On the morning of the Penn State-Maryland game, a damp and dejected hitchhiker stood in State College, Pa., bearing a rain-streaked sign that read ANYWHERE BUT HERE.
Maryland, which was ripped by the Lions 27-9, probably felt the same that afternoon. With wins over Rutgers, Houston and now the Terps, even cautious Penn State Coach Joe Paterno should be convinced that his Lions rank with the best. Sparked by the passing of Quarterback Chuck Fusina, who tied a school record for completions by connecting on 19 of 29 passes for 286 yards and two touchdowns, Penn State rebounded from a 3-all halftime deadlock to beat Maryland for the 22nd time in 23 meetings.
Defenses dominated through the first half when both teams combined for but 60 yards rushing, and a Fusina bomb for Flanker Jimmy Cefalo was defused by Jon Claiborne, son of Terp Coach Jerry, who batted the pass away. The momentum swung the Lions' way when Maryland settled for an 18-yard field goal by Ed Loncar. The kick came on the last play of the first half, after the Terps had driven to a first down at the Penn State two-yard line. Maryland went for the field goal after three running plays netted one yard. "That defensive stand in the first half really psyched us up at halftime," Cefalo said of the locker-room meeting, during which Paterno told his team. "You're going to find out some things about yourselves today."
October 2, 1977
Early in the third quarter, Fusina found Cefalo again, but this time unencumbered by Claiborne or anyone else. The result was a 58-yard touchdown pass that dampened the Terps' spirit more perceptibly than the rain.
Fusina threw another touchdown pass in the fourth quarter, a 20-yarder to Halfback Mike Guman, before Tony Capozzoli connected with Cefalo on a seven-yard scoring pass in the last 40 seconds. The Lions' Matt Bahr, who kicked two field goals, also set a school record of six consecutive successful kicks. The old record of five was held by his brother Chris, now with the Cincinnati Bengals. "I think we're starting to develop the poise it takes to be a good football team," Paterno said. "We hung tough and didn't crack."
After losing 76-0 to Pitt in one of the week's biggest mismatches. Temple Coach Wayne Hardin was asked if there was that much disparity between the two teams. "The disparity?" he said. "I don't think it's that much, but we just can't hand anyone four or five touchdowns." Pitt got 11 touchdowns all told, even though Panther Coach Jackie Sherrill used 20 freshmen. One of them, Quarterback Rick Trocano, ran for three scores and passed for another while playing only in the first half. Temple, which fumbled 12 times, losing eight, did not get past its own 46-yard line in the second half.
"Everybody knows Army's Leamon Hall is a tremendous passer," said Boston College Linebacker Rich Scudellari. "Not to take anything away from him, but we felt all along that our guy was better and I guess today he proved it." Indeed, BC Quarterback Ken Smith tossed a school-record five touchdown passes as he connected on 19 of 30 for 301 yards to rout the Cadets 49-28. A loser in 19 straight road games, Army had tied the score at 28 early in the fourth quarter. Shortly thereafter, Receiver Mike (Bucky) Godbolt told Smith in the huddle, "I can beat this guy if you get me the ball." Smith agreed, so the guy, Army Defensive Back David Charest, who had been burned on three previous touchdown passes, got another scorch mark when Smith threw down the middle to Godbolt for a 69-yard scoring play that broke the game open. Smith also connected on three touchdown passes to Pete La Boy and another to Paul McCarty.
Hall acquitted himself nobly in defeat, completing 23 of 39 passes for three touchdowns and 268 yards, which enabled him to eclipse the Army career total-offense record of 4,129 yards held by Glenn Davis. Hall's record now stands at 4,327 yards.
Syracuse got its first victory when David Jacobs kicked a 31-yard field goal in the last 23 seconds to beat Washington 22-20. The Huskies had taken a 20-19 lead minutes earlier on Warren Moon's four-yard run but a conversion pass attempt failed.
Dartmouth employed similar means to defeat Holy Cross 17-14, Nick Lowery booting a 40-yard field goal with two seconds left.
In an intrastate rivalry, Brown defeated Rhode Island 28-10 as Quarterback Mark Whipple twice scrambled for touchdowns to give the Ivy League school its fourth straight win over the Rams.
In the oldest collegiate football rivalry of them all, Rutgers scored a 10-6 victory over Princeton in the 68th meeting between the two teams. The Scarlet Knights broke a 3-all tie in the third quarter when Bert Kosup threw a 29-yard touchdown pass to Walt Hynoski. After the kickoff, a 19-play Princeton drive was halted on the Rutgers five and the Tigers had to settle for a field goal by Chris Howe. A subsequent rally failed with less than two minutes left when the Tigers fumbled on the Rutgers 17.
