"To beat USC we must play near errorless ball," said Washington Coach Don James. "We must force some turnovers, and the defense must have a super game." So the Huskies pounced on three Trojan fumbles, intercepted three passes, blocked two punts and held the Pac 8's leading offensive team to 337 yards, 132 below its average. For some offense, Warren Moon passed 19 yards for one touchdown, ran two yards for another and 71 more for a third as Washington won at home 28-10. Three Pac 8 teams have a shot at a Rose Bowl berth, with the Huskies being able to sew it up if they beat Washington State in the season finale and USC stops UCLA.
UCLA remained tied with the Huskies for first place at 5-1 by beating Oregon State 48-18. With Rick Bashore having suffered a fractured rib and collapsed lung the previous week. Steve Bukich took over at quarterback for the Bruins and completed 10 of 15 passes for 140 yards and one touchdown.
Gary Graumann, a walk-on, got his first start for California and hit on 14 of 24 passes for 195 yards and one touchdown to trim Oregon 48-16. Stanford beat San Jose State 31-26 in a non-conference game as Darrin Nelson rushed for 211 yards. Washington State drubbed independent Idaho 45-17.
November 21, 1977
Coach Ben Martin, who will retire after this season—his 20th at Air Force—savored a 34-28 win over Vanderbilt.
1. UCLA (7-3)
2. ARIZONA ST. (8-1)
3. WASHINGTON (6-4)
"Clemson is just a little this side of heaven," bragged a Tiger enthusiast. Alas for the upset-minded Tigers, being on the other side of the line from Jerome Heavens, not to mention Vagas Ferguson and Joe Montana, resulted in a loss to Notre Dame. The Irish scrambled back from a 17-7 fourth-period deficit to beat Clemson 21-17. Quarterback Steve Fuller, who hit on 13 of 20 passes for 185 yards and ran for another 51 yards, was mainly responsible for the Tigers' lead. Fuller's 10-yard run and a two-yard sweep by Lester Brown were only the second and third rushing touchdowns against Notre Dame this season. Then the Irish capitalized on turnovers as Heavens gained 63 yards and Ferguson 75 and Montana scored on two short runs.
North Carolina clinched at least a share of the Atlantic Coast Conference title by downing Virginia 35-14. The game was scoreless until Amos Lawrence of the Tar Heels scored on a six-yard run 44 seconds before halftime.
Thirty-two points were scored in 4:58 of the third quarter, 18 by Duke and 14 by North Carolina State, and Quarterback Mike Dunn set a Blue Devil total-offense mark by accounting for 344 yards. But despite Duke's surge and Dunn's feats, the Wolfpack came out on top 37-32. Maryland built a 17-point lead, got 171 yards rushing from George Scott and hung on to defeat Richmond 27-24 in a non-conference tussle. South Carolina overcame Wake Forest 24-14.
"I thought we had some class, but after the way we stumbled around I don't know," complained Alabama Coach Bear Bryant. "They whipped us all over the place." The classless, stumbling and whipped Tide nevertheless managed to down Miami 36-0 in a non-conference game. Alabama outdid the Hurricanes in first downs (23 to eight), in rushing (307 yards to 146) and in passing (165 yards to 26). "Yeah, but we didn't have any long drives," lamented Bryant. "Great teams have a couple or more in every game."
Kentucky had a long drive and continued its third-quarter domination as Derrick Ramsey directed a 77-yard march and scored on a fourth-down dive from the one for a 14-7 win at Florida. Ramsey's touchdown and two-point conversion run put the Wildcats, who had trailed 7-6, in front in the Southeastern Conference conflict. Kentucky has outscored opponents 85-7 in the third period this year.
Eight Tennessee fumbles (five lost) and 433 yards rushing by Mississippi led to a 43-14 Rebel triumph. LSU fought off Mississippi State 27-24 as Mike Conway booted a 28-yard field goal with 2:40 remaining. Auburn slugged Georgia 33-14.
In a battle of independents, Florida State crushed Memphis State 30-9, giving up just 60 yards rushing and throwing Tiger backs for losses 15 times. Twice-tied Louisiana Tech, the Southland Conference champion, remained unbeaten by stopping independent Southern Mississippi 28-10. During a 21-17 Oyster Bowl upset of East Carolina, William & Mary came up with a pearl—Tom Rozantz, who passed for two touchdowns and ran for a third, despite being tackled by 65-year-old Jim Johnson, a former East Carolina University football coach, at the two. "I hit him low," said Johnson. "I hit him a good one. It was a crazy thing. But Rozantz didn't score, I'll swear to that. My wife was really upset with me."
