"I was beaten 69-19 while I coached at Louisville and I threw in the towel. Today I couldn't even find a towel to throw in." So said Lee Corso of Indiana after the Hoosiers' 69-17 loss to Nebraska. The 69 points were the most ever scored against an Indiana squad since the school took up the sport of football in 1885. Nebraska ran for 415 yards and passed for 198. Leading the way was I. M. Hipp, who scored four times from inside the 10 while piling up 123 yards.
The Hoosiers were not alone in being manhandled by Big Eight teams. Northwestern was swamped 55-7 at Colorado, Drake lost 35-7 at Iowa State and Air Force was shot down 34-21 by Kansas State. James May-berry set a Colorado record by scoring four touchdowns in a single period. In all, May-berry gained 124 of the Buffaloes' 581 yards.
Iowa State's Dexter Green did not let a sore knee curb his hopes for the Heisman Trophy, carrying 22 times for 102 yards, catching two passes for 12 yards and one TD and passing three times for 28 yards. With Quarterback Terry Rubley throwing for three more TDs, the Cyclones notched their fourth game in a row, their best start in 40 years.
October 8, 1978
Kansas State snapped an 11-game losing streak when it downed Air Force in Manhattan. Dan Manucci passed for touchdowns of 56 and 63 yards and scored on two one-yard plunges and a 32-yard sprint.
For the fourth straight game Oklahoma scored the first time it had the ball, Billy Sims zipping 42 yards to start off a 45-23 defeat of Missouri. Sims added TD runs of 50 yards and one yard as Oklahoma built a 28-0 lead in the Big Eight matchup. When the final gun sounded, Sims had gained 166 yards and David Overstreet 153. Uwe Von Schamann of the Sooners broke the NCAA mark for consecutive PAT kicks by extending his string to 93.
Kansas, which the week before had shocked UCLA, was, in turn, jolted by Miami 38-6.
Michigan Coach Bo Schembechler, that peerless faultfinder, had difficulty detecting any errors in a 52-0 trouncing of Duke. After saying there "were lots of flaws," Bo backtracked when asked to pinpoint them and said he would have to check the game films.
Woody Hayes of Ohio State had a harder time winning—his Buckeyes held off Baylor 34-28—but was more ecstatic than Bo. "One of the most interesting games I ever saw," Hayes said. Making it interesting was the passing of Steve Smith of the Bears, who hit on half of his 34 aerials for 249 yards and three touchdowns. State's Art Schlichter connected on only three of nine throws and had two intercepted. But one of his passes was good for 51 yards and a touchdown, and Schlichter added a 24-yard scoring run. The Buckeyes gained 373 yards on the ground in this, the 200th OSU win for Hayes. Only one coach has won more often at one school, Amos Alonzo Stagg, who had 243 victories at Chicago. Asked when he would come up with a more balanced offense, Hayes snapped, "There's no such thing in college football. Maybe you can stay in the writing profession talking about balance, but in college ball that's plain unadulterated bovine droppings."
Another Big Ten winner was Wisconsin, which needed a dramatic comeback to remain undefeated. With 2:14 left to play, the Badgers trailed Oregon 19-7. Then Mike Kalasmiki, who passed for 232 yards, tossed a 12-yard scoring strike to Tim Stracka. The Badgers recovered an onside kick, and five plays later Kevin Cohee scored from four yards out for the 22-19 win.
Notre Dame avoided a third consecutive loss by scoring 10 points in the third period to overcome Purdue 10-6. Jerome Heavens of the Irish ran 26 yards for the only TD.
Wichita State outlasted West Texas State 38-37 in a Missouri Valley battle. Ball State took command of the Mid-American race by zapping Central Michigan 27-0.
1. OKLAHOMA (4-0)
2. MICHIGAN (3-0)
3. COLORADO (4-0)
Texas A&M breezed, but Arkansas wheezed as both bested non-conference opponents. The Aggies trampled Memphis State 58-0, NCAA sprint champion Curtis Dickey starting the assault by dashing 65 yards for a touchdown on the first play from scrimmage. Before the rout was over, Dickey had carried the ball for 167 yards in 11 rushes, including a second touchdown jaunt of 31 yards. Altogether, the Aggies amassed 615 yards. Meanwhile, led by End Jacob Green's 10 tackles and four sacks, the Aggies limited the Tigers to one yard on the ground and 52 through the air.
Arkansas Coach Lou Holtz was plumb out of one-liners following a harrowing 21-13 come-from-behind victory over Tulsa. The Golden Hurricane, which came to Fayetteville with a 4-0 record, gave the Razorbacks fits for 2½ periods. Tulsa led 7-0 at that juncture, then crumbled. More than anyone, it was Tackle Jimmy Walker who wore down Tulsa, downing Quarterback Dave Rader five times for 43 yards in losses. While Walker was sacking, Ben Cowins was rumbling, grinding out 118 yards in 21 carries and putting the Razorbacks in front with third-quarter touchdown runs of 24 and three yards.
