Arkansas, playing its usual Jekyll and Hyde game, remained deadlocked with Texas Tech for the Southwest Conference lead. In the first half, the Razorbacks got only four first downs and trailed Rice 7-0. During halftime, Arkansas Coach Frank Broyles busied himself at the locker-room blackboard. "We just drew up two inside runs, one pitch and one pass, and then we went out and got with it," he said. Did they ever. In the first 15:39 of the second half the Hogs tallied 34 points. They even scored on their own kickoff late in the third quarter, Free Safety Muskie Harris grabbing the ball in the Rice end zone for a touchdown when the Owls neglected to down it for a touchback. It all added up to a 41-16 Arkansas victory.
Texas A&M also got off to a slow start in its SWC scrap at SMU, holding a 3-0 half-time lead. Then the Aggies got rolling and finished off the Mustangs 36-0, Fullback George Woodard ripping through SMU for 155 yards. It was the Mustangs' first shutout defeat in conference play in a decade.
Houston, which was leading the conference in rushing, was held to 135 yards by TCU, so the Cougars took to the air. Split End Don Bass caught four touchdown throws—72-, 32-and 64-yarders from Danny Davis, and an 11-yard toss from Bubba McGallion—as Houston established an SWC record by passing for 443 yards. And, despite losing half of their 10 fumbles, the Cougars won 49-21.
November 8, 1976
1. TEXAS TECH (6-0)
2. ARKANSAS (5-1)
3. HOUSTON (5-2)
The unexpected has come to be expected so often in the Big Eight that now no one knows what to expect. Up-and-down Missouri seemed well on its way to an upbeat performance when it took a 16-0 lead over Oklahoma State early in the third period. What did it matter that the final PAT for the Tigers—after Joe Stewart's 100-yard kickoff return—was botched up because the ball was wet? It mattered plenty when Cowboy Running Back Terry Miller scored on runs of 23, two and 10 yards, and Abby Daigle added two extra points for a remarkable 20-19 comeback win. Miller gained 228 yards and Skip Taylor, filling in for injured Running Back Robert Turner, added 106.
Colorado Coach Bill Mallory said he expected the Buffs' game against Oklahoma to be a defensive struggle. As it turned out, he could not have been more wrong—-or happier. Oklahoma amassed 438 yards, but its defense, which had been yielding 246, gave up 477 to the Buffaloes. Colorado was down 31-20 midway through the third period when Quarterback Jeff Knapple and Wingback Billy Waddy teamed up on a 70-yard TD pass. Then Fullback Jim Kelleher added his second and third short touchdown runs of the day to bring the Buffaloes back for a 42-31 victory. It was the Sooners' first road loss in four years and the most points they had allowed to Colorado in their 31-game series.
Form did hold true in two other league encounters. Nebraska, which had outscored Kansas 112-0 on its last two visits to Lawrence, eased to a 31-3 win, despite the heroics of Jayhawk Linebacker Terry Beeson, who made 15 unaided tackles and assisted on seven others. Iowa State drubbed Kansas State 45-14. First place will be at stake this week when Oklahoma State visits Nebraska.
"We need to be tested," said Michigan Coach Bo Schembechler before taking on Minnesota in a Big Ten game. Alas, the Wolverines hardly had to break a sweat as they won 45-0. Quarterback Rick Leach completed all four of his passes—two for touchdowns—and ran 10 times for 114 yards and another pair of TDs. Rob Lytle went over the 100-yard mark in rushing for the fifth game in a row, this time gaining 129,
Ohio State was tested—for one half. During the first two quarters the Buckeyes lost two of three fumbles, were penalized 43 yards, made just three first downs and struggled to a 12-7 lead over Indiana. After that it was no contest as the Buckeyes went on to win 47-7. Other Big Ten victors were Illinois (31-25 over Wisconsin), Iowa (13-10 over Northwestern) and Michigan State (45-13 over Purdue).
Ball State held on to first place in the MidAmerican race, drubbing Northern Illinois 33-7, while Central Michigan moved into the runner-up spot, coming from 14 points back to down Bowling Green 38-28. Western Michigan topped Ohio U. 21-10, Toledo beat Miami of Ohio 24-9, and Kent State walloped Eastern Michigan 38-13.
Notre Dame, which broke a school record in the first period against Navy by not allowing a touchdown for the 21st quarter in a row, yielded a pair of TDs to the Middies in the second period and fell behind 14-3. Quarterback Rick Slager then rallied the Irish for three touchdowns, and Dave Reeve kicked 47-and 24-yard field goals for a 27-21 victory.
