Navy's mascot had disappeared, its nation-leading defense was regarded by some as a phenomenon of the Middies' schedule, and despite being unbeaten and not having trailed at any time this season, the Middies were five-point underdogs against Pittsburgh. None of that dampened an uncustomary display of enthusiasm at Annapolis, where bed sheets urging on the Middies were draped from buildings, where Tecumseh's statue was daubed with paint to mark this as a truly pivotal game and where nobody seemed to mind that Bill XXI had been MIA since Oct. 10.
Pitt tested Navy's defense right off, reaching the Middie 25-, 23- and 32-yard lines in the first quarter. Each time the Panthers came away empty, and Navy led 7-3 at halftime. In the third period the Midshipmen scored twice as Larry Klawinski rammed over from three yards out and Kurt Gainer gathered in a four-yard pass from Bob Leszcynski for a TD.
It was not until the fourth quarter that the Panthers got their lone touchdown on a two-yard run by Freddie Jacobs. John Merrill, a 6'6", 248-pound defensive end, said Navy's defense had been "fired up" by Pitt Quarterback Rick Trocano. Explained Merrill, "Trocano said our stats were impressive but that we hadn't played anybody." Thus fired-up, Navy shut off Pitt's rushing game, leaving the Panthers with minus-28 yards to show for 34 carries. Trocano had to go to the air, completing 25 of 51 passes for 275 yards. But even with Steve Gaustad grabbing 11 of those throws, Pitt lost 21-11 before a record crowd of 32,909 at Annapolis.
November 6, 1978
Army downed Colgate 28-3 behind the passing of Jerryl Bennett, a freshman quarterback making his first start. Bennett threw two scoring passes, and Jim Merriken dashed 49 yards for another touchdown.
West Virginia, playing at home, had the makings of a major upset when it shot to a 14-0 lead over Penn State after less than four minutes. The Mountaineers scored on an 11-yard pass from Dutch Hoffman to Rich Duggan and then, after an interception, on a 13-yard run by Dane Conwell. From there on, though, the Nittany Lions were in charge, scoring the next 42 points on the way to a 49-21 win. Mike Guman returned a punt 85 yards for State's first score. Pete Harris, Franco's brother, intercepted his sixth pass of the season and ran it back 26 yards to the Mountaineer one, from where Chuck Fusina took it in. Fusina locked up State's 16th straight win by hitting on nine of 13 passes.
In much the same way that Trocano's slight enlivened Navy, comments by Holy Cross players aroused Brown, the Bears taking exception to quotes that they would be a "breather." Brown broke a 10-10 tie in the second half and went on to knock the Crusaders from the unbeaten ranks, 31-25. Mark Whipple of the Bears ran for two touchdowns and passed for another pair. Using a split-six defense, with its linebackers playing wide to shut down outside runs, Brown allowed visiting Holy Cross only 94 yards on the ground, 136 below its average.
Dave Dorn raced 94 yards with the opening kickoff to start Rutgers on its way to a 69-0 rout of Columbia. Added to the spree were a 36-yard pass reception by Dorn and three short scoring runs by Ted Blackwell.
Cornell's Joe Holland, who took the field as the nation's top rusher with 155.4 yards a game, was outgained by Dartmouth's Jeff Dufresne 169 yards to 112. The Big Green's 14-7 victory left them tied with Brown for the Ivy League lead. Yale outgained Pennsylvania 202 yards to nine through the air and 361 to 196 overall, but had to settle for a 17-17 deadlock. The Bulldogs earned the tie when Pat O'Brien passed 14 yards to John Spagnola for a touchdown with 27 seconds left and then tacked on a two-point conversion by connecting with John Hatem. Battling to another stalemate were Harvard and Princeton, the Tigers scoring last to earn a 24-24 standoff.
A 17-10 victory over Connecticut clinched at least a tie for first place for defending Yankee Conference champion Massachusetts. Boston University's hopes for the crown were set back by a 7-6 loss at Rhode Island. Maine, which had yielded 227 points, gave up 25 more against independent Lafayette. But John Marquis picked up 208 yards in 49 carries for the Black Bears, who scored 31 points of their own to earn their second win.
Fumble recoveries by Defensive End Dave Hibbard led to both of Bucknell's touchdowns during a 13-6 upset at Lehigh.
1. PENN STATE (8-0)
2. NAVY (7-0)
3. PITTSBURGH (5-2)
"It seemed that everywhere we turned we ran into a blind alley," said Arkansas Coach Lou Holtz following a 20-9 loss at Houston. The first three times the Razor-backs had the ball they scored, Ismael Ordonez booting field goals of 27, 42 and 27 yards. Then it was blind-alley time, the Hogs gaining only 45 yards rushing in the final three periods. Meanwhile, the Cougar backs were finding daylight, Randy Love ripping off 120 yards and Emmett King 123.
