Albania fumbled. The Mustangs promptly converted the misplay into a field goal. The Crimson Tide was intercepted on its second series and fumbled the ball away on its third. Out came the first string, and sunrise workouts loomed. But Alabama's second string generated three straight touchdowns and the Tide rolled to a 56-3 laugher.
Before the season started, South Carolina Coach Jim Carlen threw a big "if into his evaluation of the Gamecocks. "We can be a good football team," he said, "if Quarterback Ron Bass doesn't get hurt." Bass, a junior who has had four operations in the last 18 months, was hurt against Duke and had to leave the game, but South Carolina went on to win 24-6. Freshman Quarterback Steve Swinehart ran 57 yards to the one-yard line and scored on the next play to give South Carolina a 17-6 lead and passed 36 yards to Wide Receiver Philip Logan for the Gamecocks' final touchdown. Nonetheless, Bass, who sprained his knee, will be the starter when South Carolina plays Georgia this week.
September 26, 1976
Georgia clobbered Clemson 41-0. Georgia Tech trailed Pittsburgh only 14-7 at the half before succumbing 42-14. In that game Tony Dorsett rushed for 113 yards in 27 carries and scored three touchdowns. His second tally gave him 258 career points and broke the alltime Pitt record set in 1919 by Andy Hastings.
Florida and Houston have played only twice. In their first meeting seven years ago the Gators scored 59 points, the most ever against a Bill Yeoman-coached Cougar team. In their second meeting, Florida scored 49 points while holding Houston to 14; the Gators ran up 615 yards of total offense, an all-time high against Houston. Strictly a wishbone team until now, the Gators altered their offense to "half a wishbone," sending out an extra pass receiver, and scored on their first four possessions following drives of 81, 80, 80 and 58 yards. "Florida is a fantastically talented group of athletes," said Yeoman. "When their heads are screwed on right, one of the best in the nation."
Baylor's Mark Jackson threw a 12-yard touchdown pass to Tommy Davidson in the fourth quarter, then came right back to Davidson with a two-point conversion pass to give the Bears a 15-14 win over Auburn. Mississippi pounded Tulane 34-7, Tennessee shut out TCU 31-0 and Miami trounced Florida State 47-0. Vanderbilt edged Wake Forest 27-24, Mississippi State beat Louisville 30-21 on the strength of three Kinney Jordan field goals and LSU defeated Oregon State 28-11.
1. MARYLAND (2-0)
2. MISSISSIPPI (2-1)
3. GEORGIA (2-0)
USC, determined to erase memories of its loss to Missouri, swamped the Oregon Ducks 53-0. Ricky Bell alone had more rushing attempts than the entire Oregon team (32 to 26), nearly four times as much rushing yardage (193 to 49) and scored four touchdowns. Bell didn't wait long to get moving. USC won the toss and elected to receive. On the first play from scrimmage Bell ran for nine yards. The next time he touched the ball, on third and one, he went for 63 and a score. Oregon helped the Trojans' cause with 10 turnovers.
UCLA beat Arizona impressively, 37-9, but the first half, at least, was not that one-sided. With seconds to go the Wildcats led 3-0 and were lined up for a field goal at the Bruins' 28. Instead they tried a fake. UCLA Cornerback Levi Armstrong intercepted holder Bill Baechler's pass and raced 75 yards to give the Bruins a 7-3 halftime lead. "That play did the damage," said Arizona Coach Jim Young. "Then I lost my poise, and it carried over to my team in the second half. I got mad. I thought it was a relatively safe situation at that particular time. But it turned out to be the worst call I could have made." Theotis Brown ran 31 yards for a score on UCLA's first play from scrimmage in the second half, and the Bruins coasted from there.
Colorado, victimized by its own mistakes in its opening loss to Texas Tech, played an errorless game to defeat Washington 21-7. The Huskies, in contrast, coughed up the ball on the opening kickoff (leading to a Colorado touchdown), lost it again on the Buffalo two-yard line and had a pass intercepted.
San Diego State Tailback David (Deacon) Turner completed a 16-yard pass to the Fresno State 19-yard line on a crucial fourth and five, then covered the remaining yards to the end zone on four consecutive line blasts to give the Aztecs a 7-3 win over the Bulldogs. In two games, San Diego State, which led the nation in passing last year, has thrown for only 222 yards. Turner, however, has rushed for 324.
Air Force was decimated 41-6 by Iowa State. San Jose State downed Fullerton State 20-0, Long Beach State beat Utah State 32-10 and Texas A&I smashed Hawaii 56-21.