VMI strengthened its grip on the Southern Conference lead by holding off Furman 31-28. After the Keydets' lead had been sliced from 24-0 to 24-21, Robby Clark lofted a 55-yard pass to Johnny Garnett, who went another 29 yards with it for VMI's clinching touchdown.
1. ALABAMA (9-1)
2. KENTUCKY (9-1)
3. FLORIDA STATE (8-1)
Three quarterbacks—one a fourth-stringer, another heavily bandaged and the third flattened on a critical play—were instrumental in Southwest Conference victories. With Randy McEachern out with a strained knee, Texas had to resort to a fourth-stringer, freshman Sam Ansley, against TCU. Ansley teamed up with Johnny (Lam) Jones on scoring passes of 66 and 10 yards and added another six points with a two-yard sprint as the Longhorns romped 44-14. Texas' other Jones boy, Johnny (Ham), ran 12 times for 108 yards, including a 66-yard scoring jaunt. Earl Campbell scored twice, gained 153 yards in 21 carries and became the fifth player in NCAA history to amass 4,000 career yards rushing.
Rodney Allison, with foam padding on the left leg he broke in September, passed for two touchdowns and ran six yards for another as Texas Tech beat SMU 45-7. Billy Taylor of the Red Raiders ran for two more touchdowns and 127 yards.
With 1:41 to go and the score 20-20 at Texas A&M, Arkansas Quarterback Ron Calcagni unfurled a long pass and promptly was creamed by Aggie End Jacob Green. The decked Calcagni had no idea if Bruce Farrell had caught the pass but while lying on the ground he was hugged by teammate Ben Cowins and "knew something good had happened." That 58-yard scoring bomb put the Razorbacks in front 26-20, where they stayed, thanks to an end-zone interception by Pat Martin on the game's final play. Aggie Fullback George Woodard, who had dieted off 20 pounds in two weeks, unleashed his remaining 266 pounds for 116 yards, and Curtis Dickey added 101 more in a losing cause.
Baylor held Rice to three first downs in the first half, intercepted four passes and sent the Owls to their ninth loss, 24-14.
1. TEXAS (9-0)
2. ARKANSAS (8-1)
3. TEXAS A&M (6-2)
The symbolism was only too obvious as Sooner Coach Barry Switzer showed up at a press conference with an orange in each hand after Oklahoma had rushed for 430 yards and destroyed Colorado 52-14. That assured Oklahoma of at least a share of the Big Eight title and set up a Nov. 25 showdown with Nebraska to see who will wind up with the Orange Bowl bid. When Fullback Kenny King was not busy piling up 121 yards in 18 carries, Quarterback Thomas Lott was gaining 83 yards in 11 tries and passing 28 yards for a touchdown, and Halfback Billy Sims was scoring on half of his six runs.
Nebraska also scored 52 points and set a school record by rushing for 550 yards. When Nebraska's 52-7 rout of Kansas was over, three I backs had accumulated 397 yards: I. M. Hipp got 200 yards in 23 carries; Rick Berns added 107 in eight trips, three of them touchdown runs of 63, 10 and five yards; and 5'7", 175-pound Tim Wurth lugged the ball 13 times for 90 yards.
Even though Missouri Quarterback Pete Woods had undergone surgery on a broken finger and did not play and although Oklahoma State's Terry Miller ran for a school-record 246 yards in 38 attempts, the Tigers beat Oklahoma State 41-14. Miller's two touchdowns had given the Cowboys a 14-10 lead going into the fourth quarter, but then the Tigers scored 31 points. Iowa State kept its bowl hopes alive with a 22-15 triumph at Kansas State in which Tailback Dexter Green gained 135 yards. Wildcat Coach Ellis Rainsberger announced his resignation before the game amid charges that his staff had misrepresented the identity of two players who had been in a junior varsity contest earlier in the week.
There was lots of unusual running in the Big Ten. Ohio State ran around the goalposts, Michigan proved it could keep its footing on real live grass and Minnesota's Kent Kitzmann ran and ran and ran and ran and...Because his players "have been notoriously slow starters" and because they were tied 7-7 with Indiana, Coach Woody Hayes had his Buckeyes loosen up by running around the goalposts before the second half. Warmed up, the Buckeyes spent the rest of the game running into the Hoosier end zone. Ohio State's 35-7 romp was built around Jeff Logan's 148 yards rushing. Michigan, whose only three losses in the past two seasons have come on grass, returned to Purdue, where it was upset last year 16-14. This time the Wolverines tore up the grass in a 40-7 win as Russell Davis rumbled for 167 yards. They also limited Purdue's Mark Herrmann to 10 completions in 22 attempts for 74 yards, intercepted him three times and sacked him for a safety. Kitzmann, a sophomore fullback who had carried only 54 times for 227 yards all season, surpassed both totals as Minnesota blanked Illinois 21-0. What Kitzmann did was gain 266 yards and score all three Gopher touchdowns as he set an NCAA record by lugging the ball 57 times.