An opportunistic defense and the running of Johnny (Ham) Jones enabled Texas to stop Texas Tech 24-7 in a Southwest Conference game at Lubbock. Longhorn defenders pounced on four fumbles and intercepted two passes, one at their goal line. The other set up the first Texas score, a 10-yard run by LeRoy King. Fumble recoveries then preceded touchdown runs of 14 and 16 yards by Jones, who wound up with 128 yards rushing. A 47-yard Ron Reeves-to-Godfrey Turner pass for the Red Raiders resulted in the first touchdown of the season against Texas.
Charles Alexander's scoring runs of 19 and 12 yards and his total of 144 yards propelled Louisiana State to a 37-7 victory at Rice.
Traditionally, the winner of the Lamar-Southwestern Louisiana struggle is awarded a bronzed trophy known as the Sabine Shoe, so named because of the Sabine River that forms the Texas-Louisiana border. Last Saturday night the Ragin' Cajuns bumped off the Cardinals 23-16 in the Southland Conference opener for both teams. Alas, the Cajuns were not awarded possession of the Shoe. No one was; it's vanished.
1. ARKANSAS (3-0)
2. TEXAS (3-0)
3. TEXAS A&M (3-0)
"His ghost is still walking around in the halls," said Gene Filipski of former Army Coach Earl Blaik, for whom he played years ago when the Cadets were a powerhouse. But it was no ghost who was honored at halftime and who urged Army to send Washington State "back to the great Pacific Northwest, where they belong." That was the real, live Earl Blaik speaking. And sure enough, the Cadets, a 17-point underdog, rallied from a 21-7 halftime deficit to tie the Cougars 21-21. Jimmy Hill scored all of Army's touchdowns, and Clennie Brundidge latched on to a two-point conversion pass from Earle Mulrane for the tying points in the final quarter. Jack Thompson of the Cougars tossed two touchdown passes in the second period and was 14 for 21 at the half, but from there on was held to five completions in 15 attempts.
Early in the week an irate Boston College fan wrote Coach Ed Chlebek that, "You said you were going to make us like Notre Dame. You have. We're both 0-2." Unlike the Irish, the Eagles lost again, this time 19-8 to Navy, as 5'6" Bob Tata booted four field goals.
The game was only 10 seconds old when Penn State scored against TCU. The Horned Frogs had lost a fumble on the day's first play from scrimmage, and the Nittany Lions' Booker Moore promptly bolted nine yards for the first of his three touchdowns. Chuck Fusina found the mark on 11 of 14 passes for 165 yards and two touchdowns, as Penn State romped 58-0.
Doug Paschal scored twice for North Carolina, which led 16-13 in the fourth quarter at Pittsburgh. But Freddie Jacobs, who also had scored for the Panthers on runs of three and six yards, caught a 13-yard pass for the touchdown that gave Pitt a 20-16 victory. Throwing that pass was Rick Trocano, who hit on 16 of 27 attempts for 220 yards.
"I didn't add any offense and just went with basic plays," said Illinois Coach Gary Moeller. The basics were enough for a 28-14 triumph over winless Syracuse.
Temple, with an offensive line averaging 257 pounds from tackle to tackle, piled up 301 yards rushing and handed Delaware its first defeat 38-7.
The Ivies won five of eight against outside opposition. Four of the winners in these games scored 21 points and two did not allow any points. Columbia was the only team to hit on both ends of this numbers game, toppling Lafayette 21-0. Six of the other games were between intrastate rivals. The Ivy victors were Pennsylvania, which ended Lehigh's 11-game winning streak 21-13; Yale, which beat Connecticut 21-7; Cornell, which topped Colgate 21-12; and Harvard, which blanked Massachusetts 10-0. Two other Ivies were shut out, Princeton 24-0 by Rutgers and Dartmouth 35-0 by Holy Cross. And Rhode Island surprised Brown 17-3.
1. PENN STATE (5-0)
2. PITTSBURGH (3-0)
3. NAVY (3-0)
A crowd of 56,514, some 2,000 more than the 54,406 capacity of Williams-Brice Stadium, got what it wanted when South Carolina beat Georgia for the first time since 1959. At halftime, the Gamecocks led only 13-10, but from then on they controlled the ball. So dominant was South Carolina in the third quarter that the Bulldogs ran off only seven plays, three of which resulted in turnovers. All told, South Carolina had the ball 23 of the final 30 minutes. The Gamecocks won 27-10 behind the running of Johnnie Wright (156 yards) and George Rogers (128 yards). For the losers, Willie McClendon ripped off 150 yards.