In other games, Yale defeated Connecticut 23-12, Dayton edged Villanova 21-17, Massachusetts blanked Harvard 17-0 and Columbia beat Lafayette 21-10.
1. PENN STATE (3-0)
2. PITTSBURGH (2-1)
3. YALE (2-0)
The Southeast Conference's unbeaten list was reduced to one as Florida overcame injuries, mistakes and the clock to upset Mississippi State 24-22. The Gators, who once led 17-0, trailed 22-17 with 2:41 left, but Quarterback Terry LeCount, although dizzy from a blow to the head, scrambled 16 yards on third and long, connected on two passes for 20 yards and suddenly had the Gators at the State 16 with 1:16 remaining. Then LeCount dropped back to pass but couldn't find a receiver open, so, as he said. "I had to take off. I only had the linebacker to beat. I thought about going out of bounds at the 10 to stop the clock, but instead I put a move on the linebacker and it worked. I was at the one, got hit and the momentum carried me over. Whew, I can't believe it!"
Neither could State Coach Bob Tyler, a 34-30 loser to Florida last year. However, second-guessers had a field day thanks to one of Tyler's fourth-quarter decisions. With little more than three minutes left and State ahead 22-17, Tyler chose to go for a first down on fourth and one at the Florida 33. Scott Hutchinson, the Gator middle guard, piled up the running play. Florida took over on downs and marched up the field for the winning touchdown. Asked why he didn't punt, Tyler angrily started to write his high school coaching record on a blackboard. Then he said that he simply wanted to keep the football.
Controversy—and booing—also accompanied Bear Bryant in the final moments of Alabama's 24-12 triumph over Vanderbilt. The Crimson Tide had just scored its final touchdown on a two-yard blast by Johnny Davis with 38 seconds to play and, instead of lining up for the extra-point kick, 'Bama came out in the wishbone and tried an unsuccessful pitchout for a two-point conversion. The crowd of 34,694 at Vandy's Dudley Field reacted raucously, and Commodore Head Coach Fred Pancoast also had words for the Bear.
"I told Coach Bryant, we coaches have a good fraternity," he said, "and that I thought it was cheap of him to go for two points. He told me he was studying his charts and they told him the percentages were such that he should go for two. He wasn't looking at any charts, though."
"I told Pancoast the same thing I'm telling you." Bryant said, defending his decision. "It's in the book. There are certain scores that require two-point attempts. It's automatic with me and my team. You go for two when you are ahead by 12 or 19. You do not change things like that or you might get into bad habits." With 38 seconds to go and leading by 12 points?
Davis rushed for 156 yards on 24 carries. However, the senior fullback was also thrown for a loss for the first time in his career. To prove it was no fluke, Vandy did it twice.
All week, Kentucky fans grumbled about Derrick Ramsey, the 6'5", 217-pound senior quarterback from New Jersey who had fared miserably in a 21-6 loss to Baylor. Against West Virginia, however, Ramsey's passes were on target, especially a 50-yard touchdown throw to freshman Felix Wilson that gave Kentucky a 14-7 leaden route to a 28-13 victory. Ramsey ran for 86 yards, passed for 71 and heard cheers for a change. "The hell with the fans," he said. "I just came down here to play. I'm going to do my time and get out."
At Columbia, S.C., Vince Dooley won his 100th game as Georgia survived six lost fumbles to edge South Carolina 15-13 on freshman Rex Robinson's 22-yard field goal with 6:33 to play.
Miami stopped Florida State's passing game and rallied for 13 points in the fourth quarter to beat the Seminoles 23-17. The Hurricanes tied the game at 17 when backup Quarterback Kenny McMillian capped a 79-yard scoring drive with a three-yard pass to Karl Monroe, and won it on Chris Dennis' two 47-yard field goals.
Clemson improved its record to 2-1 with a 31-14 rout of Georgia Tech as Quarterback Steve Fuller ran for two touchdowns and combined with Jerry Butler on a 66-yard pass play for another.
At Knoxville, Auburn, which was trailing 12-0 at one point, stopped three Tennessee drives in the second half and went on to beat the Vols 14-12 in the Southeast Conference opener for both teams.
LSU handed Rice the most lopsided loss in the Owls' history 77-0, Duke decked Virginia 31-7, Memphis State beat Virginia Tech 21-20 in the last two seconds, Southern Mississippi upset Ole Miss 27-19 and North Carolina State beat Wake Forest 41-14.
1. ALABAMA (2-1)
2. FLORIDA (2-0)
3. MISSISSIPPI ST. (2-1)
"I've seen fewer passes made in some basketball games," said one incredulous observer after Notre Dame and Purdue had staged a three-hour, 20-minute show that featured a total of 93 pass attempts, 49 completions, 666 yards, six touchdowns and the same number of interceptions. In the end, the Irish escaped with a 31-24 victory as third-string Quarterback Joe Montana, who hadn't played since 1975, led them to 17 fourth-quarter points that wiped out a 24-14 Boilermaker lead.
