Texas rooters could hardly wait for their Longhorns, the last major team to begin play, to finally do their thing. Given a chance, the Longhorns didn't show much in the first half against Iowa State, which got field goals of 36, 43 and 35 yards from freshman Alex Giffords, who was raised in Mexico and did not see his first football game until his senior year of high school in Tucson, to lead 9-3 at the half. From there on, though, it was all Texas, which won 17-9 as A. J. (Jam) Jones scored on a pair of one-yard blasts—he rushed for 125 yards in all—and the defense yielded a mere 20 yards in 19 second-half plays.
Oklahoma State, which had lost both defensive ends to injuries, could not contain Arkansas. During a string of five possessions, the Razorbacks averaged seven yards per play as they zipped in front 24-0. At the end it was 27-7.
With ace passer Mike Ford lost for the season after knee surgery, Southern Methodist used Jim Bob Taylor at quarterback. He spent most of the game handing off to freshman Tailback Charles Wagoner, who in his first start carried 26 times for 184 yards as the Mustangs beat North Texas State 20-9.
September 30, 1979
1. TEXAS (1-0)
2. HOUSTON (2-0)
3. ARKANSAS (2-0)
Having gained just one yard on its first two runs against Pittsburgh, North Carolina decided to try a pet pass play. The Tar Heels had used it once in their only other outing, and it had clicked for 43 yards and six points when Quarterback Matt Kupec hit Phil Farris. Once more Kupec passed and Farris caught, and once more the results were 43 yards and a TD that triggered Carolina's upset victory.
Further prestige was gained by the ACC as its teams prevailed in four of five other non-conference games. Duke lost 35-0 at South Carolina as the Gamecocks rushed for 397 yards, 161 of them by George Rogers. But Maryland won 35-14 over Mississippi State (page 24), Virginia blanked VMI 19-0, Wake Forest defeated East Carolina 23-20 and Clemson beat Georgia 12-7.
Wake's quarterback, Jay Venuto, set ACC records for completions (28 in 33 tries) and passing yardage (334) to give the Deacons a 3-0 record and their best start since 1951. Following a scoreless first half, Clemson drove 70 yards for a touchdown at the start of the third period, plowing between the tackles on all 14 plays. That, plus a safety, a field goal, 146 rushing yards by Marvin Sims and three interceptions made the Tigers winners.
The SEC did well, too, its only loser in six at-home non-conference games being Mississippi. Missouri whipped the Rebels 33-7 after trailing 7-3 at the intermission. Once they got going, the Tigers scored on a 10-yard run by Gerry Ellis, a 14-yard dash by James Wilder, Phil Bradley's 69-yard pass to Ken Blair and a nine-yard run by Bradley. Florida was tied 7-7 by Georgia Tech.
Alabama did a thorough job on Baylor. The Tide limited the Bears to 139 yards in total offense, intercepted six passes, pounced on two Baylor fumbles, got 431 yards rushing from its runners and won 45-0.
Louisiana State fumbled away the opening kickoff and soon trailed Rice 3-0. Within a minute, however, the Tigers took the lead and were on their way to their second straight 44-point triumph. Tiger Tailback Hokie Gajan ran for 118 of LSU's 595 yards gained in the 47-3 win.
Tennessee beat Utah 51-18 as Jimmy Streater passed for three touchdowns and ran for a fourth. In a highly unusual comeback of sorts, Defensive Back Jerry Beasley, who reportedly had been killed in a car crash on Friday, helped Auburn defeat Southern Mississippi 31-9 by returning an interception 38 yards for a touchdown. Actually, it was Donnie Givens, who was last season's defensive captain at Auburn, who died in that tragic accident after he had borrowed Beasley's car.
Florida State used its running game for a change while dismantling Miami 40-23. The Seminoles ran for 205 yards, intercepted four passes and led 33-6 after three periods.
1. ALABAMA (2-0)
2. N.C. STATE (3-0)
3. MARYLAND (3-0)
Only 2:10 remained on the clock, and Washington trailed 17-14 at Oregon when Husky Coach Don James put Mark Lee in the game to return a punt. Lee caught the ball, took off for the right sideline, "saw too many green shirts" and headed the other way. On the sidelines James shouted "a few choice words" at Lee for changing directions, but Lee kept going. When he crossed the goal line, James was still shouting—now for joy. Lee's run culminated a rousing comeback in which the Huskies, down 17-0 with only seconds to go in the third period, scored three times in 13:48 to win 21-17 in the week's only Pac 10 game. The Ducks had built their lead on the running of Tailback Reggie Young, who had 100 yards on six carries, and Quarterback Reggie Ogburn, who was shelved with a knee injury in the second period. Washington's Joe Steele scored on two short runs, the second TD coming after a 27-yard punt by the Ducks. Oregon was assessed a rare 15-yard obstruction penalty when that kick ingloriously landed smack atop the helmet of one of the Ducks.
Also rallying was undefeated California, which beat San Jose State 13-10 when Rich Campbell hit on five passes during a 52-yard scoring drive. Three of Campbell's throws, including a 10-yarder for a touchdown with 47 seconds to play, went to Matt Bouza.
After being trampled 48-14 at Southern Cal, Minnesota Coach Joe Salem said that Bo Schembechler, his Michigan counterpart, "told me USC's the greatest college team he has ever seen. I believe it." The halftime numbers were enough to make a believer of Salem: USC 35-0 on the scoreboard; USC 335 to 86 in total yardage. Trojan Tailback Charles White carried only 10 times, but had touchdown runs of 68 and 10 yards among his 153 yards rushing. Gopher runners didn't fare as well; they had a net of 38 yards in 37 carries.
