Oregon's 288 yards in total offense were only seven fewer than what was racked up by visiting Southern Cal. Nevertheless this Pac-10 contest was a 37-10 romp for the Trojans. Mike Kennedy kept the USC defenders off-balance by completing 21 of 39 passes for 231 yards, but they in turn frustrated him by picking off five of his throws. The Trojans parlayed four of those interceptions into a field goal and three touchdowns, the last a 64-yard scamper by Cornerback Herb Ward. The USC workhorse was Tailback Charles White, who lugged the ball 32 times for 173 yards and scored twice.
Arizona was a winner in its first-ever Pac-10 game, defeating Oregon State 21-7. Arizona State, which also moved out of the WAC and into the Pac-10, jolted Brigham Young 24-17 in a nonconference skirmish in Tempe.
Washington scored the first three times it had the ball and went on to smother Kansas 31-2. Keeping the offense clicking were Tailback Joe Steele (102 yards in 26 carries) and Quarterbacks Tom Porras and Tom Flick. Porras hit on 10 of 17 passes for 92 yards, and ran for another 40 yards and one TD. His understudy, Flick, connected on seven of eight for 61 yards and a touchdown.
September 24, 1978
Washington State's Throwin' Samoan, Jack Thompson, threw only one scoring pass during a 28-0 victory over Idaho, a 14-yarder to Tali Ena, who is known as the Other Samoan. Ena tied a team record by scoring two more touchdowns on short bursts.
Two touchdown passes by Quarterback Steve Dils led Stanford to a resounding 38-9 defeat of San Jose State.
Tailback Allan Clark rank for 246 yards, most of them on sweeps, as Northern Arizona bumped off Idaho State 34-14.
1. UCLA (2-0)
2. USC (2-0)
3. WASHINGTON (1-1)
John Stroman, a senior linebacker for Rice, has vivid memories of last season's 72-15 loss to Texas. That game was, he felt, "a circus." Before last week's matchup with the Longhorns, Stroman was not so bold as to predict the Owls would end their 11-game losing streak, but he did say, "I don't think it'll be a circus this time."
Stroman was right. The game was not a circus. It was more like a carnival. One of the sideshows was the Penalty Act. The Longhorns stole that show by being penalized 17 times for 165 yards. Texas also previewed a How to Drop a Football routine, fumbling six times and losing the ball on five of those occasions. Rice tried to get in on both those acts, but could only draw four penalties for 40 yards and fumbled a scant three times. The Owls, though, outperformed the Longhorns in Let's Throw the Ball to the Other Guys, 2 to 1.
Amid the hoo-haws of the fans, Texas put Rice on the back burner in their Southwest Conference game by a score of 34-0. Olympic sprinter Johnny (Lam) Jones latched on to three passes for 132 yards, including 57-and 26-yard scoring efforts. JC transfer Leroy King, taking over at running back for Heisman Trophy winner Earl Campbell, picked up 106 yards in 10 cracks.
It looked like a lark, what with Arkansas leading Vanderbilt 24-0 after 35 minutes. But then the Commodores, who had gained just 51 yards in the first half, got going. Within a five-minute span, they scored on a 13-yard run by Van Heflin, a 90-yard punt return by Preston Brown and a 33-yard field goal by Mike Woodard. Thus the Razorbacks' once-comfortable edge had been reduced to 24-17. Arkansas Coach Lou Holtz' fears were eased when freshman Thomas Brown zipped 96 yards on a kickoff return, and the Hogs went on to win 48-17.
It was no surprise that Ben Cowins of Arkansas led all rushers with 144 yards in 15 carries. What was surprising was that Kevin Scanlon outshone No. 1 Quarterback Ron Calcagni. Scanlon had been recruited by Holtz when the coach was at North Carolina State and had transferred when Lou moved west. After sitting out a year, Scanlon, in his first game for the Hogs, made good on four of eight passes for 96 yards and two touchdowns. And he ran two yards for another six-pointer. Calcagni wound up with five completions in nine attempts for 24 yards. Another pleasant surprise for Holtz was that he apparently found suitable replacements for Kicker Steve Little. JC transfer Ish Ordonez kicked field goals of 46 and 32 yards, and Bruce Lahay averaged 42.4 yards on five punts.
1. ARKANSAS (1-0)
2. TEXAS (1-0)
3. TEXAS A&M (1-0)
Underdogs to wonderdogs was the inscription on T shirts worn by Georgia fans. Sure enough, the Bulldogs did some mildly wondrous things as they shocked Baylor 16-14. Field goals of 42, 38 and 36 yards by Rex Robinson and a 16-yard touchdown run by Willie McClendon gave Georgia its points. Bulldog Coach Vince Dooley, though, felt his players might have been somewhat lucky dogs, saying, "We beat a big team in Athens humidity, on Athens grass in front of an Athens crowd."
