Saturday's upset pattern also claimed victims in the South. Louisiana State, playing at home against Georgia, seemed to be on its way to a win, and Charles Alexander appeared to be enhancing his Heisman Trophy aspirations. Tiger fans roared their approval when Alexander bolted three yards for a first-period touchdown and went into a frenzy as substitute Quarterback Steve Ensminger and Carlos Carson combined on an 82-yard scoring pass, the longest in LSU history. That put the Tigers ahead 14-0 early in the second period. For most of the rest of the night, however, Tiger rooters groaned.
The first event that incurred their displeasure was a 24-yard touchdown run by Willie McClendon, who finished with 144 yards in 27 carries, that halved the Bulldogs' deficit. Then a 17-point, third-quarter outburst made Georgia a 24-17 victor in the Southeastern Conference game. Starting that spree, which toppled No. 11 LSU from the unbeaten list, was a 99-yard kickoff return by freshman Lindsay Scott, the longest ever by a Bulldog. Concluding the surge was a six-yard run by McClendon. As for Alexander, he left in the third period with a leg injury after a 22-carry, 81-yard night that ended his string of 100-yard performances at eight games.
Another SEC team nicknamed the Bulldogs pulled off another shocker, Mississippi State soaring past 15th-ranked Florida State 55-27. A pair of touchdown passes from Dave Marler to Tailback James Jones covered 27 and 11 yards and gave the Bulldogs a 14-0 edge after one period. Jimmy Jordan of the Seminoles matched that with two scoring throws in the second quarter, and Florida State took a 21-14 halftime lead when Homes Johnson plunged a yard for another six points. But the Bulldogs poured across three touchdowns in each of the last two quarters, two on runs by Jones, to swamp the Seminoles.
October 22, 1978
Vanderbilt and Auburn renewed their rivalry after a 23-year lapse. The Commodores wished they hadn't. With Joe Cribbs scoring on runs of four, five, nine, 20 and 23 yards, the Tigers breezed 49-7.
Alabama and Kentucky, however, had to rally for their conference victories. The Tide trailed Florida 3-0 before winning its 44th consecutive game at Bryant-Denny Stadium in Tuscaloosa. Billy Jackson of Alabama broke loose for 147 yards in 13 carries, one of which was an 87-yard touchdown run that put the Tide ahead 14-3. Back came the Gators, cutting Alabama's fourth-quarter lead to 17-12. It took a nine-yard run by Tony Nathan to seal the Tide's 23-12 win.
Mississippi jumped in front of Kentucky 10-0 in the first period. But the Wildcats scored the next 24 points and won 24-17.
There were—surprise!—no surprises in Atlantic Coast Conference action, Clemson downing Virginia 30-14 and North Carolina holding off Wake Forest 34-29. The Tigers ran their record to 18-0 against the Cavaliers as Lester Brown rushed for 178 yards and Steve Fuller for 131.
For the Tar Heels, the big gainer was Amos Lawrence, whose nickname "Famous" had been tarnished by his total of only 155 yards rushing in four games. This time, Lawrence carried 32 times for 180 yards to help visiting Carolina lead 31-14 after three periods. Freshman Chuck Sharpe augmented the attack by hitting on 14 of 22 passes for 149 yards and a TD. Then came the fourth quarter and with it a furious assault by the Deacons as Eddie Wright caught a 31-yard TD pass from David Webber to help trim Wake Forest's deficit to 31-29. The Tar Heels, who pounced on four Deacon fumbles and intercepted three passes, wrapped up the scoring with a 31-yard field goal by Jeff Hayes.
Like Wake Forest, Miami of Florida came up short. Georgia Tech did all its scoring (24 points) in the first half, the Hurricanes all of theirs (19 points) in the second.
South Carolina made a second-half spurt pay off against Ohio University, defeating the Bobcats 24-7. Ball State, which had not allowed a touchdown for 18 quarters and which had outscored five opponents by a margin of 119-17, had its 13-game winning streak broken by Louisiana Tech 17-7.
1. ALABAMA (5-1)
2. MARYLAND (6-0)
3. GEORGIA (4-1)
As unbeaten Navy prepared to play its first home game against Duke, Middie Coach George Welsh was not exactly the picture of confidence. "I figured they'd move the ball on us and score anyway," he said. The Navy defenders, who are ranked No. 1 in the nation, might now have some doubts about Welsh as a prognosticator. They limited the Blue Devils to eight first downs, forced six turnovers and allowed a measly 122 yards in a 31-8 rout. For their part, the Middie offense rang up 342 yards; its most notable performer was Bob Leszczynski, who completed 10 of 12 passes for 128 yards and three touchdowns, two of them to Phil McConkey. It was Navy's fifth win and its best start since 1960. The victory notwithstanding, Welsh remained apprehensive. "Until we have to come from behind," he said, "well, I have to wait."
