Although he had tied Steve Little's NCAA record with his 53rd career field goal (a 48-yarder) earlier in the day, Tony Franklin, Texas A&M's barefoot kicker, had never won a game with a kick. At Southern Methodist he got his chance with 55 seconds to play and the score 17-17. Franklin came through with a 29-yarder for a 20-17 victory.
Curtis Dickey had helped A&M take a 14-7 lead, rushing for 148 yards in 33 carries and scoring on a 15-yard dash. But SMU's Mike Ford, who pulled a hamstring in the second period but returned in the third with his leg frozen and heavily taped, kept the Mustangs going. Ford coolly completed 23 of 41 passes for 290 yards and one touchdown, and directed an 84-yard march in the fourth quarter that brought about the stalemate that Franklin broke.
With Danny Davis scoring twice from close in and John Newhouse tallying on 34-and 15-yard runs, Houston breezed past Texas Christian 63-6. The Cougars piled up 409 yards rushing as they readied themselves for this week's showdown at Texas, which was idle last week, for the Southwest Conference lead.
November 13, 1978
Trying to perk up his Arkansas team, which had lost two SWC contests, Coach Lou Holtz put the Hogs through a tough pregame workout. Defensive Tackle Jimmy Walker hyper-extended his left elbow during that drill minutes before facing Rice at Little Rock. Undeterred. Walker made nine tackles and dropped Owl runners for 26 yards in losses as the Razorbacks won 37-7. And, for the first time in 12 quarters, Arkansas forced a turnover in an opponent's territory.
The hard running of James Hadnot and the alert defensive play of Alan Swann helped Texas Tech topple Baylor 27-9. Hadnot ran for 212 yards. Swann, a defensive back, stole two passes and recovered a fumble.
1. TEXAS (6-1)
2. HOUSTON (7-1)
3. ARKANSAS (5-2)
When the Kansas squad assembled for practice on Halloween they were greeted by Count Dracula. But the Jayhawks equipment manager was spotted for who he actually is and there were more laughs than screams. Four days later, however, the Jayhawks were really shaken up by Nebraska, which knocked the bejeebers out of them 63-21 in Lawrence. The Huskers had a Big Eight-record 799 yards in total offense (516 rushing, 283 passing), the most since they took up football in 1890. Craig Johnson, a third-stringer, rushed 10 times for 192 yards and scored on runs of 64 and 60 yards and on a 78-yard pass play.
Two big second-half scoring plays, a 59-yard run by Billy Sims and a 74-yard burst by Kenny King, helped Oklahoma win 28-7 at Colorado. By late in the first half, the Buffaloes had taken over the ball on turnovers on the Sooner 23-, 13-and nine-yard lines, but only once did they cash in. James May-berry ramming over from four yards out. Disdaining chip-shot field-goal tries, Colorado Coach Bill Mallory went for broke the next two times, came up empty, and had to settle for a 7-7 halftime deadlock.
The Sooners, who had gained a mere 78 yards against Colorado's stunting defense in the first half, sandwiched a 20-yard scoring pass from Thomas Lott to Forrest Valora between their lengthy runs. After being held to 42 yards in the first half, Sims finished with 221 in 27 cracks for his third straight 200-yard game, equaling an NCAA record.
Fast-improving Oklahoma State dumped Missouri 35-20 in Stillwater to take sole possession of third place in the Big Eight behind Oklahoma and Nebraska. Scott Burk of the Cowboys passed for 132 yards and ran for another 93 and a touchdown. Iowa State beat Kansas State 24-0.
"You looked like a passer out there today," a reporter said to Rick Leach after Michigan had won 34-0 at Iowa in a Big Ten matchup. "I am a passer," replied the oft-maligned Leach. "Look, if I get a chance to throw more than five or six times, I get the rhythm down and can pass with anyone around." Given the opportunity, Leach was on target with nine of 17 passes for 191 yards and two touchdowns. More than that, he passed for first downs on third-and-long six times. Leach's scoring throws came on a third-and-23 from the 36 and on a third-and-goal from the 14-yard line.