1. MICHIGAN (8-0)
2. NEBRASKA (6-1-1)
3. OHIO ST. (6-1-1)
"I was trying to find a seat on the field so I could sit down and watch. For about 10 seconds I became a fan." That's what Florida Quarterback Jimmy Fisher said as he praised Split End Wes Chandler, who caught five of his passes for 163 yards and two touchdowns in a 24-19 win over Auburn. The play Fisher wanted to sit down and watch was a 64-yarder on which Chandler grabbed a pass, broke five tackles and made it all the way to the end zone. (As Chandler came out of the end zone, the Auburn war eagle tried to bite him. Under a new rule prohibiting mascots from interfering with play, the Tigers were penalized 15 yards on the ensuing kickoff.) "He's pure magic," said Fisher, who hit on nine of 14 throws for 251 yards and three touchdowns. Florida, which gained 506 yards in this battle of Southeastern Conference unbeatens, will tangle with Georgia at Jacksonville this Saturday. The winner of that contest will likely wind up as SEC champion and Sugar Bowl host.
"I'd hate to play Cincinnati as a steady diet," said Georgia Coach Vince Dooley. His Bulldogs took a 24-3 lead into the fourth quarter and seemed to be on their way to an easy win in this intersectional game. After all, the Georgia "Junkyard Dog" defense hadn't allowed a point in the fourth quarter all season. But Bearcat Quarterback Art Bailey threw a couple of touchdown passes, and suddenly the Bulldogs' lead had dwindled to 24-17. Two interceptions by Georgia and a three-yard scoring run by Fullback Al Pollard ended Cincinnati's resurgence and wrapped up a 31-17 decision.
The Mississippi-LSU game in Baton Rouge shaped up as a close battle. It was close—for the opening 8:08. Then the Tigers scored the first touchdown of a 45-0 rout. Ole Miss, which entered the contest with the best rushing defense in the SEC, allowing just 136.6 yards a game, permitted LSU 426 yards on a school-record 76 carries. During the first half, the Tigers intercepted three passes, recovered an Ole Miss fumble, built a 281-43 advantage in yardage gained and took a 31-0 lead. LSU Tailback Terry Robiskie became the school's alltime leading ground-gainer, running for 129 yards to raise his four-year total to 2,202. Backup Tailback Charles Alexander added 138 yards.
Mississippi State gave Alabama a scare. The Bulldogs led 17-12 at halftime, then tired as the Tide did all the second-half scoring to register a 34-17 SEC victory.
Some people, Big Eight coaches in particular, have suggested that Maryland plays a soft schedule and does not deserve its No. 5 rating in the polls. After Maryland stepped out of the Atlantic Coast Conference last week and knocked off SEC opponent Kentucky 24-14, Terp Quarterback Mark Manges spoke up. "That's typical Big Eight jargon," he said. "Last year they said they'd wipe up everybody in the bowls and they went 1-4. If we wind up playing a Big Eight team, we'll show them." With Manges breaking two tackles to score from 10 yards out and directing the Terps to successful conversions on 10 third-down plays, Maryland remained unbeaten.
In other non-conference games, Duke trampled Georgia Tech 31-7 and Clemson stopped Florida State 15-12, while North Carolina State lost to South Carolina 27-7 and Virginia was beaten by VMI 13-7. Tech errors and touchdown runs of 10 and 32 yards by Quarterback Mike Dunn made the Blue Devils easy winners. Clemson trailed 9-0 until Quarterback Steve Fuller came off the bench to throw a seven-yard scoring pass and to plunge one yard for the clinching touchdown. Tailback Clarence Williams ran for 105 yards as the Gamecocks downed the Wolf-pack. Third-period field goals of 25 and 29 yards by freshman Craig Jones snapped a 7-7 tie and gave VMI its win. Delbert Powell set a North Carolina record by returning a kick-off 98 yards for a touchdown in the Tar Heels' 34-14 ACC victory over Wake Forest.
In the Southern Conference, Furman upset William and Mary 23-7, Appalachian State beat The Citadel 31-13 and first-place East Carolina scored 10 points in the final period to overtake Western Carolina 24-17.
Virginia Tech improved its record to 6-2 by intercepting five passes and recovering two West Virginia fumbles en route to a 24-7 victory. In another matchup of independents, Memphis State, despite fumbling the ball away for the 26th and 27th times this year, put down Tulane 14-7. Tailback Terdell Middleton carried State to victory by rushing for 172 yards and scoring both touchdowns.
1. MARYLAND (8-0)
2. GEORGIA (7-1)
3. FLORIDA (6-1)
Villanova tricked Boston College the day before Halloween, but Pitt and Penn State treated themselves to victories. The Wildcats, led by Running Back Vince Thompson's 124 yards, ran over, around and through the Eagles for 330 yards and a 22-3 upset.
After Orange Bowl officials indicated that their No. 1 choice for New Year's Day is Pittsburgh, Syracuse's own Orangemen tried to upset those plans. But with Tony Dorsett (page 20) zipping for 241 yards and two touchdowns, the Panthers won 23-13. A Syracuse total-offense record was set by Quarterback Bill Hurley, who passed for 203 yards, ran for 102 and led the Orangemen to a 13-10 third-quarter lead.
Temple, a 26-25 loser to Penn State last year, again missed by one point. With 9:29 left, the Owls trailed 31-17. But Terry Gregory, who completed 19 of 35 passes for 290 yards, threw his third and fourth touchdown passes of the day to cut the margin to 31-30 as time ran out. On the try for a two-point conversion, Gregory was forced to hurry his throw and missed his receiver. Chuck Fusina kept Penn State's attack in high gear by hitting on 11 of 19 passes for 219 yards and two touchdowns.