Keeping pace with Houston for the Southwest Conference lead was Texas, a 22-3 winner over Southern Methodist. Heeding the request of Johnny (Lam) Jones turned out to be a wise move for Longhorn Coach Fred Akers. "I believe if you put me on the kickoff-return team I can make a contribution," Jones had said to Akers early in the week. Given a chance, Jones set a Texas record by zipping 102 yards for a touchdown with a kickoff in the third period after SMU's Eddie Garcia had tied the score 3-3 with a 27-yard field goal. The Longhorns then scored TDs on their next two possessions. Texas defenders corralled Mike Ford of the Mustangs, who had been averaging 302 yards a game passing, limiting him to a 10-for-31 performance and 122 yards.
Emory Bellard, disturbed by a rumor that he would be fired at the end of the season, resigned as coach at Texas A&M. There was apparently no substance to such gossip, but Bellard nonetheless stepped down midway through his seventh season and was replaced by one of his assistants, Tom Wilson. On the Aggies' first play against Rice, Wilson ordered a play "I had been waiting five years to use." The play sent a man in motion to the right and then had Aggie Quarterback Mike Mosley pass to the left, where Split End Gerald Carter, running a fly pattern, hauled in the ball and went 52 yards into the end zone. Two one-yard plunges by Raymond Belcher put the Aggies comfortably ahead before the first period was over, a cushion they extended to 31-0 before Randy Hertel got Rice on the scoreboard with three touchdown passes. The Owls' resurgence was not nearly enough as A&M won 38-21.
For the second week in a row, freshman Walter Abercrombie of Baylor went on a rampage. This time he picked up 167 yards and scored twice as the Bears, in spite of eight turnovers, fought off Texas Christian 28-21.
1. TEXAS (6-1)
2. HOUSTON (6-1)
3. ARKANSAS (4-2)
It gets a bit messy, but Coach Terry Donahue doesn't mind his players celebrating victories by dousing him and his white alpaca sweater with Coke. Neater, but less elated, was Arizona Coach Tony Mason, a 24-14 loser at UCLA. The Bruins held on to the No. 1 spot in the Pac-10 by breezing to a 24-0 halftime edge while unveiling a talented freshman. Freeman McNeill, who gained 104 yards rushing and scored on a 44-yard against-the-grain run.
"How does a man his size do that?" wondered California Coach Roger Theder after 5'11", 180-pound Charles White continually broke tackles to gain 187 yards in Southern California's 42-17 victory. When White was not shrugging off the eight-man line designed to stop him, Paul McDonald was uncorking four touchdown passes, three of them hauled in by Kevin Williams. In addition, the Trojans' Lynn Cain sprang loose for 133 yards in 13 carries. Another coach with a question was Oregon State's Craig Fertig, who wanted to know "When is Stanford going to run out of quarterbacks?" Prompting the query was Steve Dils, who connected on 23 of 36 passes for 285 yards and two touchdowns as the Cardinals beat the Beavers 24-6.
Washington and Oregon also won conference games. The Huskies clobbered Arizona State 41-7 as Kyle Stevens ran for 101 yards and the defense intercepted three passes and scooped up four fumbles. With Jack Thompson having an off day—he hit on nine of 30 passes—Washington State was upset 31-7 at Oregon. The Ducks, who had lost their past four games in the final minutes, outscored the Cougars 14-0 in the fourth period to lock up their first win of the season.
Allan Clark ran for 261 yards, including a 63-yard touchdown jaunt, and threw an option pass for another score in Northern Arizona's 43-22 upset of Montana State, which had been unbeaten and ranked No. 1 in Division 1-AA. The Lumberjacks' victory put them first in the Big Sky Conference.
1. UCLA (7-1)
2. USC (6-1)
3. WASHINGTON (5-3)
"As long as I am head coach, we won't quit," said Colorado's Bill Mallory following a devastating 52-14 loss to Nebraska two weeks ago. With his Buffaloes trailing 27-7 in the third quarter, Mallory's players made their coach an honest man. Quarterback Bill Solomon, normally more of a runner than a thrower, found holes in Missouri's pass defense and completed eight of 11 aerials for 144 yards in three scoring drives. Eddie Ford climaxed two of those marches with runs of seven and 16 yards, and Solomon himself ran 12 yards for the other. A Pete Dadiotis kick supplied the extra point that put the Buffs in front 28-27. Colorado kept the score there but had to survive two scares to do so. Phil Bradley, who passed for 241 yards on 15 of 22 attempts, had a wide-open receiver drop the ball during the closing minutes. Bradley then took Missouri down to the Colorado 25, where he was thrown for a loss on third-and-10. In came Jeff Brockhaus to try a 43-yard field goal. Brockhaus, who had missed a PAT kick because of a low snap, was short because of another poor snap, leaving the no-quit Buffs on top.