1. USC (3-0)
2. WASHINGTON (3-0)
3. UCLA (2-1)
After losing those first two games, we had something to prove," said Texas A&M Quarterback Mike Mosley following a stunning 27-14 upset of Penn State. Although the Aggies passed for only 39 yards, they got 259 on the ground. Much of that came when Curtis Dickey scored three times after taking pitchouts to the short side of the field, where State's end and linebacker were caught inside as he sped by.
West Virginia was outgained only 342 yards to 334 by North Carolina State, but the Wolfpack blew the game apart in the second half. State won 38-14 as Quarterback Scott Smith scored on three short runs.
Navy amassed lots of yardage (439) but not many points while beating Connecticut 21-10. Mike Sherlock kept the Middies on the move by rushing for 156 yards.
Temple powered its way past Delaware 31-14, and Boston College ended the nation's longest Division 1-A losing streak at 13 games by defeating Villanova 34-7. The Eagles took advantage of seven turnovers to set up all their points and got 157 yards rushing and two touchdowns from freshman Shelby Gamble.
In Ivy League openers. Harvard beat Columbia 26-7, Cornell thrashed Penn 52-13, Princeton defeated Dartmouth 16-0 and Yale upset league-favorite Brown 13-12 as Middle Guard Kevin Czinger set up both Eli TDs by blocking two punts.
1. PENN STATE (1-1)
2. PITTSBURGH (1-1)
3. SYRACUSE (2-1)
After Purdue, trailing 20-7 early in the third period, overcame Notre Dame 28-22, Boilermaker Linebacker Keena Turner had a ready explanation for his team's resurgence. To be sure, it helped that Wally Jones had put Purdue in front 21-20 by scoring on two short bursts in the third quarter. It had certainly helped that Mark Herrmann climaxed a 63-yard drive in the fourth period with a six-yard TD pass to Bart Burrell, to whom he has been throwing since seventh grade. And, of course, the defense's stubbornness in the late going had been invaluable. But Turner felt these deeds had been motivated by and transcended in significance by something that had happened way back on Tuesday. "We all met on the hill outside the stadium [Ross-Ade, where a state-record crowd of 70,567 saw Saturday's game]," he said. "It was a unity meeting [Purdue had lost to UCLA the week before] and it got us back together."
In all, Big Ten teams came out on top in four of seven other home games against non-conference opponents. Ohio State's big plays led to a 45-29 defeat of Washington State. Quarterback Art Schlichter nailed his receivers on eight of 13 passes, which were good for 233 yards. Five of them were hauled in by Doug Donley, who rolled up 138 yards with his receptions. The most spectacular play, though, came when Schlichter and Tailback Cal Murray teamed up on an 86-yard TD throw, the longest in Buckeye history.
"Ninety-three plays and you get just four touchdowns," grumbled Michigan Coach Bo Schembechler after beating Kansas only 28-7 despite leading in total yardage by a 467-104 margin. "Ridiculous. We're a soft team."
Michigan State, which blew a 17-0 advantage over Miami of Ohio and found itself tied 21-21, had a fourth-and-10 at its own 46 with 1:32 to play. Quarterback Bert Vaughn put matters right for the Spartans with a 26-yard pass to Eugene Byrd on that crucial down and an ensuing six-yarder to Mark Brammer that gave the Spartans a 24-21 triumph. Indiana defeated Kentucky 18-10, making this the finest Hoosier start (3-0) since 1967.
Other Big Ten teams lost to opponents from the East, Syracuse trampling Northwestern 54-21; Midwest, Nebraska holding off Iowa 24-21; and West, UCLA defeating Wisconsin 37-12. The Orangemen left the Wildcats black and blue as Quarterback Bill Hurley ran for 156 yards and two scores and Joe Morris bolted for 116 more and a TD.
More than 9,000 Nebraska fans traveled to Iowa, where the Huskers were three-touchdown favorites and where some Nebraskans were seen wearing red T shirts emblazoned with the slogan: ON THE EIGHTH DAY, GOD CREATED THE BIG RED. The Hawkeyes almost cremated the Big Red. Iowa forced five turnovers, led 21-7 late in the third period and so severely wore down Nebraska Tailbacks I. M. Hipp and Jarvis Redwine that third-stringer Craig Johnson had to be brought in. He gained 39 yards in 15 cracks, went five yards for the tying score and set up a decisive 30-yard field goal by Dean Sukup with 5:32 remaining.
With UCLA's Nos. 1 and 2 tailbacks hurt, Anthony Edgar was summoned. He gained 168 yards on a school-record 39 carries.
The last two times Tulsa and Oklahoma had met, in 1942 and 1943, the Golden Hurricane won 23-0 and 20-6. That fortunes have changed was evidenced by the Sooners' 49-13 wipeout last week. Oklahoma made up for six lost fumbles by getting 122 yards rushing from Quarterback Julius Caesar Watts and 109 yards and two touchdowns from Billy Sims.
Chuck Fairbanks, who left the New England Patriots amid much ado to take the coaching job at Colorado, has left Buffalo fans wondering why they went to all the trouble to get him. Colorado, a 13-9 loser to Drake, is now 0-3 and has been outscored 90-28.
1. NEBRASKA (2-0)
2. OKLAHOMA (2-0)
3. PURDUE (2-1)
PLAYERS OF THE WEEK
OFFENSE: Curtis Dickey, Texas A&M's 205-pound senior tailback, who has run the 100 in 9.3, gained 184 yards in 31 carries and broke loose for touchdown runs of 69, 21 and 11 yards as A&M upset Penn State 27-14.
DEFENSE: Buddy Curry, a 6'3", 220-pound senior linebacker for North Carolina, helped the Tar Heels jolt Pittsburgh 17-7 by intercepting two passes, recovering a Panther fumble and making a total of 14 tackles.