Leach may have impressed folks with his passing, but his head-bobbing while calling signals irked Hawkeye Coach Bob Commings. Iowa was twice drawn offsides by Leach's bobbing, a habit he insists he is unaware of. The Wolverine defense bobbed up in the right place at the right time, holding the Hawk-eyes to four yards rushing and 65 passing.
Two other easy road winners remained tied with Michigan for second place in the Big Ten. Ohio State drubbing Wisconsin 49-14 and Michigan State whomping Illinois 59-19. "It hurts to get touchdowns that easily," said Coach Woody Hayes, whose Buckeyes were outgained 327 yards to 316 by the Badgers but had cashed in on four Wisconsin mistakes. Illinois surprised the Spartans by taking to the air right from the start and rolled up a quick 12-0 lead before State ran a play from scrimmage. The Illini took the opening kickoff, climaxed a 78-yard drive with a 17-yard run by Wayne Strader and then, after recovering a Spartan fumble on the ensuing kickoff. scored on a 10-yard pass. With Spartan runners grinding out 360 yards and Ed Smith finding his receivers on 20 of 31 passes for 219 yards. State had no trouble overcoming the early deficit.
Kevin Strasser hit on 14 of 23 passes for 106 yards and set a Northwestern season record with his 126th completion. Aside from that, there was little to gladden the hearts of Wildcat fans as NU lost 31-0 to Big Ten leader Purdue. The Boilermakers got their third shutout of the season, helped in no small measure by nine quarterback sacks. Defensive End Keena Turner was in on four of those as he set school records for the most such tackles in a season (17) and career (27). Playing just half the game, Mark Herrmann threw a career low of 14 passes, made good on nine of them, three for touchdowns.
One of the most rousing comebacks of the year was pulled off at Minnesota, where the Gophers trailed Indiana 24-0 in the second period. But Marion Barber bulled over on two short runs, and Quarterback Wendell Avery tossed a pair of fourth-period touchdown passes—a 14-yarder to Roy Artis and a 19-yarder to Barber. In between all this Gopher scoring was a Hoosier touchdown, so with three minutes left Indiana was still ahead 31-29. But Minnesota intercepted a pass at its own 45 and drove to the Hoosier 10. With two seconds to go, Paul Rogind kicked a 31-yard field goal for the 32-31 win.
"You keep running into a brick wall and pretty soon you get worn down," said Notre Dame's Dave Huffman, a 6'5", 245-pound center. It was Navy that Huffman and his teammates wore down 27-7, snuffing the Middies' hopes for an undefeated season. Navy, which had given up only 399 yards rushing in its first seven games, yielded 375 to the Irish. Vagas Ferguson, who gained 219 yards on 18 carries, one an 80-yard scoring dash, set a school single-game rushing record.
For the seventh time in nine outings, a New Mexico State game was decided in the final minute. This time the Aggies held on to a 21-20 victory when Drake fumbled on a two-point PAT try with 50 seconds left. Touchdown runs of seven, 12 and two yards by Gary Steele enabled State to cling to first place in the Missouri Valley Conference. Haifa game back was Tulsa, which slugged West Texas State 44-23 as Shurman Johnson ran for 213 yards. In an out-of-conference contest, Louisville downed Wichita State 38-20. Nathan Poole of the Cardinals scored three times and gained 269 yards to raise his season total to 1.244 yards.
1. OKLAHOMA (9-0)
2. NEBRASKA (8-1)
3. MICHIGAN (7-1)
Secrecy was Syracuse Coach Frank Maloney's immediate aim, an upset of Pittsburgh his objective for the afternoon. So, instead of having his players go through their usual pregame workout at Archbold Stadium, Maloney had them warm up a mile away. There the Orangemen polished up their I offense, which had been installed in place of the veer because Quarterback Tim Wilson had a pulled hamstring.
Although the I did not overpower the Panthers, it did take them back a bit, the Orangemen controlling the ball for seven minutes after taking the opening kickoff and getting a 37-yard field goal from Dave Jacobs. Another Jacobs, Pitt's Fred (no kin), put the Panthers in front 7-3 with a five-yard run late in the first period. With freshman Joe Morris carrying 29 times for 149 yards and Ken Mandeville scoring on a pair of one-yard runs, Syracuse went into the fourth quarter leading 17-7. But Pitt made it 17-15 on a five-yard run by Rick Trocano and a two-point conversion run by Jacobs. Then, with 3:09 left, Mark Schubert kicked a 28-yard field goal for Pitt's 18-17 win.