Louisiana State was another Southeastern Conference team that knocked off an outsider. Tailback Charles Alexander carried 32 times for 144 yards and scored twice as the Tigers held off Indiana 24-17. The game's most spectacular run was by Defensive End John Adams, who stole a Hoosier pass, was caught by Quarterback Scott Arnett, broke loose and went 73 yards for a touchdown.
Two other SEC squads lost, Tennessee being blanked 13-0 by UCLA and Florida losing to Southern Methodist 35-25. Fullback Theotis Brown of UCLA scored the game's first points with a 54-yard run in the third period. Brown rushed for 103 yards, but was outdistanced by Vol Quarterback Jimmy Streater, who ran for 95 and passed for 79. Unlike Streater, SMU's Mike Ford produced touchdowns, passing for two (and 210 yards) and plunging a yard for a third.
Three other bull's-eye passers propelled their teams to triumphs. Jimmy Jordan's three TD passes for Florida State finished off Oklahoma State 38-20. In his past four games over two seasons, Jordan has hit on 64 of 97 for 991 yards and nine touchdowns, while being intercepted only once. Sophomore Tailback Homes Johnson caught two of Jordan's scoring passes against the Cowboys and added an eight-yard touchdown run.
By completing 13 of 14 passes for 210 yards and a pair of touchdowns, 6'5½", 215-pound sophomore Rich Campbell gave California a 28-10 halftime lead at Georgia Tech. The Yellowjackets fought back, but lost 34-22.
Navy swamped Virginia 32-0 as Bob Leszczynski found his receivers on nine of 13 passes for 210 yards. Split End Phil McConkey pulled in five of those tosses, four in the first period for 141 yards.
Pitt led an aroused Tulane 10-6 with one second left in the first half and the ball on the Green Wave three-yard line. Unlike Muhammad Ali the night before, the Panthers came through with a knockout punch in this Superdome contest as Larry Sims bulled into the end zone on the next play. That floored Tulane, which eventually succumbed 24-6.
Backed up on his own six-yard stripe, Memphis State's Lloyd Patterson lofted a pass to Flanker Ernest Gray, who hauled it in on his 30 and sped the rest of the way for a touchdown against Houston. That big play, plus four Cougar fumbles, paved the way for a 17-3 Tiger victory.
Clemson players did not get much of a workout while thrashing The Citadel 58-3. But the team mascot, a student in a tiger costume, worked up lots of sweat. Each time the Tigers scored, the mascot matched their point total with a like number of push-ups—287 in all during the steamy afternoon. It was a good thing he did not try to match Clemson's yards of total offense (567). With Famous Amos Lawrence missing most of the game because of a bad hip and with new Coach Dick Crum keeping much of his offense under wraps, North Carolina beat East Carolina 14-10. A 7-7 deadlock was broken when Tar Heel Quarterback Matt Kupec and Tight End Bob Loomis teamed up on a 28-yard touchdown pass. East Carolina's late effort to pull off an upset ended on the Tar Heel 19 when the Pirates fumbled the ball away for the sixth time.
Because of the 90° heat, North Carolina State Coach Bo Rein hoped for a quick start against Syracuse. He got his wish as Ted Brown picked up 111 of his 198 yards in the first half while the Wolfpack took a 10-0 advantage. As soon as Rein rested his starters, though, the Orangemen got busy. Tim Wilson of Syracuse, often relying on advice from injured regular Quarterback Bill Hurley, uncorked a 59-yard scoring bomb to Art Monk on his first varsity pass. Dave Jacobs knotted the score at 10-10 with a 40-yard field goal, after which Halfback Ray Vickers put State ahead again with a 17-yard scoring run. Jacobs put the Orangemen ahead 19-17 with three more field goals, but Nathan Ritter kicked a 37-yard field goal to make the score 20-19. Later, Vickers bolted over from six yards out to conclude a 99-yard drive that wrapped up State's 27-19 conquest.
Two last-period touchdowns enabled Maryland to overcome Louisville's 17-10 edge and pull out a 24-17 win. A fumble recovery at the Cardinal 20 set up the Terps' final surge, one Alvin Maddox climaxed by scoring from three yards out with 1:36 left.
1. ALABAMA (2-0)
2. LSU (1-0)
3. NORTH CAROLINA (1-0)
Bill Parcells, the new Air Force coach, obviously believes one can never be too cautious. Before his team played at Boston College, Parcells refused to let local telephone workers hook up his spotters' phones. Instead, he had his own coaches handle the job.
With the spotters providing tips, with the defense forcing seven fumbles and recovering six, and with walk-on Kicker Jim Sturch tying a team mark with four field goals, the Falcons won the Battle of the Birds from the Eagles 18-7. Boston College, operating out of a veer installed by first-year Coach Ed Chlebek, was an 18-point favorite. But the veer drew more sneers than cheers from the fans. Falcon Linebacker Tom Foertsch provided the smears, taking part in 13 tackles.
