In addition to the Texas-Oklahoma snoozer, there was a Texas Trilogy of sorts in the Southwest Conference. Understudy Rodney Allison got a chance to step to center stage when Texas Tech Quarterback Tommy Duniven was injured. Critics doubted Allison's throwing ability, and although he made good on just six of 15 tries, he brought down the curtain and Texas A&M with 22- and 56-yard scoring strikes to Sammy Williams. Allison also scored on a one-yard run as Tech won 27-16. Another player who came from the wings was Baylor's Gary Blair, who took over for injured Tailback Cleve Franklin and ran for 125 yards and three touchdowns to beat SMU 27-20. For the Bears, who trailed 20-19 before an 80-yard, game-winning drive on which they converted four fourth-down plays, it was their fourth straight come-from-behind win. Tommy Kramer of Rice, the nation's leading passer, continued on cue, hitting 27 of 46 tosses for 342 yards and two touchdowns. Ten of those passes went to Doug Cunningham for 175 yards, and freshman walk-on Wes Hansen kicked 42- and 34-yard field goals as the Owls knocked off TCU 26-23.
In a nonconference tussle, Houston spurted for 40 points in the second half to drub West Texas State 50-7. Second-stringer Alois Blackwell rushed for 200 yards and third-stringer Dyral Thomas for 82 more as the Cougars accumulated 616 yards.
1. TEXAS TECH (3-0)
2. TEXAS (2-1-1)
3. HOUSTON (3-1)
October 17, 1976
"I didn't like three things. We fumbled twice, gave them 10 points and didn't score when we were on the one-yard line. I was very, very distraught with that." Many losing coaches have expressed similar complaints. Those words, though, came from a winner, Michigan's Bo Schembechler, who each week manages to find woeful happenings in the unbeaten Wolverines' performance. Michigan did lose the ball twice on downs to Michigan State less than a yard from paydirt. And Michigan did fumble the ball away three times (Schembechler had overlooked one). Nevertheless the Wolverines destroyed State 42-10. Rob Lytle broke loose for 180 yards, Harlan Huckleby for 126 and Russell Davis for 91; the Wolverines ran for 442 yards in all. The Spartans resorted to an air game, Ed Smith and Marshall Lawson combining for a Michigan State record by passing 46 times. They completed 24 of their attempts for 251 yards.
Woody Hayes of Ohio State was in a jolly mood after a 34-14 win at Iowa, where two years ago he and his team were pelted with apples, some of which Woody threw back into the stands. "The fans were lovely," Hayes said of the welcome the Hawk-eyes gave him last Saturday. "Of course, our jumping off to a 21-0 lead in the first quarter kept them quiet." Buckeye Fullback Pete Johnson set a Big Ten record for career touchdowns, scoring three on short bursts to raise his total to 48.
Another back at his best from in close was Jim Perkins, whom Minnesota Coach Cal Stoll refers to as his Designated Scorer. Perkins, who has not started a game, scored on runs of seven and six yards and on a one-yard plunge as the Gophers whipped Illinois 29-14. Sixteen of Perkins' 26 carries have resulted either in first downs (nine) or in touchdowns (seven).
John Skibinski ran for 133 yards and Rock Supan booted a pair of field goals, the second with 2:13 to play, as Purdue beat Wisconsin 18-16 in another Big Ten game. And Indiana came up with its first shutout since 1969, blanking Northwestern 7-0 with the help of two end-zone interceptions by Harold Waterhouse.
Colorado's Mark Zetterberg, a senior who has sung bit parts at the Metropolitan Opera, put on a virtuoso performance against Nebraska—with his foot. His field goals of 50, 46, 37 and 29 yards kept the Buffaloes in front until late in the third period. With Richard Berns grinding out 127 yards in 22 carries, the Cornhuskers pulled out a 24-12 Big Eight victory.
Kansas State gave Missouri a scare but ultimately lost 28-21. State, which led 21-14 at halftime, had its upset hopes dashed by Rich Dansdill. After Leo Lewis scored on a 10-yard end run to tie the game, it was Dansdill who rambled over left tackle for 31 yards and the winning points.
Oklahoma State also got tough in the last period. The Cowboys recovered a Kansas fumble on the Jayhawk 35 at the start of the quarter, and one play later Charlie Weatherbie hit Sam Lisle with a pass for the final touchdown in a 21-14 verdict. But the Cowboys might not have been able to contain the Jayhawks had it not been for Cliff Parsley, their three-time conference punting champion. Parsley averaged 52 yards on six boots, including 55- and 66-yarders in the closing minutes.
Bowling Green moved to the top of the Mid-American race, tagging Toledo with a 29-28 setback when Mark Miller passed six yards to Willie Matthews for the winning score with 19 seconds remaining. Central Michigan dumped Ohio U. 17-15, and Kent State toppled Western Michigan 24-12.