1. UCLA (2-0)
2. USC (1-1)
3. SAN JOSE STATE (3-0)
When Missouri upset USC 46-25 in its opener, the citizens of Columbia began dreaming of a national championship and looking ahead to the third week of the season, when the Tigers would play Ohio State at home. Last Saturday 63,486 jammed 55,000-seat Faurot Field to watch hometown Missouri tune up against Illinois. The P.A. announcer continually reminded the crowd that the following week's contest would be shown on closed circuit television in a nearby arena. Unfortunately, Illinois spoiled the build-up by shellacking the Tigers 31-6.
Illinois Coach Bob Blackman had a little extra help preparing for Missouri. He spent a long time on the phone with John Jackson, one of his aides last year and now a USC assistant. As a result the Illini kept Curtis Brown, the Missouri tailback who led the nation the first week of the season in all-purpose offense with 245 yards, from getting outside and clamped down on the passing attack of Quarterback Steve Pisarkiewicz. Brown gained only 61 yards on 17 carries, and Pisarkiewicz passed for just 64 before retiring at the end of the third quarter with a sore right shoulder. Tailback James Coleman led Illinois' attack with 152 yards and two touchdowns.
Notre Dame reversed its opening-day pounding by Pitt, scoring an easy 23-0 win over Purdue, and Nebraska atoned for its opening-day tie with LSU by drubbing Indiana 45-13.
The way Oklahoma started last Saturday one might have thought they would be upset. In the opening quarter the Sooners fumbled the ball away to California the first three times they had possession and also had a 30-yard TD run nullified by a penalty. Nevertheless, after just 22 minutes Oklahoma had rushed for 354 yards and led 21-0. The Sooners' biggest plays in their 28-17 win came from 5'8", 157-pound Wide Receiver Lee Hover, who caught a 65-yard TD pass from Dean Blevins and ran 58 yards for another score after retrieving a Blevins' fumble.
Michigan rushed for 531 yards—and passed for 15—in clobbering Stanford 51-0. Harlan Huckleby led Wolverine rushers with 157 yards and a 9.8 average, and two other backs, Russell Davis and Rob Lytle, also gained more than 100 yards.
It was 100° on the artificial turf at Kansas' Memorial Stadium, and Kentucky had to watch more than three dozen fans, victims of the heat, carried on stretchers past its bench. The Wildcats wilted, losing to Kansas 37-16.
Early season woes continued for Miami of Ohio, which lost 23-6 to Ball State, its third straight defeat. No team in Miami history (intercollegiate football was first played there in 1888) has ever lost three in a row at the start of the season. The Ball State defeat was Miami's first at home in 15 games, dating to 1972, and the school's first in the last 17 in Mid-American Conference competition.
Marshall's John Filliez caught eight passes for 94 yards and two touchdowns as the Thundering Herd downed Illinois State 23-13. It was the 34th straight game in which Filliez had caught at least one pass, breaking the record for receptions in consecutive games held by Johnny Rodgers of Nebraska.
Iowa scored on its first seven possessions in slaughtering Syracuse 41-3. Michigan State won its first game for new Coach Darryl Rogers, 21-10, over Wyoming. Minnesota beat Washington State 28-14 and Wisconsin downed North Dakota 45-9. Bowling Green easily defeated Eastern Michigan 53-12. Ohio U. topped Kent State 14-12. Tulsa edged Memphis State 16-14.
1. MICHIGAN (2-0)
2. OHIO STATE (2-0)
3. OKLAHOMA (2-0)
North Texas State Coach Hayden Fry wants to get his Eagles into the Southwest Conference, and to display the school's credentials he jumped at scheduling a game with Texas when the Longhorns suggested the contest. It was understandable, then, that when Texas dropped its opener 14-13 to Boston College, Fry would term the upset the worst thing that had ever happened to North Texas. After last Saturday's 17-14 loss to the Longhorns it was more understandable why the Eagle coach would label Texas Fullback Earl Campbell North Texas' alltime worst disaster.
Campbell had pulled a hamstring last spring and reinjured it against B.C. He didn't decide to play against North Texas until he warmed up just before the game. In the first half he gained only 28 yards as the Eagles took a 7-3 lead. The second half was a different story. Campbell ran for 180 yards and set up the clinching TD with an 83-yard jaunt that ended at North Texas' four-yard line. The subsequent touchdown by Mike Cordaro, the Longhorns' sophomore walk-on quarterback, made the score 17-7.
North Texas narrowed the margin to 17-14 midway through the fourth quarter. Then Campbell went to work again. Texas ran out the clock by marching from its own 20 to the NTSU 11, with Campbell getting 44 of those yards on nine carries. No wonder Texas Coach Darrell Royal says: "I'm not superstitious. If you've got Campbell, you win. If you don't have Campbell, you lose."