Unbeatens Maryland and Holy Cross also survived a weekend in which eight of the 15 Division I unbeaten teams lost. Mike Smith kicked a 41-yard field goal on the Crusaders' first possession, and an 11-yard Pete Colombo-to-Smith touchdown pass off a fake field goal on their second possession led to a 31-0 romp over Army. Maryland trailed Syracuse 6-3 at the half, but scored on its first three possessions of the third quarter en route to a 24-9 triumph. Tailback Steve Atkins, who had fumbled twice and netted only 15 yards in 13 carries before the intermission, finished the day with 102 yards.
Cornell Tailback Joe Holland, son of Hall-of-Famer Brud Holland, carried the ball an Ivy League-record 55 times for 244 yards and scored all four Big Red TDs in a 25-20 upset of Harvard. The win put Cornell (3-0-1) into second place in the Ivy League, half a game behind Dartmouth, which upset Yale 10-3 when Jeff Dufresne blasted in from the one to cap a 17-play, 91-yard drive late in the third quarter.
Columbia, off to its best start (3-1) in 17 years, again executed its Muddle Huddle play in downing Princeton 14-10. A local television station wanted to tape the Muddle Huddle after the Lions used it three weeks ago in their upset of Harvard, but Coach Bill Campbell said no. His reticence is understandable. Following a touchdown that gave Columbia a 12-10 lead over the Tigers, Campbell called the Muddle Huddle on the conversion. In it, six linemen straggled toward the line of scrimmage, while PAT Holder Artie Pulsinelli began walking toward the officials as if to talk to them. But Pulsinelli was watching the Princeton defenders, and when he saw them relax and start milling about, he moved over the ball, which was on the right end of the suddenly materialized Lion line, and pitched it back to Joe Ciulla. Ciulla swept left and went over untouched for the two points.
Maine's Black Bears sprang an equally bizarre play at New Hampshire in their 7-7 tie with the Wildcats. Late in the first quarter, Maine lined up for a field goal from the 21-yard line. The snap went to Holder Tony Trafton, who, instead of placing the ball down, tossed it up in the air. Kicker Mike Hodgson then hit it with his fist, volleyball style, sending it skittering into the end zone. What sort of madness is this? Calculated madness, that's what, as Dave Higgins of Maine fell on the ball for six points. Legal? Apparently.
Boston University drumbeaters, wild over a 4-0 start this season, alluded to their team as the "Kardiac Kids" for its last-quarter heroics. Unimpressed, Massachusetts whipped the Terriers 31-7 to take over first place in the Yankee Conference.
1. PENN STATE (6-0)
2. NAVY (5-0)
3. PITTSBURGH (4-1)
"It's humiliating," seethed Stanford Coach Bill Walsh. What got his goat were the two blocked punts and two interceptions by Washington that had led to Husky touchdowns in a 34-31 defeat of the Cardinals. But Stanford fans might well be equally ticked off by a Walsh decision that enabled Washington to win. Deadlocked 31-31 with a fourth-and-11 at the Washington 49 and 50 seconds left to play, Walsh eschewed a punt that would have undoubtedly assured a tie and ordered Steve Dils to attempt a pass for a first down. Dils' aerial to Ken Margerum was incomplete and Washington took over. Quarterback Tom Porras hit Keith Richardson for 40 yards, and two plays later Mike Lansford booted the game-winning 22-yard field goal.
Up to then, it had been a wild afternoon. Stanford led 17-10 in the third quarter until Washington's Lance Theoudele intercepted a Dils pass and returned it 36 yards for a touchdown. Forty-nine seconds later, Greg Grimes picked off another Dils pass and ran it back 36 yards again for another TD. And 1:27 after that, Washington blocked a punt, recovered it at the Stanford five and scored a touchdown three plays later for a 31-17 lead. But Stanford stormed back on a 33-yard Dils-to-Margerum TD pass and a six-yard run by Phil Francis that capped a 50-yard scoring drive. "Our snaps are too slow, our punter is too slow and our blocking isn't good," said Walsh, explaining his decision not to punt.