Purdue Quarterback Mark Herrmann, a freshman from Carmel, Ind., grew up hoping that someday he would play for Notre Dame. Instead, he stung the Irish with 24 completions for 351 yards and three touchdowns as he fired a Purdue-record 51 passes.
In the first half, Herrmann befuddled the Notre Dame pass rushers by taking only a five-yard drop and running his backs on flare patterns.
But in the second half, Defensive End Ross Browner and company chased Herrmann deeper into the pocket and sacked him seven times. Heisman Trophy candidate Browner twice tackled Herrmann for losses. Asked if he had said anything to the 18-year-old quarterback. Browner replied, "I never talk to the guys I tackle, I just drop 'em and leave 'em."
The hero of the Irish comeback was Montana, who sat out all of last season with a shoulder separation and was a bench warmer in Notre Dame's first two games and the first 43:23 last Saturday. On his first play. Montana handed off to Dave Mitchell who fumbled over to Purdue, but on the next series Montana took the Irish to a 24-yard field goal by Dave Reeve. Moments later he drew the Irish even when he hit Tight End Ken MacAfee with a 13-yard touchdown pass. Montana next moved the Irish 58 yards in five plays to the Purdue five-yard line, and with only 1:39 to play, Mitchell ran for the winning touchdown. All told, Montana completed nine of 14 passes for 154 yards.
Taking a cue from Mary Poppins, the Minnesota cheerleaders left two small pieces of candy at each player's locker, along with the message: SAVE YOUR SWEETNESS FOR TONIGHT, GET NASTY NOW. The Gophers responded with a 27-13 upset of 18th-ranked UCLA. Minnesota Fullback Jeff Thompson scored two touchdowns, and the Gopher defense forced six fumbles and got two interceptions.
The Michigan-Navy game in Ann Arbor was supposed to be like taking candy from a baby, but the No. 1-ranked Wolverines stumbled to a 14-7 win over the Midshipmen, who were a 29-point underdog. Michigan got two first-half touchdowns—and a first-quarter fumble at the Navy one-yard line—from Harlan Huckleby and then hung on as the out-manned Middies gamely fought to preserve their five-game win streak. "We're not playing very well at either end of the field—offensively or defensively," said Wolverine Coach Bo Schembechler. "We'll find out something when we play Texas A&M."
At East Lansing, Michigan State trailed Wyoming 16-0 after a first half that Spartan Coach Darryl Rogers called "the worst performance I've ever been associated with." Whatever words Rogers had for his players at halftime obviously were compelling. Taking advantage of the kind of gifts they had presented to Wyoming in the first half, the Spartans recovered three Wyoming fumbles inside the Cowboy 20-yard line and turned two of them into touchdowns en route to a 34-16 victory. Michigan State Quarterback Ed Smith completed 16 of 39 passes for 296 yards and one touchdown.
Washington State, which had upset Nebraska and Michigan State on the passing arm of Jack Thompson, lost to Kansas 14-12 as Thompson was 24 of 47 for 293 yards but was intercepted three times. Jayhawk Safety Tom Fitch made two of them, taking one 75 yards for a touchdown. His other steal set up a 31-yard touchdown drive. WSU had a chance to win on the game's final play, but Paul Watson, who accounted for all the WSU points with four field goals, barely missed on a 32-yard attempt.
California rallied to beat Missouri 28-21 behind walk-on Quarterback Gary Graumann, a JC transfer playing in his first game for the Bears. Graumann directed two drives for Cal, one in each half. The first was a 10-play, 79-yard march that ended in Paul Jones' 20-yard touchdown run; the second was a 12-play, 80-yard drive that Graumann capped by throwing a 12-yard touchdown pass to Split End Jesse Thompson, wiping out Missouri's 21-20 lead with 2:50 left in the game. Jones became the fifth runner in Cal history to gain 200 yards in a game, rushing for exactly that number on a school-record 35 carries. The win made it three straight for Cal, the first time it has opened in that fashion since 1968. Missouri has lost its first three for the first time since 1956.
Nebraska's 90th consecutive sellout crowd watched I.M. Hipp demonstrate that he was just that in a 31-10 conquest of Baylor. Replacing Tailback Rick Berns—who had injured his hip, of course—Hipp gained 122 yards in 18 carries and scored his first touchdown on a 14-yard run.
Arizona trounced Iowa 41-7, Oklahoma State routed Texas El Paso 54-0, North Carolina ripped Northwestern 41-7. Colorado stung New Mexico 42-7 and Miami of Ohio edged Indiana 21-20.