Another Atlantic Coast Conference team to topple a Southeastern Conference foe was Maryland, which downed Kentucky 20-3. Churning out his fourth 100-yard game in a row for the Terps was Steve Atkins, who rambled for 153 yards.
North Carolina State, with Ted Brown running for 136 yards, took an ACC contest from Wake Forest 34-10, its fourth straight win.
Both teams scored in every period as Alabama surged past Vanderbilt for a 51-28 SEC triumph. The Tide rolled up 569 yards, 448 of them on the ground, but did not move in front for keeps until Tony Nathan raced 63 yards for a touchdown in the third period to make it 24-21. Nathan wound up with 163 yards rushing. With Martin Cox grabbing six of Van Heflin's passes for 133 yards and two TDs, and with Frank Mordica scampering 79 yards for another score, the Commodores actually led 'Bama 21-16 in the third quarter.
Auburn and Florida were easy SEC victors. The unbeaten Tigers, led by James Brooks' 156 yards in 17 carries, rolled up 462 yards total offense while downing Tennessee 29-10. Florida dealt Mississippi State its first defeat, 34-0.
Houston upset Florida State 27-21. The Cougars, with Emmett King rushing for 142 yards, led 27-0 and barely held off the Seminoles' comeback.
William & Mary had seemingly pulled out a 19-15 win at Virginia Tech when Tom Rozantz combined with Ed Schielfelbein on a 59-yard scoring play with 1:29 remaining. But on the game's last play, David Lamie unloosed a bomb to Ron Zollicoffer for a 50-yard TD and a 22-19 Gobbler victory.
1. ALABAMA (3-1)
2. LSU (3-0)
3. MARYLAND (4-0)
"I thought we played without emotion," said USC Coach John Robinson after his Trojans had knocked off Michigan State 30-9. Despite the lack of verve that Robinson had feared following the Trojans' upset of Alabama, USC had little trouble overcoming the Spartans' 3-0 first-period lead. Instead of emotion, USC relied on logic. With the Spartans concentrating on shutting off the Trojan sweeps, USC sent Lynn Cain slamming through the comparatively open middle for 96 yards. Despite being keyed on and despite sitting out the fourth quarter, Charles White scored on two short runs and gained 82 yards in 20 carries. Keeping the Spartan defense guessing was Paul McDonald, who connected on scoring passes that covered 13 and 50 yards.
Trying to take advantage of Oregon State's inexperienced offensive linemen, Washington Coach Don James "used more blitzes than any time in my life." They led to six quarterback sacks, six fumbles and a 34-0 Husky win. On the game's ninth play Washington's Joe Steele darted 50 yards for a touchdown. All told, Steele gained 156 yards rushing.
Two other Pac-10 teams picked up victories against outsiders, UCLA beating Minnesota 17-3 and Stanford downing Tulane 17-14. UCLA's offense sputtered but its defense was tenacious. Stanford overcame a 14-3 deficit, going ahead in the fourth period on a 22-yard pass from Steve Dils to Ken Margerum. But the Cardinals' main man was Darrin Nelson, who scampered for 200 yards and had a 22-yard touchdown run.
The Pac-10's newest squads, Arizona and Arizona State, also upheld the conference's honor with victories against non-conference opponents. The Wildcats beat Iowa 23-3, and the Sun Devils downed Texas-El Paso 27-0.
A 27-23 win over New Mexico left Brig-ham Young alone at the top of the WAC. Cougar fans brought a seagull to the game in Albuquerque, and as it took to the air so did Marc Wilson, who completed 24 of 40 passes for 293 yards.
In an even wilder game, the fourth-highest passing yardage in NCAA history (536 yards) was recorded by David Spriggs of New Mexico State, and teammate Jeff Evans' 15 catches (for 316 yards) was also the fourth-best mark. Despite Evans and Spriggs—who hit on 31 of 59 tries, passed for four touchdowns and ran for a fifth—the Aggies lost. It was Southern Illinois, with Burnell Quinn racing for 201 yards and three touchdowns, that beat them 43-39.
Big Sky leader Northern Arizona trailed 26-7 at Idaho, then rallied to win 34-29. In another high-scoring conference tussle Montana State beat Boise State 31-29.
1. USC (4-0)
2. UCLA (3-1)
3. STANFORD (3-1)
PLAYERS OF THE WEEK
OFFENSE: Jerome Persell, a 5'9", 182-pound senior tailback, tied an NCAA mark with his third consecutive 200-yard rushing effort, gaining 209 yards in 37 carries as Western Michigan trimmed Bowling Green 24-20.
DEFENSE: Richmond, which had lost four games by 11 points, upset 14-point favorite Cincinnati 51-28, as 6'4", 195-pound Free Safety Jeff Nixon made 18 tackles and ran back an interception 64 yards for a TD.