It was Friday at Southern Cal—time for the traditional pep rally. There to stir up enthusiasm were the Trojan Marching Band, cheerleaders, song girls, students and alumni. A good time was had by all, with some of the USC players even doing some fancy dancing to the blaring music. The gaiety continued on Saturday before the homecoming game against Stanford, Trojan rooters sipping drinks and munching on barbecued food outside the Los Angeles Coliseum. And then it was time for USC fans to head for the game to see their team, a 22-point favorite ranked No. 1 in the nation, take on the twice-beaten Cardinals from The Farm, as they like to call Stanford.
USC took the opening kickoff, marched 72 yards in seven plays and quickly led 7-0. In the second period, the Trojans made it 14-0 and less than two minutes later it was 21-0. Everything was going perfectly for the Trojan fans. Then came the turnabout.
Stanford Quarterback Turk Schonert used 13 plays to take his team 80 yards for a score at the outset of the third period. Scoring the touchdown on a 19-yard pass from Schonert was Mike Dotterer, whose father, Dutch, had once been a major league baseball catcher. Going into the last quarter, USC still led 21-7 and even though the Trojans were no longer ripping off big yardage and their defense seemed somewhat vulnerable to Schonert's passing, there didn't seem any reason for USC to be overly concerned. When in doubt, the Trojans could always give the ball to Charles White on offense, and surely their defense would clamp down when it had to. But White, who had gained 169 yards in the first half, was limited to 52 thereafter, and his fumble at the Stanford 39 preceded a Cardinal drive that culminated in a Schonert-to-Ken Margerum pass good for nine yards and another touchdown. That came with 2:37 gone in the fourth period and closed the score to 21-14.
October 21, 1979
Then Schonert really furrowed the brows of USC rooters by taking the Cardinals 87 yards to knot the game at 21-all with 4:33 left. On the final play of that drive, Schonert was forced to scramble from the Southern Cal 10-yard line. He rolled to the left, faked a pass, cut a bit to the right, faked again and then zipped into the end zone.
Stanford had two chances to win after that, USC only one. A 53-yard Cardinal field-goal try was short with 38 seconds to go, and a 39-yard USC attempt with only three seconds left was blocked by Gordon Banks. That's when Stanford had its final chance. The blocked kick bounced into the grasp of Linebacker Gary Wimmer, who had a clear path to the goal line in front of him—and then bounced out again.
Even though the game wound up a tie, it was nonetheless an upset, particularly with Stanford coming from 21 points back. Asked to shed light on how his team had rallied so brilliantly. Cardinal Coach Rod Dowhower said, "I can't explain it." And then began explaining it. "We made some defensive adjustments at halftime. In the first half we lined up head to head and that didn't work. In the second half we adjusted our spacing, going for the gaps. Not only did it work, it took away the seams for [USC Quarterback Paul] McDonald on passing. We also called some plays they didn't expect. We threw a long pass on fourth-and-five and we threw a short pass for two yards on fourth-and-one."
That Stanford's comeback was no fluke was borne out by some statistics: the Cardinals had the ball for 20:38 of the second half; for the game they had 409 yards in total offense, 281 of them through the air, while USC had 362. And during the last two periods Stanford converted four third-down plays and three fourth-down tries.
Unlike USC fans, those at Arizona State were stunned before their team faced unbeaten and sixth-ranked Washington in another Pac 10 matchup. Three hours before the game, Sun Devil Coach Frank Kush announced he was being dismissed by the university. Kush, who had been at State since 1958, was second only to Alabama's Bear Bryant among active coaches, with a total of 176 victories.
The reason for Kush's dismissal stemmed from a $1.1 million suit brought against the coach, Athletic Director Fred Miller and other school officials by Kevin Rutledge, a punter on last season's team. Rutledge claimed he had been punched in the face by Kush after he had made a poor punt during last year's 41-7 loss to Washington. Kush denied the allegation. Three Sun Devil players, however, said they had seen Kush hit Rutledge. As a result, it was decided that the coach would have to be dismissed. "When you're fired, you're fired," Kush said philosophically. "I'm going fishing."
Before Kush could get out his rod and reel, though, his players hoisted him to their shoulders and carried him onto the field, where, presumably, he coached State for the last time. The Sun Devils took an early 12-0 lead, Quarterback Mark Malone climaxing a 70-yard drive with a three-yard touchdown run and Defensive End Bob Kohrs recovering a Huskie fumble in the end zone for the second score. Arizona State hung on for a stunning 12-7 victory, and after the game the Sun Devils carried Kush off the field.