On his first play after coming off the Army bench, Quarterback Earle Mulrane teamed up with Jim Merriken on a 65-yard pass to the Air Force two-yard line. That play set up a third-quarter touchdown that put the Cadets on top 14-3. Mulrane's next bomb was an 80-yarder to Clennie Brundidge, who established an Army record with his 13th career touchdown reception as the Cadets won 28-14.
Boston University, Rutgers, Villanova and West Virginia all came through with non-conference triumphs. The Terriers jarred Holy Cross 15-7 as freshman Gregg Drew rushed for 136 yards. Two touchdowns by Rutgers' Dave Dorn. the first coming on a 46-yard pass, the second on a 10-yard run, enabled the Scarlet Knights to beat Massachusetts 21-11. Rushing for 408 yards, Villanova defeated winless Boston College 28-16. And West Virginia ended a seven-game losing streak by holding off Virginia 20-17.
Fancy passing enabled Dartmouth and Brown to win and remain tied for the Ivy League lead. The Big Green was an easy at-home 37-7 victor over Columbia, Buddy Teevens passing for 247 yards and Jeff Dufresne rushing for 123. At Harvard, the Bears had to work for their 31-30 win. They did not go ahead for keeps until Mark Whipple passed four yards to Charlie Boucher and tacked on a two-point conversion pass to Rick Villella with four minutes remaining. A 100-yard kickoff return by Ken Hill plus scoring runs of 11, 12 and four yards by Pat O'Brien were the Yale highlights in a 42-14 defeat of Cornell. Joe Holland, Cornell's and the nation's leading rusher with an average of 148.2 yards a game going into the game, was held to 55 yards. Princeton's first league win was a 21-0 victory over Pennsylvania.
1. PENN STATE (9-0)
2. NAVY (7-1)
3. PITTSBURGH (6-2)
A newspaper story indicating that Florida's Doug Dickey would soon be fired brought two responses that encouraged the coach. From University President Robert Marston came a forceful "Baloney!" Then Dickey's Gators handed Auburn its first Southeastern Conference loss by an emphatic 31-7 score. Joe Cribbs of the visiting Tigers ran for 111 yards, caught two passes for 16 more and threw a 13-yard completion, but that was not enough against the charged-up Gators. John Brantley of Florida passed for 102 yards and one touchdown, and also scored on an 11-yard run.
"I thought they threw the ball 100 times and gained a mile," said Alabama Coach Bear Bryant after beating Mississippi State 35-14. Actually, the Bulldogs passed only 53 times (a school record) and gained 456 yards on 31 completions. With Quarterback Dave Mailer nursing a pulled leg muscle, State Coach Bob Tyler resorted to a shotgun offense to hype up the passing attack. Marler connected on 28 of 46 throws for 429 yards and one touchdown, but was intercepted four times. Only one passer has exceeded Marler's yardage against the Tide—Archie Manning, whose 33-for-52 performance netted 436 yards in 1969. The Bulldogs' Mardye McDole, who grew up in Mobile but turned down an Alabama scholarship, caught nine of Marler's passes for 168 yards. Tony Nathan of the Tide latched on to a six-yard touchdown pass, broke loose for an 82-yard scoring run and piled up 145 yards in 12 carries. In the dressing room after the game, Tide players sang, "If you don't go to 'Bama, go to hell" and "We want you, LSU." They will get LSU this week in Birmingham.
The Tigers tuned up for that meeting by blasting Mississippi 30-8. LSU's Charles Alexander, who had been slowed during the past two games by a hamstring pull, ran for 147 yards, including a 64-yard touchdown run and scored on a 25-yard pass.
Against outsiders, the SEC came up with three winners (Georgia, Tennessee and Kentucky) and one loser (Vanderbilt). Willie McClendon of the Bulldogs gained 149 yards during a 41-3 rout of VMI. McClendon has 1,115 yards this season, surpassing the 37-year-old Georgia record set by Frank Sinkwich. With Jimmy Streater teaming up with Jeff Moore on a 66-yard scoring pass and running 10 yards for another touchdown, Tennessee manhandled Duke 34-0. Kentucky also came up with a shutout, winning 28-0 at Virginia Tech. Playing at Memphis State. Vanderbilt went down to a 35-14 defeat.
