Comedian Bill Cosby, a former Temple football player, sat on the Owls bench at Penn State, but he couldn't find anything to joke about. Cosby was able to smile when Kevin Duckett zipped 64 yards to give Temple a 7-6 halftime lead, but there was nothing funny about the way the Nittany Lions handled the Owls' Brian Broomell, who came into the game as the nation's most efficient passer. Broomell was sacked six times for 43 yards, was intercepted three times and completed only four of 16 passes for 46 yards. And Temple, which had been averaging 35.8 points a game, lost the total-offense battle 339 yards to 134 and the game 22-7. Penn State's second-half surge was built around Matt Suhey's pair of one-yard touchdown plunges and Herb Menhardt's third field goal of the day. Both teams accepted bowl bids, the Nittany Lions to the Liberty against Tulane, and the Owls to the Garden State, their first bowl since the inaugural Sugar Bowl in 1935.
Pittsburgh, too, made life miserable for quarterbacks, sidelining Army's Earle Mulrane with a concussion and sacking his substitute, Jerryl Bennett, for a safety in a 40-0 romp. On their way to earning a Fiesta Bowl berth, the Panthers held the Cadets to minus nine yards passing, got two short scoring runs from Ray Jones and 272 yards passing from Dan Marino, who hit on 17 of 30 throws.
Rutgers and Syracuse were upset, the Scarlet Knights by Villanova 32-17 and the Orangemen by Boston College 27-10. The Wildcats got three field goals from Chuck Bushbeck and a couple of TD runs from Don Zeisel. Three missed field goals and two lost fumbles led to Syracuse's defeat. After a scoreless first half, John Loughery took over as the BC quarterback and got the Eagles untracked by passing for one touchdown and running for another.
November 26, 1979
Yale was also shocked, losing to Harvard 22-7 for its only defeat of the year. Crimson Quarterback Burke St. John passed 39 yards for one score, ran two yards for a second and led an attack that gained 248 yards against the Elis, whose defense had allowed an average of only 166 yards, the best in the country. In other Ivy League action, Brown beat Columbia 31-14, Princeton stopped Cornell 26-14 and Dartmouth downed Penn 20-6.
No two teams have squared off against each other more often than Lehigh and Lafayette, which met for the 115th time. The Engineers, who led Division I-AA in scoring defense with a 7.6-points-per-game average, coasted to a 24-3 win. It was a dreary day for the Leopards, who lead the series 63-47-5, as their runners had a net of zero yards, having gained 57 and been thrown for 57 in losses.
Ithaca (N.Y.) College knocked off Dubuque 27-7 in a Division III playoff game. The Bombers intercepted nine passes, two short of the NCAA record.
Since the Pennsylvania Conference adopted a playoff system in 1960, the two most lackluster teams in the league have been Cheyney State (20-83-2 going into this season) and Lock Haven State (33-73-2). This year, though, they met for the conference championship, with Lock Haven leading 41-0 at the half and coasting to a 48-14 win. Dan Spittal hit on 13 of 18 passes for 174 yards and a touchdown and ran for two more TDs, and Joe Speese rushed for three scores as the Bald Eagles wrapped up one of the year's most remarkable turnarounds. They finished with a 9-2 record after having been 1-8-1 in 1978.
1. PITTSBURGH (9-1)
2. PENN STATE (7-3)
3. TEMPLE (8-2)
Missouri found out that beating Oklahoma is no snap. The Tigers led 9-7 at halftime, but on the third play of the second half Sooner Billy Sims broke loose on a brilliant run. Starting from his own 30, he burst over the middle, was completely spun around by a would-be tackier at the Missouri 30, eluded another Tiger at the 20 and dashed on for a 70-yard touchdown. Then Oklahoma drove 80 yards to a score on its next possession, Sims zipping and darting for 67 of those yards. In all, Sims gained 154 yards in the third period, and Oklahoma needed every one of them to come away with a 24-22 Big Eight victory.
Quarterback Phil Bradley kept the Tigers on the go, completing 16 of 23 passes for 222 yards and scoring the game's final points on a 68-yard scamper with 9:01 left. Missouri had a chance to pull out the victory, getting a first down on the Oklahoma 25 with 3:18 remaining. When the march stalled, the Tigers went for a 37-yard field goal by Ron Verilli, who earlier had kicked a 39-yarder. This time the snap was high, spoiling Verilli's timing, and his boot was short.
