Six seconds remained in the UCLA-Stanford game, which earlier had been tied 7-7 and 17-17 and now was knotted 24-24. A pair of freshmen had kept the Cardinals rolling: John Elway passed for 178 yards, hitting on 16 of 23 attempts, and Vincent White made seven catches for 113 yards and two touchdowns and ran for 62 yards. But with six seconds left it was all up to Stanford's Ken Naber, who would try a 56-yard field goal into the wind. Naber's kick hit the left upright just inches above the crossbar, angled in and over the beam, and Stanford won 27-24.
It wasn't Oregon State's day. The Beavers' final embarrassment during a 41-0 loss at Washington came when Husky Tackle Fletcher Jenkins ran 51 yards with an intercepted pass of sorts after State's Marshall Sperbeck inadvertently hit an official with his arm as he was setting up to throw.
In other Pac 10 action, Oregon beat California 19-14, while Southern Cal breezed past Washington State 50-21. Paul McDonald of USC had 16 completions in 23 attempts for 212 yards and two TDs, and Charles White rushed for 142 yards and two scores.
October 14, 1979
It was no big deal that Brigham Young's Marc Wilson completed 28 of 49 passes, or that three of them went for touchdowns, or that he ran a yard for a fourth score during a 38-15 shellacking of new WAC member Hawaii. What was newsworthy was that Wilson set an NCAA mark by surpassing 300 yards in total offense for the eighth time in his career, finishing with 329.
1. USC (5-0)
2. WASHINGTON (5-0)
3. BYU (4-0)
Temple's efforts to strengthen its program continued to pay off. The Owls ran for 243 yards (159 of them by Mark Bright) and passed for 246 more on the 14-for-20 throwing of Brian Broomell in a 41-20 blistering of Rutgers.
Pittsburgh, a one-point winner over Temple the week before, was given a scare by Boston College, which picked off three Panther passes and recovered three fumbles. When the Eagles pulled to within 14-7 in the fourth quarter, Pitt's Randy McMillan went to work, scoring his second and third touchdowns on short runs, to give the Panthers a 28-7 win.
Army outrushed Duke 247 yards to 155, outpassed the Blue Devils 140 yards to 75, outdid them in first downs 23 to nine, did not incur a penalty and still had to rally from 10 points back to salvage a 17-17 tie. Though slapped with 107 yards in penalties, Navy defeated Air Force 13-9.
Pennsylvania played its 1,000th intercollegiate football game, the first team to reach that milestone. But Columbia will be more inclined to savor memories of that contest, for the Lions won 12-7. In the only other Ivy League tussle, Brown walloped Princeton 31-12. Yale was the lone Ivy victor against outsiders, beating Colgate 27-0. Dartmouth lost to Holy Cross 13-7; Harvard was beaten by Boston U. 14-10; and Cornell, a winner over Bucknell in 23 straight games, lost to the Bisons, 10-0, for the first time since 1891.
1. SYRACUSE (4-1)
2. PITTSBURGH (3-1)
3. PENN STATE (2-2)
As expected, North Carolina State assumed command at Auburn, zipping to a 14-0 lead after 10 minutes. Then came the unexpected. The Tigers poured across 28 points in the second period, 16 more in the third and won 44-31. Igniting Auburn were Quarterback Charles Thomas, who came off the bench in the second quarter, and speedy Joe Cribbs. In eight carries Thomas ran for 113 yards and scored from 21 and 11 yards out. And Cribbs added to the Tigers' 407 yards total rushing with scoring runs of 12, two and 14 yards.
Like Auburn, Mississippi State roared from behind to register a convincing upset, decking previously unbeaten Tennessee 28-9. Not even the loss of three starting backs to injuries during the game could deter the Bulldogs, whose SEC record now is 2-0. State had 428 yards in total offense and forced five Vol turnovers. Mardye McDole of the Bulldogs caught scoring passes of 33 and 28 yards, the first from Tony Black, who set up another TD with a 57-yard run before leaving with a shoulder injury late in the first half.
Georgia, ranked in the top 20 in many preseason polls, ended a three-game losing streak by rallying from a 14-0 deficit to defeat Mississippi 24-21. In the only other SEC game, Louisiana State overcame early mistakes, a spirited Florida defense and a 3-0 halftime Gator lead to prevail 20-3.
Wichita State did not figure to do much against Alabama. The figuring was right. The Shockers' accomplishments included the recovery of one Tide fumble, the completion of one of seven passes and 169 yards rushing, the last a not-to-be-sneezed-at statistic. As much as 'Bama fans love their team, there were 5,000 empty seats in Tuscaloosa, which is where the Tide won a 38-0 yawner.
"It sure is fun to smash 'em and crush 'em up the middle," said Florida State Center Gil Wesley following a 27-0 triumph over Louisville. "We're supposed to be the team that always passes on third and two." Instead of filling the air with passes, the Seminoles ran for 275 yards. And their defense did a job, too, allowing the Cardinals only 93 yards in total offense, forcing two safeties and recovering a blocked punt for a touchdown.
Slam-bang running accounted for triumphs by Clemson, North Carolina and South Carolina. With Lester Brown rambling for 125 yards and two touchdowns, the Tigers beat Virginia 17-7 in an ACC contest. Amos Lawrence of the Tar Heels broke loose for 143 yards and three scores during a 35-14 romp over Cincinnati. The Gamecocks downed Oklahoma State 23-16, thanks to George Rogers, who carried 35 times for 165 yards and two touchdowns.