Arizona and California also stayed in the thick of the Pac 10 race. Jim Krohn geared up a Wildcat offense that produced 482 yards by hitting on 16 of 25 passes for 190 yards and two touchdowns. That was more than enough for Arizona to defeat Oregon 24-13. Even more devastating were the Golden Bears, who amassed 586 yards in total offense while drubbing Oregon State 45-0. Rich Campbell of Cal accounted for 292 yards and a pair of touchdowns in two periods by connecting on 19 of 28 passes.
Washington State Cornerback Mike Snow blocked two attempted field goals by UCLA and deflected an almost certain touchdown pass in the end zone as the Cougars pulled off a 17-14 shocker, after trailing 14-7 at half-time. State's Tim Harris set up the decisive touchdown in the fourth quarter with a 33-yard run, and Brian Sickler wrapped up the 84-yard march by blasting into the end zone from one yard out.
Winless Air Force was a 38-13 loser to Notre Dame. With Vagas Ferguson scoring on runs of five and 23 yards, and with Rusty Lisch passing two and 75 yards for touchdowns and running a yard for another, the Irish were never in trouble.
1. USC (5-0-1)
2. BYU (5-0)
3. WASHINGTON (5-1)
Even after Missouri's loss to Oklahoma State in their Big Eight Conference opener, Tiger Defensive End Wendell Ray said he was unimpressed by the Cowboys. "Those guys don't even belong on the same field with us," he said. "That's not bragging or boasting—they really don't." Unfortunately for Ray and the rest of the 16th-ranked Tigers, the Cowboys were impressive enough to register a 14-13 upset as Terry Suellentrop, who only last week was moved to fullback from defensive end, ran 22 times for 152 yards and second-string Quarterback John Doerner passed for two touchdowns.
Nebraska, the nation's leading offensive team as it entered its game against Kansas, showed why by amassing 611 yards—430 rushing—in beating the Jayhawks 42-0. Jarvis Redwine ran for 157 yards, and third-string I-Back Craig Johnson totaled 138 yards in nine carries, more than twice Kansas' total of 59 yards passing and 20 rushing. Said Kansas Coach Don Fambrough, "We've got to establish a running game—even if it's a quarterback sneak." In another Big Eight opener, Iowa State beat Kansas State 7-3.
Michigan State continued to provide inspiration for its opponents. All Wisconsin's Badgers had to do was look at films of last year's 55-2 drubbing at the hands of the Spartans to spark them to a 38-29 upset win. "That game was the big motivating factor for us. They tried to belittle us," said Tight End Ray Sydnor. The Badgers won on three field goals by Steve Veith, who had made only two in 10 previous tries.
Minnesota Quarterback Mark Carlson completed 27 passes in 51 attempts for 339 yards, the most ever against a Michigan defense, but the Wolverines rushed for 456 yards to hold off the Gophers 31-21 before the 26th straight 100,000-plus crowd in Ann Arbor. Butch Woolfolk rushed for 194 yards and Fullback Lawrence Reid, usually a blocker, added 179 yards of his own on 17 carries.
Ohio State stayed undefeated and remained tied with Michigan for the Big Ten lead, winning its sixth straight, 47-6, over Indiana. Art Schlichter, the Big Ten's total offense leader, said he "audibled 60% of the time" in directing the Buckeyes to 503 yards of total offense against the 4-2 Hoosiers.
In other Big Ten games, Purdue beat Illinois 28-14, Mark Herrmann overtaking Mike Phipps as the Boilermakers' alltime passing leader, and Northwestern bowed to Iowa 58-6 despite the urging of a homecoming crowd led by the San Diego Chicken.
Kelly Ellis ran for an NCAA-record 382 yards while leading Northern Iowa to a 38-25 victory over Western Illinois. Ellis, a 5'7", 165-pound junior, carried 40 times, breaking the Division II mark set by Dallas Garber of Marietta College in 1959. Ellis, who collected 210 yards in the first half, scored only once—on a 71-yard run in the fourth quarter.
Central Michigan ran its record to 5-0 overall and 5-0 in the Mid-American Conference with a 31-11 win over Northern Illinois. Toledo stayed undefeated in conference play with a 17-0 victory over Western Michigan, and Ohio University hung close to the leaders by beating Miami of Ohio 9-7. In other games involving MAC teams, Ball State beat Illinois State 42-14, Bowling Green topped Kent State 28-17 and Akron beat Eastern Michigan 24-12.
In the Missouri Valley Conference, West Texas State ended Indiana State's seven-game win streak by upending the Sycamores 33-17 to take the conference lead.