Starting at quarterback for the first time since the season opener, Nebraska's Jeff Quinn put some spark back into the Huskers' passing attack, connecting on 11 of 17 attempts for 163 yards and a pair of touchdowns in a 34-3 win over Iowa State. Both Quinn's scoring tosses went to Junior Miller and came during a 25-point third-period explosion by Nebraska that finished off the Cyclones. The Huskers, who held Iowa State to 29 yards rushing on 28 carries while their own runners gained 311 yards, will meet Oklahoma this week to determine the Big Eight championship. The winner will go to the Orange Bowl, the loser to the Cotton.
While Ohio State and Michigan fought it out for Big Ten supremacy (page 30), Purdue grabbed second place by beating Indiana 37-21. That win also earned the Boilermakers a trip to the Bluebonnet Bowl. And Purdue won even though Quarterback Mark Herrmann had to leave in the fourth period after sustaining a mild concussion. Herrmann departed with the Boilermakers in front 27-21, and having hit on a career-high 26 passes in 40 tries for 269 yards. Also helping Purdue win the Old Oaken Bucket were Mike Augustyniak, who scored on three one-yard plunges, and Ben McCall, who had a TD, ran for 148 yards and caught five passes for 45 more.
"We have almost climbed the mountain," said Iowa Coach Hayden Fry after his team outlasted Michigan State 33-26. Although the Hawkeyes finished with their 20th straight losing season (5-6), the victory made them 4-4 in the Big Ten and put them in the first division for the first time in 10 years. Iowa was paced by Dennis Mosley, who rambled for 136 yards and wound up as the conference rushing leader with 1,267 yards. But the Hawkeyes might not have won had it not been for some questionable strategy by Spartan Coach Darryl Rogers at the start of the third period. Ahead 16-13, Michigan State needed two inches for a first down at its own 30, and Rogers decided to go for it. The Hawkeyes stopped Bryan Clark's plunge and five plays later scored a touchdown.
Minnesota's Mark Carlson set Big Ten season records for the most completions (157), passing yardage (1,953) and total offense (1,926) with a 20-for-34 performance that netted 227 yards against Wisconsin. But the Badgers overcame a 14-0 deficit and won 42-37 as Quarterback Mike Kalasmiki ran for three TDs and passed for two others.
Notre Dame also blew a lead—the Irish outscored Clemson 10-0 in the first half—and lost 16-10. The Tigers got their points on Billy Lott's 26-yard dash and three field goals by Obed Ariri. Clemson, which will go to the Peach Bowl, triumphed despite 219 yards passing by Rusty Lisch and 110 yards rushing by Vagas Ferguson.
With his total scholarships pared from 85 to 37 and his coaching staff from six assistants to four because of athletic budget cuts. Bill Yung's West Texas State squad was picked to finish last in the MVC. Despite being a dismal 0-5-1 against outsiders, the Buffaloes ran their league record to 5-0 and clinched first place by beating off Drake 28-13.
1. NEBRASKA (10-0)
2. OHIO STATE (11-0)
3. OKLAHOMA (9-1)
There was juicy news in Tallahassee, where Florida State accepted an Orange Bowl bid after swamping Memphis State 66-17. The Tigers, who were ninth nationally in pass defense and had allowed only three touchdown passes all season, were riddled by Jimmy Jordan's three TD tosses in the second period. In all, Jordan was on target with 18 of 29 throws for 189 yards.
Things were hardly so sweet for Georgia which fell 33-13 to Auburn, thereby losing a chance to clinch a share of first place in the SEC and a Sugar Bowl berth. On its first offensive play, Georgia lost Quarterback Buck Belue, who suffered a broken ankle when tackled for a safety. The Bulldogs led 10-9 at halftime and then crumbled. In the third period Auburn Defensive Back Bob Harris picked off a pass and pounced on two fumbles to set up 17 points. When James Brooks wasn't zipping around the Bulldogs for 200 yards in 13 carries, Joe Cribbs was hammering through them for 166 in 27 cracks. They became the first two backs on a Southeastern Conference team to rush for 1,000 yards each in the same season; Brooks raised his total to 1,153 yards as he scored on runs of 67 and 44 yards, and Cribbs brought his total yardage to 1,027 and twice went over from the one. However, the Bulldogs still might wind up thinking kindly of the Tigers—if Auburn can topple Alabama on Dec. 1, thereby depriving the Tide of sole possession of first place and enabling Georgia to go to the Sugar Bowl.