Halfback Shawn Passman went over from one yard out in the final minute to give Villanova a 25-21 victory over Massachusetts, which had led 14-0 at the half.
Army fought off Lafayette 24-14 as Quarterback Earle Mulrane passed eight yards to Clennie Brundidge for one touchdown and ran one yard for another. Chuck Mullen of Holy Cross caught two touchdown passes from Peter Colombo during a 27-14 triumph over Colgate, which had a 10-0 regular-season record last year.
1. PENN STATE (3-0)
2. PITTSBURGH (1-0)
3. NAVY (1-0)
Never the sort to take a backseat to anyone, Alabama Coach Bear Bryant wound up in the driver's seat, as usual: figuratively, after his team overhauled Missouri 38-20, and literally when he conducted a postgame press conference from the driver's seat of a bus rather than in the crowded dressing room. "If we didn't come back in the third quarter, they'd have remembered it the rest of their lives," Bryant said. He was alluding to Alabama's two touchdowns in the third period, which put it back in front. Early on, it was the Tide that had been ahead, leading 17-0 after less than 18 minutes. But during the next 4:43 the Tigers rallied, driving 72 yards for one touchdown, Quarterback Phil Bradley darting 69 yards for a second and Cornerback Russ Calabrese returning an interception 30 yards to put Missouri on top 20-17. What got Alabama untracked was a blocked kick by Defensive End E. J. Junior. The ball was scooped up by Linebacker Rickey Gilliland, who rambled 35 yards for the first of the Tide's third-period scores.
Other Big Eight teams fared better, although Iowa State barely downed San Diego State 14-13. The Aztecs outdid the Hawk-eyes in first downs 30 to 12, in rushing yardage 228 to 224, and in passing yardage 268 to 11, with San Diego State's Mark Halda completing 24 of 43 attempts. It was turnovers that destroyed the Aztecs. A blocked punt led to the Cyclones' first touchdown in the opening quarter and a midfield fumble recovery in the fourth quarter set up the second. With State trailing 13-6, Tailback Victor Mack scored on a four-yard run to make it 13-12. Then Quarterback Terry Rubley passed to Guy Preston for a two-point conversion and the victory.
Oklahoma, Nebraska and Colorado were more convincing winners. The Sooners whipped West Virginia 52-10. Even though he gained just eight yards in four tries, Halfback Jimmy Rogers, a former redshirt, scored the first three touchdowns of his five-year career. His first came when Quarterback Thomas Lott, heading for the end zone, looked back, spotted Rogers trailing him and lateraled to him at the two-yard line.
When asked how he could get his Nebraska team to be serious about facing Hawaii, Coach Tom Osborne said, "The last time Hawaii came to Lincoln, the Rainbows won and the Nebraska coach lost his job." That was in 1955 when Hawaii won 6-0. Osborne didn't have to worry about his job after this game, which the Huskers took 56-10.
Colorado defenders threw Miami (Fla.) backs for losses 10 times, gave up just 147 yards and backboned a 17-7 Buffalo victory.
When Michigan State came to Purdue a passing duel was anticipated, because the Spartans were quarterbacked by Ed Smith, the Big Ten passing leader in 1976, and the Boilermakers by Mark Herrmann, who led the conference last season as a freshman. State went in front 14-0 when Smith went over from three yards out. However, in the process, he suffered a possible hairline fracture of the second finger of his throwing hand and was through for the day. As for Herrmann, he had his worst game as a collegian, hitting on only seven of 23 passes for 85 yards. Herrmann's biggest play against the Spartans was one called by Coach Jim Young. That came when Purdue had a fourth-and-four at mid-field with the score 14-all and 4:43 to go. Following orders, Herrmann went into a long count and then had the backfield shift into a single wing. The strategy worked, drawing the Spartans offside and giving the Boilermakers a first down. Fullback John Macon then ran for 12 yards and went right up the middle on the next play for the final 33 to make Purdue a 21-14 victor.
Michigan's new wishbone offense was too powerful for Illinois, which lost 31-0. In another Big Ten game, Iowa beat Northwestern 20-3. In non-conference matchups, Minnesota drubbed Toledo 38-12, and Wisconsin edged Richmond 7-6.
1. OKLAHOMA (2-0)
2. MICHIGAN (1-0)
3. COLORADO (2-0)
PLAYERS OF THE WEEK
OFFENSE: Florida State Quarterback Jimmy Jordan, a 6'1", 185-pound junior, found the range on 17 of 28 passes for 231 yards and three touchdowns as the Seminoles swept past Oklahoma State by a score of 38-20.
DEFENSE: Sophomore Defensive End Keith Clark, a 6'4" 230-pounder, made six tackles, assisted on four, sacked the quarterback twice for 16 yards in losses and recovered a fumble as Memphis State beat Houston 17-3.