UCLA exploded for 398 yards rushing and 131 passing to whip Washington State 45-31, and California dumped Arizona 33-20 to remain the only undefeated teams in Pac-10 play. The Bruins' James Owens and Theotis Brown rushed for 161 and 150 yards, respectively, the first time in UCLA history that two backs gained 150 yards or more in the same game. The Bruins had trailed 24-14 at halftime and didn't get the lead for good until Rick Bashore ran a keeper from one yard out to cap an 80-yard scoring drive and make it 38-31 with 1:45 left to play. Cal, boasting the nation's sixth-leading passer in Rich Campbell, was expected to blitz Arizona through the air. The Bears did just that, Campbell completing 12 of 21 passes for 211 yards. But they also attacked on the ground with John Williams, limited to just nine carries in Cal's first five games, breaking away for 133 yards in 15 carries.
Jim McMahon of Brigham Young also popped on the scene in a big way, and as a result the Cougars eked out a 17-16 win at Oregon. McMahon, a second-string quarterback who also punts, had a first-quarter kick blocked and run into the end zone for a TD by Oregon's Ken Lawler that gave the Ducks a 10-0 lead. But in the third quarter McMahon replaced Marc Wilson at quarterback and led the Cougars to two TDs, including a 21-yard scoring pass to Todd Thompson that put BYU on top. For Oregon, it was a fourth straight game in which the Ducks blew fourth-quarter leads. It also left them 0-6. Wyoming's Myron Hardeman set a Cowboy rushing record of 230 yards in a 31-22 defeat of San Diego State.
1. UCLA (5-1)
2. USC (4-1)
3. CALIFORNIA (5-1)
It wasn't the first time Bo's and Woody's troops had gone belly up on the same afternoon, but last Saturday wasn't New Year's Day. While Michigan was doing its collapsing act against Michigan State, Ohio State was losing 27-16 at Purdue. Not since Oct. 28, 1967 had two Little Eight squads dumped the Big Two on one afternoon. That year, Bo and Woody will note, was the last time that neither Ohio State nor Michigan won the Big Ten, Indiana, Minnesota and Purdue tying for the title.
Mistakes—six fumbles and nine penalties—might have set up Ohio State for the knockout, but it was Purdue's Mark Herrmann who delivered the punches. The Boilermakers' sophomore quarterback, who was 22 months old in 1960 when Purdue last beat Ohio State in Ross-Ade Stadium, picked apart the Buckeye secondary with 22 completions in 34 attempts for 210 yards and moved into fourth place among Purdue's passing leaders, behind Mike Phipps, Bob Griese and Len Dawson. The Buckeyes trailed 20-16 with 7:40 to play and started on their six-yard line with hopes of taking the lead. Quarterback Art Schlichter passed to Rod Gerald, who took a thunderous hit from Willie Harris and coughed up the ball at the Buckeye 10. Two plays later, Herrmann delivered the clincher. Last year he had noticed Buckeye Safety Mike Guess coming up fast on the out pass. This time he sent Mike Harris on an out, faked to draw Guess up and then lofted a feathery pass to Harris, who had cut into the end zone.
The victory shot Purdue (2-0) into the top spot in the Big Ten. Second-place Wisconsin (2-0-1) was tied 20-20 by Illinois when, with less than three minutes to play, Rich Weiss drove the Illini 69 yards, scored on an eight-yard keeper and then passed to Greg Boeke for a two-point conversion. Mark Carlson hit 14 of 19 passes and flipped two 17-yard scoring throws to Elmer Bailey as Minnesota took a three-touchdown lead and held off Iowa to break a three-game losing streak with a 22-20 victory. Indiana converted three early Northwestern turnovers into touchdowns en route to a 38-10 victory.
Unbeaten, 13th-ranked Colorado was favored against winless Oklahoma State, but the past eight times they had met in Stillwater, the Buffaloes had been favored, and five times Oklahoma State upset them. On Saturday the Cowboys did it again as they held the Buffaloes to just 254 yards, 150 under their average, and capitalized on three breaks in a 24-20 upset. First, a Colorado punt from the Buffalo four-yard line sailed practically straight up into a brisk wind, the Cowboys recovering the ball on the Colorado 11. Vince Orange scored on the next play to make it 14-10 in favor of the Buffaloes at halftime. Next, a Colorado fumble was recovered by the Cowboys on the Buffaloes' 30-yard line. Two plays later, Oklahoma State fumbled and Colorado recovered on its 22, but—break No. 3—the Buffaloes were penalized for being off-sides. Oklahoma State retained possession, and seven plays later Ed Smith scooted over from the three for a 24-14 lead that Colorado never overcame.