Two fumble recoveries, a blocked punt and an interception—all by Safety Rod Sears—helped Iowa win 24-8 over Wisconsin, whose coach, John Jardine, announced he will retire at the season's end. Winless Northwestern lost 44-3 to Michigan State.
Miami of Ohio, with Jeff Feicht running for 135 yards and two touchdowns, stopped Kent State 25-0 and earned the Mid-American Conference title. Austin Peay's 24-21 defeat of Tennessee Tech moved the Governors to the top of the Ohio Valley Conference. Taking over first place in the Missouri Valley was Wichita State, a 41-14 victor over Indiana State as Jim Andrus threw five TD passes. Senior Vince Allen of Indiana State picked up 143 yards rushing, his 26th game of 100 or more yards, to bring his career yardage to 4,207.
Tom Stine, a junior at Central Methodist (Mo.), who the week before had set an NAIA mark by passing for 571 yards, eclipsed that record by five yards during a 49-32 victory over Tarkio. Stine completed 36 of 65 passes, six of them for touchdowns.
1. OKLAHOMA (9-1)
2. OHIO STATE (9-1)
3. MICHIGAN (9-1)
"It's hard to be better than last year but we do a lot more difficult things. We mix things up." So said Pitt Coach Jackie Sherrill, whose Panthers poured through Army with four touchdowns in 1:45 of the second quarter, a 38-0 halftime lead and a 52-26 final score as 61 Panther players saw action. Quarterback Matt Cavanaugh threw for touchdowns of 38, 21 and 19 yards, and Gordon Jones, a split end and kick returner, had four receptions, ran back a kick-off 93 yards for a score and set up another with a 54-yard punt runback.
"A couple of times I thought he was going to smoke a cigarette back there," said Temple Quarterback Pat Carey of his Penn State counterpart, Chuck Fusina. With plenty of time to set up, Fusina ignited the Nittany Lion offense by completing 12 of 22 passes for 249 yards and smoked the Owls 44-7. Three of Fusina's tosses went for touchdowns, two of them being hauled in by Flanker Jimmy Cefalo, who also scored on a nine-yard reverse.
Colgate had to labor to earn a 48-39 win over Northeastern, whose Allen Deary passed for 237 yards. But with Henry White scoring from far out (97 yards on a kickoff return and 67 yards on a pass from Bob Relph) and with Pat Healy rushing for 131 yards and scoring from close in (four- and one-yard runs), the Red Raiders remained undefeated.
Quarterback Bill Hurley pulled off an unusual non-play—Rush-to-the-Hospital-and-Back-into-the-Game—as he helped Syracuse beat Boston College 20-3. After hooking up with Art Monk on a 28-yard TD pass, Hurley injured his right arm. X rays were negative so he came back to put on a positive performance, finishing with six completions in 10 passes and 85 yards rushing.
Productive ground games also enabled Rutgers, West Virginia and Navy to win. Tulane's Green Wave was broken 47-8 by the Scarlet Knights, who gained 527 yards, 485 on the ground. Mark Lassiter of Rutgers ran for 137 yards and scored twice. A 12-yard scoring run by freshman Robert Alexander, who notched his first 100-yard game, gave the Mountaineers a 20-14 verdict over Virginia Tech. Joe Gattuso helped the Middies topple Georgia Tech by rushing for 147 yards to set a school single-season record of 1,167 yards.
While Yale locked up the Ivy title, Penn beat Dartmouth 7-3 in the last game for retiring Big Green Coach Jake Crouthamel. That left both teams tied with Harvard for third place. Princeton walloped Cornell 34-0 and Brown stopped Columbia 21-14.
Massachusetts clinched the Yankee Conference championship with a 19-6 victory over New Hampshire, last year's titlist. In another New England contest, Norwich was a 34-20 winner over previously unbeaten Middlebury in a Division III matchup.
1. PENN STATE (9-1)
2. PITTSBURGH (8-1-1)
3. COLGATE (10-0)
PLAYERS OF THE WEEK
OFFENSE: Tailback Famous Amos Lawrence, a 5'9" 180-pounder, broke Tony Dorsett's NCAA record for freshmen by rushing for 286 yards and two TDs in 35 carries as North Carolina knocked off Virginia 35-14.
DEFENSE: Linebacker Mike Jackson, a 6'1", 215-pound junior, intercepted two passes and batted down a third, recovered one fumble and provoked another, and made 12 tackles as Washington downed USC 28-10.