1. NEBRASKA (5-0)
2. OKLAHOMA (4-1)
3. MICHIGAN (5-1)
Referring to the 14-0 first-quarter score by which his team trailed Syracuse, Temple Coach Wayne Hardin said, "When we were down, deep down, a lot of people were saying, 'Same old Temple. Can't win the big one.' " The Owls were down, deep down, but they were far from out. They came back to grab a 28-17 lead and then gambled on a fourth-and-one at the Orange six. Brian Broomell cashed in on that play by passing to Wiley Pitts for a touchdown. When it was all over, Broomell had passed for 113 yards as he hit on seven of 11 passes and the Owls had won 49-17.
In the process, Temple held Syracuse's Joe Morris, who had been leading the nation in rushing with a 145.8-yard average, to 98 yards in 18 carries. The Owls also held the Orangemen far below their 36.6-point scoring average, which had been the sixth best in the country. Temple's offense churned out 377 yards on the ground, including 163 by Running Back Mark Bright. "Our offensive line is big and strong, and blows out other people," Bright said. That line blew enough players out for Running Back Sherman Myers to score five touchdowns, one on a 24-yard pass and the others on short runs, as the Owls proved they could win a big one.
In much the same roughshod manner in which the Pirates floored the Reds in the National League championship series, but unlike the way the Steelers played the Bengals, the University of Pittsburgh stomped the University of Cincinnati 35-0. The Panthers, continuing to use their two-quarterback system, rolled up 502 yards in total offense. When starting signal caller Rick Trocano wasn't completing 11 of 17 passes for 147 yards and one touchdown, his backup, freshman Dan Marino, was hitting on 11 of 16 throws for 121 yards and another score. For variety, Pitt let Fullback Randy McMillan lug the ball 18 times and he picked up 119 yards.
Army Coach Lou Saban's 58th birthday was spoiled by a 24-3 setback at Penn State, where the Nittany Lions rushed for 324 yards. Matt Suhey gained 225 of those yards and had scoring runs of 17 and 61 yards. Adding another touchdown and 103 yards to the ground attack was Booker Moore.
Resting atop the Ivy League with 2-0 records were Cornell and Yale, which took divergent paths to victory. By scoring three times in the third period, the Big Red breezed past Harvard 41-14. The Bulldogs, though, had to rely on a 24-yard field goal by Dave Schwartz in the second quarter and a tenacious defense that gave up only 84 yards to defeat Dartmouth 3-0. In other Ivy contests, Princeton romped over Columbia 35-0, and Brown held off Pennsylvania 24-18.
1. PITTSBURGH (4-1)
2. TEMPLE (5-1)
3. PENN STATE (3-2)
As far as Houston, Arkansas and Baylor were concerned, it was a case of better late than never. All three had trouble locking up their Southwest Conference victories, but the Cougars compounded their difficulties by being late for their game at Texas A&M. One of the two buses carrying the team to College Station on Saturday broke down five miles outside Houston. Coach Bill Yeoman put his first-teamers aboard the one operable bus and took off, leaving the rest of the squad waiting on U.S. 190 until a substitute vehicle could rescue them. After the opening kickoff was delayed 30 minutes, until all the Houston players were on hand, the Cougars went on to earn their first-ever win at A&M. It took some doing, however. And lots of waiting.
Houston, which built a 10-0 second-period advantage, fell behind 14-10 at halftime, and that was still the score when Texas A&M took over the ball with slightly more than four minutes left in the game. The Aggies tried to run out the clock, but on a fourth-and-one play the Cougars slammed Quarterback Mike Mosley for a nine-yard loss. That gave Houston the ball on its own 41-yard line with 50 seconds remaining.
With Quarterback Delrick Brown sidelined after becoming ill during the fourth quarter, Terry Elston took over for the Cougars. On first down Elston passed deep to Flanker Eric Herring, who made a spectacular leaping, one-handed catch for a 37-yard gain to the A&M 22. With 22 seconds to go, Elston hit Terald Clark with a pass for 17 yards to the five. Elston rolled around right end himself for the final five yards, scoring with 15 seconds to spare as Houston prevailed 17-14.
Two big plays enabled late-starting Arkansas to pick up a 20-6 win at Texas Tech. A 76-yard pass-run play, on which Kevin Scanlon did the throwing and Bobby Duckworth the catching, gave the Hogs a 10-3 lead at the intermission. Gary Anderson caught a Tech punt, shook loose from three would-be tacklers and scampered 67 yards to wrap up the scoring with 3:20 left.