It was third-and-six at the Missouri 11. One moment Missouri Coach Warren Powers was charging down the sideline, shouting at his defensive end, Wendell Ray. The next moment Iowa State Running Back Dexter Green threw a pass to Quarterback Walter Grant, who had floated down the left sideline after pitching to Green. A moment after that, there was Wendell Ray, jumping in the air to intercept the ball and stop Iowa State from scoring in a 26-13 Tiger triumph. "They beat us with that play two years ago," Powers said, "so I wanted Wendell to know that they might throw back to the quarterback."
No. 8-ranked Nebraska frolicked for 606 yards in a 48-14 thrashing of Kansas State as seven Huskers scored and Tailback I. M. Hipp ran for 183 yards. On offense, the Wildcats couldn't handle Husker Middle Guard Kerry Weinmaster, who sacked Dan Manucci, the Big Eight's passing leader, five times in the first half. No. 1-ranked Oklahoma, whose star quarterback Thomas Lott was out nursing a sprained ankle, was guilty of a variety of fumbles, penalties and mental mistakes and barely beat Kansas 17-16. "When you do everything wrong, the difference in the talent levels of your team and the other becomes zero," said Sooner Coach Barry Switzer. No zero was Billy Sims, an emerging Heisman candidate, who darted for a career-high 192 yards in 30 carries.
1. OKLAHOMA (6-0)
2. NEBRASKA (5-1)
3. MICHIGAN (4-1)
Baylor, which was winless in four games but had never lost by more than six points, pounced on SMU for a 21-0 half-time lead and then intercepted a pass and advanced to the Mustang one-yard line with 8:04 to play in the third quarter. A fifth straight loss seemed impossible. Quarterback Steve Smith faked a handoff, ran an option to the left and headed toward a huge hole. But suddenly, somehow, the ball squirted out of his hands, SMU's Tim Jones fell on it and—just as quickly—Baylor came unglued. The Mustangs who made the Bears fall apart were Mike Ford, who tied a Southwest Conference record by throwing four touchdown passes, and Emanuel Tolbert, who tied another SWC mark by catching each one of them as SMU rallied for a 28-21 victory.
Following Smith's fumble, Ford engineered a 99-yard scoring march in which he completed 10 of 12 passes for 73 yards. On SMU's next possession, the sophomore led the Mustangs on an 11-play, 84-yard touchdown drive, completing eight of 10 for 64 yards. He next found Tolbert in the end zone from nine yards out following an interception and hit Tolbert on a three-yard TD pass after a Baylor fumble. All told, Tolbert caught 13 passes, the fourth most in SWC history. In the final minute, with the Mustangs up by seven, Baylor's Tommy Tabor blocked a punt and the Bears recovered at the SMU 31. With less than 30 seconds to go, they lined up on the SMU nine with one last chance to retrieve victory. But David Hill picked off his sixth pass of the season to seal the SMU win.
Texas fumbled four times, drew 10 penalties for 130 yards and got riddled by North Texas State Quarterback Jordan Case for 165 yards worth of passing, including a 38-yard scoring bomb to Charlie Murray. Still, the Longhorns slipped by with a 26-16 win, thanks largely to Randy McEachern, who came off the bench to throw two touchdown passes and help Texas overcome a 9-0 deficit. McEachern entered the game midway through the second quarter after starting Quarterback Donnie Little had fumbled three times. McEachern quickly led Texas on an 83-yard scoring drive capped by a one-yard plunge by A. J. Jones, and then hit Johnny (Lam) Jones on a 41-yarder for the TD that gave Texas a 16-9 bulge at halftime. McEachern's other scoring strike was a 13-yarder to Les Studdard.
Rice, winless and outscored 160-33 by four previous opponents, led TCU 14-7 at half-time and, as Coach Ray Alborn said, "We were more fired up than ever when the second half started." That half opened with the Owls kicking off to TCU freshman Phillip Epps, who fielded the ball behind his goal line and raced 100 yards for a touchdown to tie the score 14-14. However, the Owls' enthusiasm didn't wane, and Quarterback Randy Hertel mounted a 72-yard march, including a 41-yard touchdown strike to David Houser that gave Rice a 21-14 win, its first SWC triumph since it beat SMU two years ago. Arkansas was idle.
1. ARKANSAS (4-0)
2. TEXAS (4-1)
3. HOUSTON (4-1)
PLAYERS OF THE WEEK
OFFENSE: Ed Smith connected on 20 of 36 passes for 248 yards and two touchdowns and guided the Spartans to another 248 yards of rushing in Michigan State's shocking 24-15 road victory over fifth-ranked Michigan.
DEFENSE: Bob Kohrs, a 6'2", 225-pound end for Arizona State, made eight tackles, deflected two passes and recovered three fumbles as the Sun Devils stunned previously unbeaten. No. 2-ranked Southern Cal 20-7.