1. MICHIGAN (5-0)
2. NEBRASKA (4-0-1)
3. OKLAHOMA (4-0-1)
Hoping to attract more than its usual 24,000 fans, Washington State played a "home" game 300 miles from the campus in Seattle's Kingdome. On hand were 37,268 spectators, and for a while it seemed that the Cougars were very much at home in the dome as they fought back from a two-touchdown deficit to tie USC 14-all early in the fourth quarter. State's surge was triggered by sophomore Jack Thompson, a Sa-moan, who set a school total-offense record with 355 yards, 340 of them as he hit on 26 of 50 passes. But then the Trojans began to run, especially Ricky Bell, who scored his second touchdown of the game to nail down a 23-14 Pac 8 triumph. Bell wound up just four yards short of the NCAA single-game rushing mark of 350 yards set in 1971 by Michigan State's Eric Allen.
UCLA also had to hustle late. The Bruins trailed Stanford 20-10 at the beginning of the final period. UCLA had allowed just 34 pass completions in its first four games, but this time it was riddled by Guy Benjamin, who found his receivers with 35 of 53 aerials for 378 yards. Tony Hill hauled in 10 of them for 172 yards and two touchdowns. But five of Benjamin's passes were picked off—four in the final period—and the Bruins scored four times in the last 15 minutes to pull out a 38-20 win.
Joe Roth ran for one touchdown and completed 18 of 28 passes for 208 yards and two more as California disposed of Oregon 27-10. In another Pac 8 game, Washington doubled up Oregon State 24-12.
Wyoming seemed to have little chance against Brigham Young, which had yielded just 146 yards rushing per game and which led the Western Athletic Conference in total defense with an average of 235 yards. The Cowboys were without their No. 1 quarterback, Don Clayton, who was hurt in the previous week's upset of Arizona State. So Wyoming Coach Fred Akers decided to tinker with his wishbone. He designed a quarterback draw, featuring inexperienced Quarterback Marc Cousins. According to Akers' diagram, his quick center, Ray Davies, was to pick off the Cougars' rugged middle linebacker, Ron Wood, so Cousins could bolt through the line away from the block. Davies did his job. So did Cousins, who rambled for 171 yards and two touchdowns for the day. Wyoming's Robbie Wright, who was switched from halfback to fullback, gained 70 yards in 19 cracks, and Halfback Latrail Jones sped 163 yards in 11 rushes. In all, the Cowboys rushed for 493 yards and built a 34-7 lead. BYU's Gifford Nielsen, who hit on 24 of 42 passes, led a rally, passing for 300 of his 324 yards in the fourth quarter, and the Cougars scored three times in five minutes. But the Cowboys hung on for a 34-29 decision and took the WAC lead with a 2-0 record.
Arizona soared, while Arizona State was floored. The Wildcats ran up their biggest score in 25 years, whomping Texas-El Paso 63-12 as they piled up 519 yards and got four touchdowns from freshman Tailback Harry Holt. State, however, continued to have troubles. Unbeaten last season, the Sun Devils lost their fourth in a row despite outdoing Cincinnati 19-9 in first downs and taking passing honors 241 yards to 23. The Bearcats outgained State 163 yards to 76 on the ground en route to a 14-0 victory.
Rob Shaw started and finished with flourishes, galloping 64 yards for a score on the Air Force's first offensive play, then completing four of five passes in a late 82-yard scoring drive to scuttle Navy 13-3.
Long Beach State extended its two-year winning streak to 10 games, socking it to Drake 41-10. And New Mexico edged San Jose State 36-30.
1. UCLA (4-0-1)
2. USC (4-1)
3. CALIFORNIA (3-2)
"It's the same distance from the outhouse to the mansion as it is from the mansion to the outhouse," said Georgia Coach Vince Dooley after his Bulldogs blew a 14-3 lead over Mississippi and suffered their first loss of the season, 21-17. "That's the way the game is. People don't remember last week." Rebel Quarterback Tim Ellis was happy to make people forget his previous week's loss to Auburn, during which he had been booed lustily. This time Ellis heard cheers as he ran five yards for one touchdown, passed for a two-point conversion, connected on a 36-yard TD pass and thus scrambled the Southeastern Conference race.
LSU went from a 7-10 deficit to a 24-10 advantage in slightly more than five minutes during a third-period spree against Vanderbilt. The Commodores fumbled the ball away three times during that span and lost the game 33-20. Tiger tailbacks excelled, Charles Alexander rumbling for 152 yards and Terry Robiskie for 107. Mississippi State surprised Kentucky 14-7.
"We didn't beat anybody," said Bear Bryant after Alabama had sure enough beaten Southern Mississippi 24-8. What irked Bryant—and his team, which dropped out of the top 20 in the polls for the first time since 1970—was the Tide's lack of assertiveness and effort. "When anybody jumps us jaw to jaw and cheek to cheek, we turn the other cheek," Bryant complained. Only 45,202 fans came to the game, the smallest home crowd for Alabama in ages. Like Bryant, Tide backers were bothered by Alabama's uninspired play, by its 108 yards rushing against a team that had given up more than 380 yards a game in four earlier losses. They were not pleased, either, by the fact that Tide runners were thrown for losses 12 times for 80 yards.
