Instead of soaring to lofty new heights with an I formation loaded with flashy backs, Texas A&M has plummeted to old depths. A jarring 17-7 Southwest Conference loss to Baylor left the Aggies 0-2 for the first time since 1969. Conversely, the Bears, powered by Walter Abercrombie's 137 yards rushing, are 2-0 for the first time since 1965. The Aggie attack produced only three first downs in the opening half and then committed four turnovers after the intermission.
"I've never seen a team make so many yards and so few points," said Arkansas Coach Lou Holtz after his Hogs swamped Colorado State 36-3. The Razorbacks won handily despite the Rams' 363 yards in total offense, 196 of them in 20 carries by Larry Jones.
Substitute quarterbacks rescued Houston and Southern Methodist. When Delrick Brown of the Cougars reinjured his right shoulder in the third period against Florida the score was 7-7. Terry Elston took Brown's place and spurred the Cougars to a 14-10 win, directing a 65-yard drive that he finished off with a six-yard TD run. After SMU's Mike Ford suffered torn knee ligaments in the second period, Jim Bob Taylor came in, promptly fired a 15-yard touchdown pass and guided the Mustangs past TCU 27-7.
September 23, 1979
1. TEXAS (0-0)
2. HOUSTON (2-0)
3. ARKANSAS (1-0)
In what may go down as one of the most stunning upsets ever in the South, highly touted Georgia lost at home to Wake Forest, which a couple of weeks back was proclaimed the second-worst team in the nation by none other than Penthouse magazine. The Deacons, winners only 26 times in the last 10 seasons, brought their record to 2-0 as they twice came from behind and won 22-21. More than that, they tore apart the Bulldogs' once-proud defense, gaining 287 yards on the ground—189 of them by James McDougald—and 283 through the air. Wake pulled the game out when Jay Venuto teamed up with McDougald on a nine-yard scoring pass early in the fourth quarter. With the victory secured, Deacon Coach John Mackovic sounded off against Georgia sportswriters, who he felt had degraded his players. "I've never read more disgusting stuff in my life than I've read the two days we've been here," Mackovic said. " 'Mackovic's Meatballs.' That's a bunch of garbage."
Maryland ended the nation's longest major-college victory streak at 11 by shocking Clemson 19-0 in an ACC confrontation. When Dale Castro wasn't busy establishing a Terp record with four field goals, teammate Charlie Wysocki was pounding out 178 yards.
For the second week in a row, North Carolina State had to scramble to come out ahead, this time against ACC opponent Virginia. The Wolfpack built a 31-7 halftime lead as Quarterback Scott Smith scored on three plunges and tossed a 69-yard touchdown pass, all in the second period. But with Tom Vigorito rushing for 192 yards and two TDs, the Cavaliers stormed back and narrowly lost 31-27.
"I've never seen one man handle an offense like he can," said Arizona State Coach Frank Kush of Florida State Nose Guard Ron Simmons, who was instrumental in the Seminoles' rousing 31-3 win. "We had to double-team him, and he still gave us fits."
Both Miamis won—the Hurricanes from Florida beat Louisville 24-12, and the Redskins from Ohio downed Kentucky 15-14.
1. ALABAMA (1-0)
2. N.C. STATE (2-0)
3. MARYLAND (2-0)
Northwestern's worst fear was put to rest. The Wildcats won't have another winless season this year. That was assured by a 27-22 victory over Wyoming that broke a 12-game non-winning streak. The Wildcats held off the Cowboys when Safety Ben Butler intercepted a pass with 1:19 left, his second end-zone theft of the fourth quarter. Giving the offense some unaccustomed oomph was sophomore Mike Kerrigan, a third-string quarterback who passed for 193 yards and one touchdown.
Less difficulty was encountered by three other Big Ten teams: Michigan State zapped Oregon 41-17, Indiana trampled Vanderbilt 44-13 and Wisconsin brought down Air Force 38-0. Powering the Spartan offense were Derek Hughes (three touchdowns on runs of two, three and 100 yards, the last with a kickoff return) and Steve Smith (154 yards rushing, plus five receptions for 63 more). Hoosier Cornerback Tim Wilbur did it all, making six tackles, busting up two passes, recovering a fumble and running back an interception 70 yards for a touchdown.
Minnesota's new coach, Joe Salem, sprang a new offense on visiting Ohio State—a double wing T with a man in motion. The Gophers scored the first two times they had the ball to take a lead over the Buckeyes for the first time since 1972 and were on top 17-7 at halftime. From there on, though, State tightened its defense and Quarterback Art Schlichter perked up the offense, most notably with a 32-yard touchdown jaunt in the fourth period that gave OSU a 21-17 victory. Minnesota lost despite a 221-yard rushing effort by Fullback Garry White and despite having a 505-to-295-yard edge in total offense.