ACC teams split two other out-of-conference skirmishes. Wake Forest overtaking Virginia Tech 19-14 and Maryland losing 27-7 to Penn State. The Deacons overcame a 14-7 deficit with two fourth-quarter scores, but the Terps fell behind 17-0 after 20 minutes and never recovered. All three Nittany Lion touchdowns followed Maryland fumbles.
Louisiana Tech's Jean Dornier equaled a Southland Conference record by intercepting four passes during a 17-0 victory over Southwestern Louisiana.
1. ALABAMA (4-0)
2. FLORIDA ST. (5-0)
3. N. CAROLINA (4-0)
All four SWC winners placed their best feet forward, having to resort to field goals to win. Seventeen tackles, two sacks and an interception by Linebacker David Hodge were invaluable for Houston, but it took a pair of three-pointers by Kenny Hatfield in the fourth quarter to defeat Baylor 13-10. Arkansas also trailed in the fourth period before pulling out a 16-13 decision over winless Texas Christian, which gained 231 yards rushing. Linebacker Mike Massey ran back an interception 30 yards to help the Razorbacks knot the score at 13-all late in the fourth quarter. Then, with seven seconds to be played, Ish Ordonez settled matters with his third field goal of the game, a 44-yarder.
Texas A&M stumbled again. Three field goals by Bill Adams, plus two fourth-period touchdowns, enabled Texas Tech to knock off the Aggies 21-20 in Lubbock.
John Goodson, a walk-on who got a scholarship after tying a Texas record with four field goals the week before, kicked four more to help stop Rice 26-9. Texas yielded its first touchdown of the season, was penalized 129 yards and had trouble cashing in despite 423 yards total offense. A. J. (Jam) Jones ran for 148 yards and one TD, and Goodson hit from 48, 39, 25 and 28 yards out.
1. TEXAS (3-0)
2. HOUSTON (4-0)
3. ARKANSAS (4-0)
Michigan and Michigan State hardly needed added incentive for their annual matchup, but this time the Wolverines were prodded on by a comment made last winter by Spartan Coach Darryl Rogers, who labeled them "arrogant asses." Wingback Ralph Clayton caught a 66-yard scoring pass from B.J. Dickey in the Wolverines' 21-7 Big Ten victory. Said he afterward, "Michigan is the best. If that's arrogant, so be it."
Although he gained only 38 yards on 19 carries, Marion Barber was unstoppable in payoff situations, slamming into the end zone from one yard out in each of the last three periods as Minnesota upset Purdue 31-14. Mark Herrmann of the Boilermakers completed 19 of 40 passes for 235 yards, but had four of his throws intercepted.
In other Big Ten games, Iowa beat Illinois 13-7, Indiana held off Wisconsin 3-0 and Ohio State struggled past Northwestern 16-7. The Buckeyes, who built a quick 10-0 lead after five minutes, were outscored 7-6 thereafter by the Wildcats, who had 10 first downs to the Buckeyes' five in the second half. Notre Dame, too, started fast and then encountered difficulties. The Irish led Georgia Tech 14-7 after one period and eventually won 21-13 as Vagas Ferguson carried a school-record 39 times, gained 177 yards and scored his second touchdown of the day on a 17-yard dash in the fourth quarter.
Despite losing the statistical war to Ball State (342 yards in total offense to 574, and nine first downs to 27), Indiana State won 18-13 to bring its record to 6-0.
Colorado Coach Chuck Fairbanks, who coached Oklahoma from 1967 through 1972, returned to Norman, where his Buffalos matched the Sooners in first downs with 21. Otherwise it was no contest, Oklahoma rushing for 396 yards, taking a 35-7 halftime advantage and going on to a 49-24 triumph.
"It was a valuable experience," said New Mexico State Coach Gil Krueger, groping for words after a 57-0 drubbing at Nebraska. Jarvis Redwine of the Huskers rushed for 120 yards in 1½ quarters and then sat down. Altogether, Nebraska used 84 players while amassing 569 yards in total offense.
Syracuse trailed 21-7 after the first period at Kansas, then rolled to a 45-27 victory. The Orangemen gained 353 yards on the ground, 168 through the air and got scoring runs of four, 32 and seven yards from Joe Morris. In its past three outings, Syracuse has scored 151 points. Kansas State lost a battle of field goals to Tulsa 9-6 as Stu Crum, who earlier had made good on kicks of 41 and 35 yards, booted a 50-yarder as time ran out.
"Thanks for finally scheduling a breather," University of the Pacific Defensive Tackle Jim Escobedo said facetiously to Coach Robert Toledo, after a 24-7 upset of Iowa State. The Tigers, 17-point underdogs, held the Cyclones to 153 yards in total offense while gaining 326 of their own. Pacific's Sander Markel connected on 21 of 37 passes for 185 yards, 11 to Tight End Mike House for 90 yards.
1. NEBRASKA (4-0)
2. OKLAHOMA (4-0)
3. MICHIGAN (4-1)
PLAYERS OF THE WEEK
OFFENSE: Joe Morris, a 5'7", 180-pound sophomore, broke Larry Csonka's single-game Syracuse rushing mark by gaining 252 yards in 23 carries during a 45-27 win over Kansas. He also scored three touchdowns.
DEFENSE: Danny Skutack, a 6-foot, 202-pound sophomore walk-on moved from linebacker to end, helped Auburn jar N.C. State 44-31 with 17 tackles despite suffering a broken bone in his left leg in the first quarter.