Oklahoma State Coach Jim Stanley was about as happy as one could be with a defeat, saying, "Some ways, I don't think we lost." One of the ways they did lose was on the scoreboard in Nebraska's Memorial Stadium, 22-14. But the Cowboys did beat out the Cornhuskers in total offense, 323 yards to 316. And had it not been for an exceptional play by Defensive End Derrie Nelson, State just might have had a tie. It was Nelson who scooted almost from one sideline to the other to bring down Worley Taylor after a 57-yard gain on a pass with 2:33 to go. With the ball on the Nebraska 20-yard line, the Cowboys longed for a touchdown and a two-point conversion that would have made the score 22-22. They got neither, the Huskers stopping them on the series.
Four interceptions and 465 yards rushing propelled Oklahoma past Kansas State 56-19 in another Big Eight matchup as Billy Sims gained 202 yards. The Sooners' victory left them tied with the Huskers for first place in the conference.
Iowa State ended a three-game losing streak with a 13-7 victory at Kansas. Dexter Green scored the Cyclones' first touchdown on a one-yard plunge. When Green was injured, Victor Mack, who took his place, gained 111 yards and scored on a 14-yard run.
"When I looked at the film on Iowa, I saw that their zone defense all but gives you the middle and the outside. So I went there on my first two passes and hit on them for 61 yards." So said Mark Herrmann after guiding Purdue to a 34-7 triumph at Iowa City. In completing half of his 28 passes, Herrmann picked up 186 yards and two TDs to help the Boilermakers retain their Big Ten lead.
The Pail and Shovel Party, which is "dedicated to the 4-year-old in all of us," has taken over the campus political scene at Wisconsin. It has conducted a toga party for 12,000 students and helped the student senate change the school name to the University of New Jersey so that "kids from Wisconsin can say they graduated from a prestigious Eastern school." For a few moments it seemed the Pail and Shovel group had somehow infiltrated the game against Michigan State in East Lansing, where the Badgers grabbed a 2-0 lead. That, though, was the end of Wisconsin's fun. For the third time in four games Ed Smith of the Spartans passed for more than 300 yards. This time he gained 334 yards, hitting on 19 of 29 passes, four of them for touchdowns. Leroy McGee contributed 124 yards rushing to State's 645 yards of total offense that led to a 55-2 wipeout.
Tied with Michigan State for second place in the Big Ten were two other winners, Michigan and Ohio State. The Wolverines shredded Minnesota 42-10 as Rick Leach accumulated 205 yards total offense while passing for three touchdowns and running for two more. Freshman Butch Woolfolk took over for the injured Harlan Huckleby and gained 131 yards in 23 cracks. Eight Buckeyes scored, four tailbacks ran for a total of 332 yards and the ground game netted 511 yards as Woody Hayes ran up his biggest score in 28 years at Ohio State. Actually, Hayes tried to keep the score down, but could not keep his troops from routing Northwestern 63-20. Woody used 71 players, shut down the passing attack and once took a four-yard gain rather than a 15-yard penalty. Indiana also won convincingly, drubbing Illinois 31-10.
Notre Dame won its fifth straight game, blanking Miami of Florida 20-0. The Irish defense yielded only 123 yards, while the offense churned out 390 and Vagas Ferguson scored both of Notre Dame's touchdowns.
Because he was recovering from a concussion suffered the week before, David Spriggs of New Mexico State was not expected to pass much at Wichita State. But with a 14-mph wind at his back, Spriggs threw on three of his first four plays. He completed all three, one for 45 yards and another for a 17-yard touchdown to Gary Steele that started the Aggies on their way to a 31-21 win that gave them sole possession of first place in the Missouri Valley Conference.
Tulsa stayed half a game back, piling up 576 yards in total offense while downing Drake 44-20. Dave Rader passed for three Golden Hurricane touchdowns and Sherman Johnson rushed for 151 yards and two scores.
It took St. John's of Minnesota only 18 seconds to score at Macalester. That was nothing new to the Scots, who went on to lose 44-0 and to set an NCAA record with their 40th straight loss. When it was over, all that Macalester President John B. Davis could say was, "We worked toward this day for a long time and now we can make some new plans."