There was only one thing unusual about Alabama's 30-0 home win over independent Miami: it wasn't a sellout. Some 6,000 tickets went unsold and quite a few fans didn't bother using those they had bought. What the no-shows and no-buys missed seeing was the Tide's 49th straight victory at Bryant-Denny Stadium, a 'Bama offense that rolled up 444 yards and a defense that held the Hurricanes to 131. Other Alabama statistical notes: Alan McElroy's three field goals gave him a team-record 14 for the season; five interceptions ran the Tide's total to a school-high 25 for the year; and Steadman Shealy hit on nine of 14 passes for 187 yards.
Mississippi's much-maligned defense intercepted a Tennessee pass in the end zone and recovered three fumbles, each of which was turned into a touchdown, as the Rebels pulled off a 44-20 SEC upset. Leon Perry of Ole Miss rushed for 126 yards and three TDs.
North Carolina State clinched the ACC championship, but North Carolina got the bowl bid. The Wolfpack, which may yet go to a postseason game, decked Duke 28-7 with the help of three interceptions by Cornerback Eric Williams. The Tar Heels beat Virginia 13-7 behind angry Quarterback Matt Kupec. "I feel like they [the Carolina coaches] spit in my face," said Kupec, whose only completion in five pass attempts was an eight-yard touchdown toss to Mike Chatham. What irked Kupec, the Tar Heels' alltime leading passer, was that he had been benched in the first half. Kupec's 17th scoring pass of the season tied an ACC record and enabled Carolina to earn a Gator Bowl bid.
South Carolina was bound for the Hall of Fame Bowl following a 35-14 win over Wake Forest, which will make its first postseason trip since 1948, when it faces LSU in the Tangerine Bowl. The Gamecocks intercepted three passes, got 315 yards from their runners and two Garry Harper-to-Zion McKinney touchdown throws.
Charlie Wysocki of Maryland had his best day of the season, rushing for 222 yards as the Terps whipped Louisville 28-7.
For Georgia Tech, the big gun was Mike Kelley, who completed 16 of 30 passes for 361 yards and set a team single-game record of 376 yards of total offense. Kris Kentera caught six passes for 203 yards, three for touchdowns covering 57, 57 and 40 yards.
McNeese (La.) State, which had won five games by three points or fewer, had something of a breather—at least by the Cowboys' standards. They remained unbeaten with a 10-6 victory over Southwestern Louisiana.
A 45-44 loss to Furman cost The Citadel a share of the Southern Conference title. The Paladins prevailed despite the Cadets' Tim Russell, who hit on 13 of 20 passes for 362 yards and six touchdowns and ran for 49 more yards. Mark Slawson turned four of those throws into TD plays covering 53, 78, 31 and eight yards.
The Mean Green of North Texas State lost to Leander (Lean) Green of East Carolina. Green, a 5'7" quarterback, directed the Pirate wishbone to 600 yards in total offense as he passed for 195 yards and rushed for another 90 in a 49-16 victory.
1. ALABAMA (10-0)
2. FLORIDA STATE (10-0)
3. AUBURN (8-2)
A Rose Bowl berth is a Rose Bowl berth is a Rose Bowl berth. Well, maybe. Southern Cal, which thought it had locked up that distinction with a 24-17 defeat of Washington on Nov. 10, found out it must beat UCLA this week to earn it all over again. That's the result of the latest calamity in Arizona State's troubled season, a Pac-10 ruling that the Sun Devils had to forfeit their three conference victories after eight Arizona State players had been declared ineligible. All eight had been falsely credited with successfully completing a summer extension course. Washington, which had its 12-7 loss to Arizona State turned into a win by the ruling, will go to Pasadena if USC is upset by UCLA. The Huskies, who took Washington State 17-7 as Vince Coby ran for 112 yards, will play in the Sun Bowl if the Trojans clinch the Pac-10 title. Raindrops kept falling on Oregon players, and UCLA runners kept running over the Ducks, amassing 446 yards during a 35-0 win. Freeman McNeil rushed for 164 of them as the Bruins threw only six passes. But freshman Quarterback Tom Ramsey completed four, two for touchdowns.