Colgate also narrowly avoided a loss. The undefeated Red Raiders were on the short end of a 14-7 score with less than seven minutes to play against Boston U. Then Colgate Quarterback Bob Relph combined with Bruce Malverty on a 65-yard scoring pass and ran four yards for another TD for a 21-14 win.
Rutgers had no trouble picking up its 15th straight victory 24-7 over Massachusetts, as Mark Twitty hauled in seven passes from Bert Kosup for 135 yards.
Army broke a three-game losing streak by stopping Air Force 24-7. Tight End Clennie Brundidge, whose brother had been killed in a car crash earlier in the week, caught an 18-yard pass from Leamon Hall for the Cadets' first score. Hall, who was sacked six times, completed only six of 14 for 59 yards.
Brown, Yale and Penn parlayed late efforts into Ivy League wins. The Bruins, who trailed Harvard 7-0 in the second period, zippered up their defense against the Crimson's multiflex offense to rally for a 16-14 victory. And Quarterback Paul Michalko perked up the Bruin aerial game with passes to Bob Farnham, who made five receptions, one a leaping grab of a 10-yard toss in the end zone. Last-place Cornell gave Yale fits before succumbing 14-6. Steve Skrovan and Kurt Nondorf each stole two Cornell passes, and the Yale defense twice stopped long Big Red drives in the fourth period. After taking his last time out with 47 seconds to go and the ball on the Princeton 31, Penn Quarterback Bob Graustein rifled a pass to Bill Cioffredi for 23 yards. Then, with 17 seconds remaining, Graustein passed the final eight yards to Cioffredi, and Tim Mazzetti added the decisive PAT in the Quakers' 10-9 win. While others struggled, Dartmouth romped past fumbling Columbia 34-14. All of which left Yale and Brown tied for first place in the Ivy with 4-1 records, while Harvard and Dartmouth were one game back.
1. PITTSBURGH (8-0)
2. RUTGERS (8-0)
3. BOSTON COLLEGE (5-2)
UCLA moved a step closer to its season-ending Pac 8 showdown with USC by winning at Washington for the first time since 1958. The Huskies had a sound game plan: contain Bruin Quarterback Jeff Dankworth and the wide maneuvers off the veer option. So Dankworth resorted to the dive play off the veer, handing the ball to the first back through. As often as not that first runner was Theotis Brown, who set a UCLA record by rambling for 220 yards—including touchdown jaunts of 15, 29 and 51 yards—all off the dive. Third-stringer Halfback James Owens ran for another 123 yards as the Bruins dominated the Huskies 32-15 in first downs and 520-243 in yards gained. Still, with Joe Steele scoring on an 89-yard kickoff return, the Huskies gave the Bruins a battle before losing 30-21.
Although Joe Roth and Fred Besana completed 21 of 43 passes for 201 yards, the only scores California got against USC came on field goals. Ricky Bell and his sub, Charles White, ran for 169 yards as the Trojans won 20-6.
Accurate passing propelled Stanford and Washington State to Pac 8 wins. Guy Benjamin completed 22 of 37 attempts for 233 yards and three touchdowns as the Cardinals beat Oregon State 24-3. Jack Thompson of the Cougars, who completed 18 of 33 for 249 yards, was at his best in the late going. Trailing 22-15 with barely three minutes left, Thompson directed an 86-yard scoring drive during which he completed eight passes. With 19 seconds to go and the Cougars still down 22-21, Thompson connected with Dan Doornink for a two-point conversion and a one-point triumph over Oregon.
Field goals provided the winning margin in two WAC games. Tom Drake, who had kicked three-pointers from 32, 40 and 28 yards, booted a 31-yarder with 1:26 left to give Colorado State a 19-16 upset win over first-place Wyoming. Second-half field goals of 39, 43 and 29 yards by Lee Pistor, plus three TD passes by Marc Lunsford, carried Arizona past Utah 38-35. Arizona State and Brigham Young came out gunning. At the end of a wild first quarter, State led 21-17. That was all the ammunition the Sun Devils had, but the Cougars, with 6'5" Gifford Nielsen passing for 339 yards and two touchdowns, kept firing away. In the end, BYU came out on top 43-21 as the two teams tossed 76 passes for 739 yards.
1. UCLA (7-0-1)
2. USC (6-1)
3. WYOMING (6-2)
PLAYERS OF THE WEEK
OFFENSE: Sophomore Fullback Duke Williams of Eastern Montana rushed for 409 yards to set an NAIA record. He carried 42 times and scored on runs of 71, 10, 31 and five yards in a 35-14 win over Montana Tech.
DEFENSE: Maryland's Joe Campbell kept coming against Kentucky, sacking the quarterback once and getting in on 22 tackles. The 6'6", 255-pound tackle made the initial hit 11 times in the Terps' 24-14 victory.