All the scoring at Illinois came in the third period, Gerry Ellis of Missouri sandwiching scoring runs of 19 and 24 yards around a three-yarder by Mike Holmes of the Illini. Ellis finished with 173 yards rushing, and the Tigers made their 14-6 lead stand up.
Among the other Big Eight teams to beat outsiders were Nebraska, which throttled Utah State 35-14, and Oklahoma, which labored past Iowa 21-6. Jeff Quinn became the first Husker quarterback since 1964 to run for 100 or more yards, ending up with 112. Also among Nebraska's 551 yards gained were 96 passing yards by Quinn and 167 rushing yards by I. M. Hipp, who scored three times. Oklahoma had the same old problem: fumbles. The Sooners lost five of their seven bobbles. Three were coughed up by Heisman Trophy winner Billy Sims, who gained 106 yards in 23 carries and scored twice.
For the first time since 1963 Colorado was blanked at home, losing 44-0 to Louisiana State. The Tigers scored in every period, stole four passes and yielded only 21 yards rushing.
1. NEBRASKA (1-0)
2. NOTRE DAME (1-0)
3. OKLAHOMA (1-0)
With Los Angeles in the midst of its worst heat-wave/smog siege in nearly 25 years, Purdue Coach Jim Young delayed for a day his team's arrival in L.A. to play UCLA. In the end, Young wished he hadn't shown up at all. His Boilermakers fell behind 21-0 en route to being upset 31-21. On offense, the Bruins were paced by Tailback Freeman McNeil, who ran for 176 yards, and Quarterback Rick Bashore, who threw for two touchdowns and twice plunged a yard for scores. Purdue's Mark Herrmann, who was sacked three times and had three of his throws intercepted, connected on 14 of 24 passes for 191 yards and two TDs.
Three other Pac 10 teams defeated non-conference opponents. Washington flattened Utah 41-7 with the aid of a 95-yard kickoff return for a TD by Kyle Stevens. Washington State beat Montana 34-14, and Stanford overcame a 29-24 deficit to beat San Jose State 45-29 as Tailback Mike Dotterer set a school mark for a freshman by scoring three times.
Southern Cal and California won conference games. "We're not No. 1," insisted USC Coach John Robinson. "We're just struggling." Some struggle. Even without Heisman Trophy aspirant Charles White (injured shoulder) and Offensive Tackle Anthony Munoz (out for the season with torn ligaments in his left knee), the Trojans creamed Oregon State 42-5. USC scored on its first five possessions and got 126 yards rushing and two touchdowns from freshman Tailback Mike Harper, who filled in for White. Cal won 10-7 at Arizona, where Joe Cooper booted a wobbly, partially blocked 31-yard field goal with two seconds left.
1. USC (2-0)
2. WASHINGTON (2-0)
3. UCLA (1-1)
Pittsburgh and Perm State displayed new offensive talents as they won easily. Fullback Randy McMillan, who led North Hartford (Md.) JC to a 20-0 record the past two seasons, rumbled for 141 yards in the Panthers' 24-0 rout of Kansas. And freshman Quarterback Dan Marino flicked a 23-yard scoring pass to senior Ralph Still, who also scored twice on passes from first-string signal caller Rick Trocano. Penn State's new quarterback, Dayle Tate, passed for two touchdowns, and freshman Tailback Curt Warner scored on runs of seven and 18 yards and on a 62-yard pass play in the second period. Warner ended up with 100 yards rushing, 109 on four kickoff returns and 71 more on two pass catches. That gave him a total of 280 yards gained, a record for a Nittany Lion freshman. Final score: Penn State 45, Rutgers 10.
Syracuse beat West Virginia 24-14. Joe Morris rushed for 166 yards for the Orange, and David Warner tossed a 38-yard TD pass.
Both Army and Navy scored 26 points and both won. The Cadets' new coach, Lou Saban, came up with a 26-10 victory over Connecticut in his debut. The Middies stormed The Citadel 26-7.
1. PENN STATE (1-0)
2. PITTSBURGH (1-0)
3. SYRACUSE (1-1)
PLAYERS OF THE WEEK
OFFENSE: Junior Quarterback Jay Venuto, who didn't throw a pass all last season, completed 20 of 34 attempts for 273 yards and three touchdowns in leading Wake Forest to a 22-21 upset over highly favored Georgia.
DEFENSE: Mike Singletary, a 6'1", 227-pound junior linebacker for Baylor, had a hand in 22 tackles—12 of them solos—and recovered a Texas A&M fumble as the Bears surprised the Aggies by a score of 17-7.