California Coach Roger Theder drew the line when it came to his Bears scoring against Stanford. After a 17-yard Cal pass from Rich Campbell to Joe Rose in the end zone had been ruled incomplete because the catch had been made beyond what was thought to be the endline, Theder protested. He argued that although Rose had caught the ball behind one line, he had made the reception inside another line two feet farther back. And unlike the officials, Theder, who was once an assistant at Stanford, knew the second stripe was the endline. After confirming that, Back Judge John Barger reversed his verdict, giving California a fourth-quarter touchdown and a 21-14 triumph. Campbell had 23 completions in 33 attempts for 314 yards and three touchdowns. Quarterback Turk Schonert of the Cardinals hit on 22 of 32 for 222 yards and two TDs.
Arizona State took its frustrations out on West Virginia, 42-7, as Mark Malone connected on 16 of 24 passes for 239 yards and Robert Weathers ran for 130 yards.
With Quarterback Van Heflin racing 70 and 80 yards for scores, Vanderbilt led 29-23 at Air Force. But as time ran out Dave Ziebart of the Falcons fired a 14-yard pass into the end zone where Andy Bark made a diving catch. Jim Sturch then kicked the extra point and Air Force won 30-29.
"We couldn't sustain anything on the ground and that's our bread and butter," said Utah Coach Wayne Howard after a 27-0 loss to Brigham Young. Cougar defenders sandwiched those bread-and-butter runners by holding them to 167 yards, 83 below their WAC average. BYU's meal ticket, Marc Wilson, equaled an NCAA record with his seventh 300-yard-total-offense performance of the season. He connected on 23 of 37 passes for 374 yards.
A 42-20 conquest of Texas-El Paso kept San Diego State in the running for the WAC title and a Holiday Bowl berth. The Aztecs, who face conference favorite BYU this week, broke a 14-14 tie when Charlie Crews returned the second-half kickoff 100 yards for a touchdown. Two other State backs kept the offense churning, Mark Halda by passing for 174 yards and Tony Allen by rushing for 138.
1. USC (9-0-1)
2. BYU (10-0)
3. WASHINGTON (9-2)
Although Texas A&M guarded against wide sweeps and long completions by Arkansas, Darryl Bowles plowed up the middle and Kevin Scanlon tossed short gainers. Bowles, a freshman halfback, gained 169 yards and scored on runs of 22 and eight yards. Scanlon was on the mark with 12 of 15 passes for 127 yards. And Ish Ordonez, Arkansas' accurate and high-scoring placekicker, booted field goals of 45, 26 and 41 yards as the Razorbacks won 22-10.
If the Hogs defeat Southern Methodist this week and Texas and Houston win their two remaining games, a three-way tie for the SWC title will result. Arkansas then will go to the Cotton Bowl because, of the three teams, the Hogs have been to Dallas least recently. However, if Texas loses a game, Houston will go to the Cotton Bowl, because it beat Arkansas this year. The Sugar Bowl will get either Arkansas or Texas.
Texas beat Texas Christian 35-10. Four of the Longhorn touchdowns were scored on short runs by Jam Jones, who ran for 127 yards, 94 more than the Horned Frogs.
A Peach Bowl bid was Baylor's reward for drubbing Rice 45-14. The Bears piled up 510 yards, 134 of them on the ground by Walter Abercrombie. Freshman Quarterback Mike Brannon of Baylor rushed for 101 yards and two touchdowns and passed for 78 yards and six more points.
1. TEXAS (8-1)
2. HOUSTON (8-1)
3. ARKANSAS (9-1)
PLAYERS OF THE WEEK
OFFENSE: Billy Sims, a 6-foot, 205-pound senior tailback, led Oklahoma to a 24-22 victory over Missouri by rushing for 282 yards, including a 70-yard sprint for his 22nd touchdown of the season, the most in the nation.
DEFENSE: James Otis, a 6'4", 200-pound freshman end for Mississippi, tackled Tennessee ballcarriers 14 times—13 by himself—and prevented a touchdown by racing crossfield to nab a runner as the Rebels won 44-20.