An even longer run—a length-of-the-field dash by Southern Methodist freshman James Collier against Baylor—gave the Dallas home crowd plenty to yell about, but at the end the Bears' fans were doing the shouting. Inspiring those cheers were Max McGeary, Mike Brannan and Robert Bledsoe. McGeary, a defensive end, blocked two Mustang field-goal attempts in the final 4½ minutes, one from 30 yards out and the other from 44. Brannan, filling in for injured Quarterback Mickey Elam, ran for 120 yards and passed for 134. After McGeary's second blocked kick—his 11th in four seasons—Brannan came through with his biggest play, a 31-yard pass to Bo Taylor with 1:36 left. That set things up for Bledsoe, whose 21-yard field goal in the last eight seconds gave Baylor a 24-21 truimph.
The fourth visiting team to come out on top in SWC play was Texas Christian. The Horned Frogs, though, did not wait until the late stages to salt away their win, taking an early lead and holding on to beat Rice 17-7.
All this left Arkansas and Houston tied for first place with 2-0 records, with Baylor (3-1) in fourth place. Sandwiched in between was Texas (1-0), which won its annual non-conference war with Oklahoma (page 32).
1. TEXAS (4-0)
2. HOUSTON (5-0)
3. ARKANSAS (5-0)
Before Saturday's games, 18 Division 1-A teams were undefeated and untied. Five of them lost and one other, USC, was tied. Two of those absorbing their first defeat were in the South, where Tennessee-Chattanooga was jolted 35-0 at East Tennessee State in a Southern Conference skirmish. The other surprise came when Wake Forest dealt North Carolina its first loss, 24-19.
Wake's objective on defense was to shut off the Tar Heels' running game, and this it did by limiting them to 116 yards in 50 tries. Amos Lawrence of Carolina was held to 34 yards in 24 cracks—he had been averaging 141.7 yards, second-best among major-college runners. "When you tackle Lawrence, you can't crunch him," Deacon Linebacker Coach Dennis Haglan said. "Close in on him and squeeze him so he doesn't get away." Linebacker Carlos Bradley put it another way: "We made Amos run sideways."
With the ground game stymied, Matt Kupec of the Tar Heels threw 41 passes, completed a school-record 24 and gained 267 yards through the air. But Wake Forest, too, took to the air and Jay Venuto passed for 236 yards as he made good on 15 of 27 tosses. One throw caught Carolina in a safety blitz, which Venuto took advantage of by hitting Albert Kirby on a 60-yard scoring play.
In a much more conservatively played Atlantic Coast Conference game, North Carolina State stifled Maryland 7-0. The Terps managed only 84 yards rushing and 49 passing. It took the Wolfpack 11 plays to go 74 yards for the only score, which came when Dwight Sullivan darted 14 yards.
ACC teams won three non-conference games: Clemson blanked Virginia Tech 21-0, Duke beat winless Richmond 34-7 and Virginia swamped James Madison 69-9.
Alabama wasn't perfect. The Tide missed a PAT kick, threw an interception and lost a fumble. It didn't matter. Alabama still gained 435 yards and dealt Florida its first regular-season shutout in 90 games, 40-0.
Kentucky beat Mississippi 14-3, Georgia jarred Louisiana State 21-14 and Auburn outlasted Vanderbilt 52-35 in other Southeastern Conference battles. Georgia allowed LSU only 131 yards on the ground, forced five turnovers and got 128 yards rushing from Matt Simon. For the second week in a row, Joe Cribbs of Auburn had three touchdowns. They were part of a wild affair in which the Tigers cranked out 493 yards in total offense and the Commodores 425. In the Tigers' past two outings they have gained 939 yards, 845 on the ground, winning both times. Tennessee continued to come on strong. The Vols stepped outside the conference and administered a 31-0 shellacking to Georgia Tech.
Two independents remained unbeaten, Florida State stopping Mississippi State 17-6 and Navy downing William & Mary 24-7. Two touchdowns late in the first half helped the Seminoles to a 17-0 lead, but after being held to 50 yards in the first two periods, Mississippi got its wishbone working and led in total offense, 302 yards to 245. Still, the Bulldogs could cash in for no more than a pair of field goals. Navy's Mike Sherlock broke loose for a 59-yard scoring jaunt and 150 yards overall as the Middies triumphed.
1. ALABAMA (5-0)
2. FLORIDA STATE (6-0)
3. TENNESSEE (4-1)
PLAYERS OF THE WEEK
OFFENSE: Turk Schonert, a senior quarterback, rallied Stanford to a 21-21 deadlock with No. 1-ranked USC as he hit on 16 of 27 passes for 163 yards and two touchdowns and scored the tying touchdown on a 10-yard run.
DEFENSE: Dave Ahrens, a 6'3", 230-pound junior end, did it all as Wisconsin upset Michigan State 38-29. He ran 55 yards for a TD with an interception, broke up another pass, recovered a fumble and made six tackles.