In other nonconference games, Tennessee waltzed past Georgia Tech 42-7, and Auburn was upended by Memphis State 28-27. The Vols scored the first three times they had the ball, rolled up 475 yards and got three touchdowns from Flanker Stanley Morgan. Tech has become a wreck, having yielded 149 points while losing three of five games (it tied Clemson). Trailing 27-21, Memphis State came through with the decisive score when Flanker Ricky Rivas snatched a Lloyd Patterson pass from two defenders on a 30-yard play. That was the second touchdown pass for Patterson, who has had a pair in each of the Tigers' games. Terdell Middleton zipped and darted for 137 yards for the winners, William Andrews 143 yards for Auburn.
"I saw one of them coming, told my feet to pull away, but I fought it too much. One guy caught me." That was Alvin Maddox' description of how he missed getting a touchdown for Maryland after busting loose on a 63-yard jaunt against North Carolina State. The Terps spotted the Wolfpack six points before wrapping up a 16-6 victory, their record-setting 16th consecutive Atlantic Coast Conference win, Maddox gaining 138 yards.
Freshman Tailback James McDougald broke two school marks by rushing 45 times for 249 yards as Wake Forest beat Clemson 20-14. Duke downed outsider Miami 20-7, but Virginia lost 35-7 to independent South Carolina.
VMI's hopes of toppling Virginia Tech in the 28th Tobacco Festival contest dissipated when the Gobblers scored three times in four minutes for a 37-7 decision. Delaware overcame William and Mary 15-13. In spite of 230 yards in penalties, Tennessee State defeated Grambling 34-20. East Carolina amassed 491 yards on the ground—172 of them by Tailback Eddie Hicks—as it beat Southern Illinois 49-14.
1. MARYLAND (5-0)
2. GEORGIA (4-1)
3. MEMPHIS STATE (4-1)
Bad luck, bad weather and bad hands—they were all part of a dismal week for a number of Eastern teams. Tony Dorsett picked up 130 yards in 30 tries as Pittsburgh stopped Louisville 27-6; the bad news was that Quarterback Matt Cavanaugh suffered a fractured fibula that will sideline him for several weeks. A fortnight ago the Panthers' No. 1 signal-caller, Bob Haygood, was knocked out for the season with a knee injury.
"We did some foolish things," Boston College Coach Joe Yukica said following a 28-9 loss to Florida State, which had won only five of 38 previous games. Among the foolish things his Eagles did was fumble six times. The costliest bobble occurred in the fourth period when Seminole Defensive End Rudy Maloy grabbed an Eagle fumble in midair and went 65 yards for a touchdown.
With four of his best backs ailing and with a three-game losing streak on his mind, Penn State Coach Joe Paterno made 10 lineup changes against Army. He even started five freshmen, and two of them—Mike Guman and Tony Capozzoli—accounted for 32 points as the Nittany Lions won 38-16. Guman, a converted safety playing his first game at halfback, gained 107 yards and scored four touchdowns. Capozzoli kicked five PATs and a 40-yard field goal. Steve Geise rushed for 110 yards, and the Penn State defense granted the Cadets minus nine yards on the ground. Army's Leamon Hall, who went into the game leading the country in total offense, added 298 yards as he completed 16 of 42 passes.
Fullback Glen Kehler rushed for 125 yards—his third straight 100-yard effort—as unbeaten Rutgers thrashed Connecticut 38-0. Colgate also continued undefeated, getting past Holy Cross 10-6 on a late touchdown. Boston U. fumbled 11 times in losing 33-6 to Massachusetts. Maine racked up a Yankee Conference victory by holding off New Hampshire 10-0. Dave Jacobs, a 5'7" 141-pounder, booted a 25-yard field goal with seven seconds to go as Syracuse beat Tulane 3-0.
Ivy Leaguers had to contend with gusty winds, heavy rains and turf turned to muck. Best of the mudders were Princeton, Yale and previously winless Penn and Cornell. The Tigers, who now have a 2-1 record, went into a tie for the Ivy lead with Brown by slogging past Columbia 9-3. Princeton Halfback Mike Howard slithered for 133 yards in 37 carries in a game in which each side fumbled six times. The Bulldogs of Yale edged Dartmouth 18-14. The Quakers upset Brown 7-6 when, with 1:51 left, Johnny Mason plunged one yard into the end zone and Tim Mazzetti added the extra point. The winds were so strong at Harvard that they caused the goal posts at the open end of the field to sway. The oddest turn of events came when Cornell Punter Dave Johnson, unable to kick because of an errant center snap, sped 75 yards for the game's only TD as the Big Red got into the swim of things with a 9-3 upset victory over the Crimson, previously undefeated.
1. PITTSBURGH (5-0)
2. RUTGERS (5-0)
3. BOSTON COLLEGE (3-1)
PLAYER OF THE WEEK
DEFENSE: Jerry Robinson, a sophomore linebacker, made 14 unaided tackles, assisted on seven others and ran back an interception 78 yards for a touchdown to spark UCLA to an uphill 38-20 win over stubborn Stanford.
OFFENSE: "He just got tougher as the game got tougher," said USC Coach John Robinson of Ricky Bell, who scored twice and set Pac 8 marks with 346 yards in 51 carries in a 23-14 victory over Washington State.