In addition to Maryland's loss to Penn State, the Atlantic Coast Conference sustained another setback when North Carolina was dumped 27-18 at Richmond in a non-league game. More than anyone, it was Free Safety Jeff Nixon who enabled the Spiders to shock the Tar Heels. Nixon made 25 tackles and picked off two passes, one of which he ran back 59 yards for a touchdown.
Clemson powered its way to a 51-6 ACC triumph at Wake Forest. Before sitting down early in the third quarter, Steve Fuller of the Tigers passed for 189 yards and two TDs.
"Everybody's running backs are banged up by November," said North Carolina State Coach Bo Rein following a 22-13 victory over independent South Carolina. Despite his bruises, Ted Brown of the Wolfpack gained 99 yards and surpassed the 1,000-yard mark for the third year in a row.
Even though Ottis Anderson scored TDs on a 15-yard run and his second length-of-the-field kickoff return of the season, Miami lost at Tulane 20-16. The Green Wave scored on a pair of touchdown passes from Roch Hontas to Alton Alexis, plus two field goals.
1. ALABAMA (8-1)
2. MARYLAND (8-1)
3. GEORGIA (7-1)
UCLA relied on Theotis (Big-foot) Brown and Southern California on Charles White to hammer out Pac-10 victories. The Bruins had to survive a frantic fourth period to beat Oregon 23-21. The Ducks led 6-3 at the start of the final quarter, but the first-place Bruins took the lead on a 74-yard trip by the 230-pound Brown, who outran a 147-pound cornerback on the way to the end zone. Brown scored again on a 68-yard run, and Peter Boermeester. who had kicked a 27-yard field goal, booted three-pointers from 35 and 44 yards out. Oregon, meanwhile, scored on two short touchdown runs to keep the pressure on.
Stanford, playing at home, took a first-quarter 7-0 lead over USC on a 13-yard pass from Steve Dils to Ken Margerum. But while Dils wound up with 23 completions in 38 attempts for 236 yards, he couldn't get the Cardinals into the end zone again. The Trojans led 10-7 at halftime, thanks to a 34-yard field goal by Frank Jordan and a one-yard dive by White, who finished with 201 yards in 38 carries. From there on, it was a defensive struggle, the only second-half points coming on Jordan's 38-yard field goal.
There was ample scoring in other Pac-10 games. Oregon State trailed 22-7 in the second quarter at Washington State, but won 32-31 on a 27-yard field goal by Kieron Walford with 18 seconds to go. Jack Thompson of the Cougars became the conference's all-time leader in passing yardage when he completed half of his 30 throws for 223 yards, bringing his career total to 7,197. Washington stayed in contention for first place by downing Arizona 31-21. Arizona State runners gained 409 yards against California in Tempe. where the Sun Devils won 35-21.
Wyoming came to Brigham Young with the WAC's best pass-defense statistics (109 yards a game) and the finest total defense (242 yards). But Jim McMahon picked apart the Cowboys, hitting on 24 of 36 passes for 317 yards and one touchdown. McMahon also ran 13 times for 49 yards and two TDs as the Cougars clung to first place with a 48-14 victory. New Mexico remained a game behind BYU with a 24-12 triumph at Utah.
Utah State tied Pacific for first place in the Pacific Coast AA. scoring 24 points in the first period en route to a 40-14 victory.
1. UCLA (8-1)
2. USC (7-1)
3. WASHINGTON (6-3)
PLAYERS OF THE WEEK
OFFENSE: Theotis Brown, a 6'2", 230-pound senior fullback, broke his own UCLA single-game rushing record by gaining 274 yards in 26 carries and scoring two touchdowns as the Bruins downed Oregon 23-21.
DEFENSE: Mike DeGenova, a 6'1", 240-pound Boston University senior tackle, made 11 tackles, assisted on three others, caused two fumbles and had three sacks as the Terriers stunned Holy Cross 15-7.