1. OKLAHOMA (8-0)
2. NEBRASKA (7-1)
3. MICHIGAN (6-1)
"I'd rather be playing Slippery Rock," said Virginia Tech Coach Bill Dooley before taking the field at Alabama. Just as Dooley feared, it turned out to be a long afternoon as the Tide plucked his Gobblers clean 35-0. While 'Bama won its 21st consecutive homecoming game, Dooley could only marvel as the Tide showed its offensive versatility by gaining more yardage passing than rushing, 233 to 211. Eleven of Alabama's 14 passes were on target. Grabbing five of them for 148 yards was Keith Pugh, who twice had to dive for receptions, once for a 45-yard touchdown and later for a 30-yard gain to the one-yard line. Meanwhile, Slippery Rock (Pa.) State lost 17-14 against Edinboro State.
In another out-of-conference contest, Auburn defeated Wake Forest 21-7. Joe Cribbs of the Tigers scored twice on a one-yard plunge and a two-yard run, giving him 12 touchdowns.
Mississippi State and Mississippi both won on the road in Tennessee. In Knoxville, the Bulldogs took advantage of four Tennessee turnovers to build a 34-3 lead and went on to win 34-21. State's Dave Marler completed 14 of 20 passes for 228 yards. Mardye Mc-Dole gained 174 yards by making four of those receptions, two good for touchdowns covering 35 and 78 yards. Vanderbilt, which like Tennessee is winless in SEC play, led Mississippi 10-0 after one period of play in Nashville but then the Rebels took command to come out on top 35-10.
Maryland advanced to this week's battle of unbeatens at Penn State by winning 27-0 at Duke. Lloyd Burruss' 56-yard punt return and interception, plus three fumble recoveries by the defense, set up the Terps' scoring. Although his string of 100-yard efforts ended at seven, Steve Atkins scored all three Maryland touchdowns on short runs. Field goals of 26 and 47 yards by Ed Loncar rounded out the scoring. Duke outgained Maryland 278 yards to 258, but was stymied by five turnovers. Much of the Blue Devil offense resulted from the passing of Stan Driskell, who completed 22 of 39 passes for 212 yards.
Also remaining undefeated in Atlantic Coast Conference action was Clemson. "Ted Brown's not the only Brown in the world," said Lester Brown of the Tigers, referring to his North Carolina State counterpart. "My goal all week was to prove that." Lester made a strong case for himself, outdistancing the more celebrated Ted 117 yards to 70 and scoring on runs of one and 11 yards. Another Brown, Clemson Linebacker Bubba, further contributed to the Tigers' 33-10 triumph in Raleigh by being in on 17 tackles.
Georgia Tech, a quasi-ACC member this season (its games do not count in the standings) took its sixth in a row by overcoming outsider Florida 17-13. The Gators led 10-0 in the second period and 13-10 in the fourth before being done in by Eddie Lee Ivery and Mike Kelley. Ivery scored twice as he ground out 146 yards rushing, and freshman Kelley hit on 12 of 20 passes for 175 yards.
North Carolina, too, relied on the passing of a freshman, Chuck Sharpe throwing three scoring strikes in the first half to build a 21-6 edge at South Carolina. A field goal put the Tar Heels ahead 24-6. Then Skip Ramsey came off the Gamecock bench to throw a 52-yard scoring pass to Tim Gillespie and, 2:41 later, a 49-yarder to Horace Smith. A pair of two-point conversion passes by Ramsey cut South Carolina's deficit to 24-22, which was as close as the Gamecocks could get.
Runners broke loose to lead Louisville and Northwestern Louisiana to victories. For the Cardinals it was Nathan Poole who rushed for 186 yards and two touchdowns in a 33-21 conquest of William & Mary. For the Demons it was Joe Delaney, a sophomore who runs the 100 in 9.5. Delaney gained 263 of his 299 yards in the second half and scored on runs of 87, 71 and 25 yards and from one yard out as the Demons beat Nicholls State 28-18. Florida State, though, took to the air, Wally Woodham tossing four touchdown passes to down Southern Mississippi 38-16.
Western Carolina set up this week's showdown with Tennessee-Chattanooga for supremacy in the Southern Conference by crushing VMI 41-12. That win elevated the Catamounts into a first-place tie with the Moccasins, who lost for the first time, 28-24 at McNeese State in a non-conference game.
1. ALABAMA (7-1)
2. MARYLAND (8-0)
3. GEORGIA (6-1)
PLAYERS OF THE WEEK
OFFENSE: Billy Sims, an Oklahoma junior, had his second straight 200-yard game as the Sooners beat Kansas State 56-19, scoring twice and gaining 202 yards in 25 tries to up his season's rushing yardage to 1,176.
DEFENSE: Bubba Brown, a 6-foot, 205-pound junior linebacker for Clemson, took part in 17 tackles as the Tigers stayed in the thick of the Atlantic Coast Conference race by polishing off North Carolina State 33-10.