Arkansas had lost to Oklahoma State three years in a row—38-6, 26-7 and 20-13. When the Razorbacks finally beat OSU 16-10 last Saturday before a record Little Rock crowd of 55,103, Arkansas Coach Frank Broyles was so emotionally drained that he was, uncharacteristically, speechless. He postponed answering all questions until a Sunday press conference.
Arkansas beat the Cowboys with a student—as opposed to what the NCAA calls "a student athlete"—at quarterback. Sophomore Mike Scott is a walk-on who was rejected as a player by his own fraternity after he was intercepted four times in an intramural game. With Scott at the controls, the Razorbacks did not throw a pass—or even threaten to. Arkansas won its eighth game in a row with a strong defense, a 163-yard rushing performance by Ben Cowins and superb kicking by Steve Little. Little had field goals of 57, 53 and 20 yards, averaged 46 yards on four punts with no returns and kicked off six times with only one runback.
Texas A&M Fullback George Woodard's rushing figure matched Kansas State's total offence as the Aggies defeated the Wildcats 34-14. Woodard had one-game career highs of 39 carries and 177 yards. The 248-pounder also scored twice on one-yard plunges. "I wasn't worried about overworking Woodard," said Aggie Coach Emory Bellard afterward. "He averaged about 38 to 40 carries per game in high school." Reserve Quarterback David Walker directed all five Aggie scoring marches. He entered the game after starter David Shipman fumbled on each of his team's first three possessions.
Rice Quarterback Tommy Kramer passed for four touchdowns as the Owls routed Utah 43-22.
1. TEXAS A&M (2-0)
2. ARKANSAS (2-0)
3. TEXAS (1-1)
Under a revised schedule, Ivy League opponents paired off against each other in the first week of their season rather than open with nonleague opponents, who are usually better prepared, having held spring practice, which is forbidden in the Ivies. The new format set up a crucial opening-day contest between Yale and Brown, the latter expected to battle Harvard for the league title. Certainly Yale and Brown demonstrated the need for more practice time. The game was a comedy of errors; Brown, which made fewer, won 14-6.
The outcome was supposed to hinge on how well Yale's inexperienced defense handled Brown's relatively new offensive unit, but the Bulldogs' downfall was their offense, which lost four of seven fumbles. Brown scored its first touchdown after a fumble recovery on the Yale 15. It earned its second with a 74-yard march that ended with a sparkling 33-yard broken field run on a reverse by Flanker Charley Watkins.
Harvard showed its strength by downing Columbia 34-10. Dartmouth won its first opening-day game in four years, shutting out Pennsylvania 20-0 as its defense held the Quakers to 58 yards rushing. Princeton and Cornell almost shut out each other, but the Tigers finally prevailed 3-0 on Chris Howe's 23-yard fourth-quarter field goal.
With a weak schedule, Maryland is primed for an undefeated season and a bowl berth. "They may not play Pittsburgh or Penn State but they belong in their class," said West Virginia Coach Frank Cignetti after the Terrapins outrushed the Mountaineers 303 to 25 yards in a 24-3 drubbing. Maryland's sophomore Tailback Steve Atkins ran for 133 yards, while West Virginia's leading ballcarrier, Dwayne Woods, was limited to minus-one in nine attempts.
Army went to the air to overcome a 24-6 fourth-quarter deficit and defeat Holy Cross 26-24. The winning score came on a 26-yard pass from Leamon Hall to George Dunaway with 47 seconds remaining in the game. Navy stayed on the ground to overtake a 3-0 Connecticut halftime lead in a 21-3 triumph. The Midshipmen outrushed the Huskies 244 to 33.
Temple won a tingling 31-30 decision over Grambling when Owl Quarterback Pat Carey threw a 21-yard touchdown pass to Ken Williams with 33 seconds left to play. The difference was a missed conversion by Larry Scrubbs after Grambling's final touchdown. Scrubbs made his first try but the Tigers were penalized five yards for illegal procedure. His second attempt sailed wide. Grambling Quarterback Douglas Williams threw touchdown passes of 33, 33, 17 and 50 yards in a losing cause.
Rutgers won its ninth game in a row, 19-7, over Bucknell.
1. PITTSBURGH (2-0)
2. PENN STATE (1-1)
3. B. C. (1-0)
PLAYER OF THE WEEK
DEFENSE: Illinois' John DiFeliciantonio, a 6'3", 240-pound senior, contributed seven tackles, three of them accounting for 23 yards in losses, as he led his team's defense in the Illini's 31-6 upset of sixth-ranked Missouri.
OFFENSE: Despite a pulled hamstring that made him a doubtful starter, Earl Campbell, Texas' 231-pound fullback, carried the ball 32 times for a career-high 208 yards as the Longhorns edged North Texas State 17-14.