1. OKLAHOMA (3-0)
2. MICHIGAN (3-0)
3. OHIO STATE (2-1)
Streaking, so to speak, was again in style at the Los Angeles Coliseum, where USC pulverized Texas Christian 51-0 to chalk up its 14th straight victory and hand the Horned Frogs their 14th straight defeat. Both streaks are the longest among major schools and the outcome was hardly surprising. The second-ranked Trojans, with 10 different players scoring, amassed 642 yards of total offense, which isn't even close to the school record—the 1925 Trojan team of Howard Jones rolled up 978 yards in its 80-0 blitz of Pomona.
Asked if he believed his team should be ranked No. 1, USC Coach John Robinson said, "I don't really know and I don't honestly care. There are about eight or nine teams with the potential to be great. We haven't proved we're great yet. We've done well. Right now we're not as good as last year's team was at the end of the season, but we're better than they were at this time."
Brigham Young also romped, defeating Utah State 65-6. Quarterback Gifford Nielsen, who tossed a 33-yard touchdown pass to John VanDerWouden on the Cougars' first play from scrimmage, went on to give BYU a 28-0 lead in the first quarter by hitting on 10 of 11 passes for 118 yards and three touchdowns.
Nielsen played only three quarters but he finished with 30 completions in 40 attempts for 321 yards and six touchdowns. "I can't remember when I've had a hotter hand than I had today," Nielsen said. His substitute, Mark Wilson, was even hotter. He completed seven passes in seven attempts, which made him 15 of 16 for the season.
Steve Hicks' 41-yard field goal with 39 seconds left gave Arizona State a 33-31 triumph over Oregon State. Hicks, who had missed an earlier conversion kick, barely made it on the critical field goal, a "dying quail" shot following a high snap.
Stanford's Quarterback Guy Benjamin passed for 272 yards and three touchdowns in the Cardinals' 37-24 defeat of Illinois. Benjamin, who is dueling Nielsen for NCAA passing honors, connected with Wide Receiver James Lofton, who had 107 yards on eight receptions, for two touchdowns.
Coach Bill Walsh also was pleased with the work of two freshmen making their Stanford Stadium debuts. Tailback Darrin Nelson rushed for 89 yards and scored on a five-yard run before he left the game with a leg cramp after one carry in the third quarter. The other freshman, Ken Naber, booted field goals of 43, 36 and 38 yards and recovered a fumble on one of his kickoffs to set up the go-ahead touchdown.
Houston walloped Utah 34-16 by rushing for 398 yards, 146 of them coming on Fullback Dyral Thomas' 22 carries.
Wisconsin beat Oregon 22-10, Air Force edged Pacific 15-13 and Division II's Montana State extended its win streak to 13 games with a 24-14 win over Fresno State.
1. USC (3-0)
2. CALIFORNIA (3-0)
3. BRIGHAM YOUNG (2-0)
Films of last season's games helped undefeated Arkansas to get off winging in a 37-3 rout of Tulsa, one of its oldest rivals. Tulsa had beaten the Razorbacks last year when Punter Eddie Hare kept the Hogs mired deep in their own territory for most of the game. Preparing for last Saturday night's contest, Arkansas Coach Lou Holtz noticed that Hare takes three steps before he kicks, and thus sent a 10-man rush against the Tulsa kicker on the sixth play of the game. The strategy succeeded. Les King blocked the punt, Ben Cowins ran 28 yards to the Tulsa one-yard line on the next play and Ron Calcagni scored to start the Razorback runaway. It was never close thereafter, as Cowins, the nation's leading rusher, gained 117 yards on 16 carries, one a 56-yard touchdown gallop.
Tulsa Coach John Cooper accused Holtz of trying to run up the score after the Razorbacks tried to block another punt late in the game. "That's the way I felt in my first season, too," Holtz said.
SMU's Putt Choate ran 100 yards for a touchdown with an intercepted pass to offset the heroics of Tulane Quarterback Roch Hontas, who completed 33 of 42 passes for 373 yards and a touchdown as the Mustangs beat the Green Wave 28-23.
North Texas State beat West Texas State 31-20 as the Mean Green's Michael Jones rushed for 127 yards, his third 100-plus game of the year.
1. TEXAS A&M (3-0)
2. TEXAS (2-0)
3. ARKANSAS (3-0)
PLAYERS OF THE WEEK
OFFENSE: California Fullback Paul Jones, a 225-pound sophomore, ran for 200 yards and a touchdown on 35 carries as Cal beat Missouri 28-21. In an 80-yard march to the winning TD. Jones rushed eight times for 48 yards.
DEFENSE: Penn State Middle Guard Randy Sidler, a 6'3½", 229-pound senior, deflected two passes, blocked a field-goal try and had two sacks. His nine tackles included one at his goal line in a 27-9 win over Maryland.