On the surface, Pitt's 14-6 victory over Boston College appeared to be a shocking near-upset. Actually, the third-ranked Panthers played as expected:
•Their inexperienced offense had some shaky moments, losing the ball four times on fumbles and five times on interceptions. Sophomore Quarterback Dan Marino became a hero instead of a goat, however, by completing 23 of 43 passes for 221 yards and twice hitting Benjie Pryor on eight-yard scoring plays.
•Led by Defensive End Hugh Green, who had two sacks and three solo tackles, Pitt's experienced defense held BC to 33 yards rushing and forced seven turnovers.
September 21, 1980
•Coach Jackie Sherrill reached into his bottomless playbook and pulled out two ploys that resulted in scores. After the first Marino-to-Pryor touchdown play in the closing moments of the second quarter, the Panthers milled around as if they were going to line up for a placekick. But, suddenly, Center Russ Grimm sidesnapped the ball to End Ricky Jackson, who followed a phalanx of blockers into the end zone for two points. The decoy play became important when BC scored in the third quarter on a 35-yard pass from John Loughery to Jon Schoen. Trailing 8-6, the Eagles had to try a two-point conversion of their own and failed. A few minutes later Marino decoyed the BC defense by rolling left and then throwing across the field to the unguarded Pryor for his second TD.
Rutgers whipped Temple 21-3 as Ed McMichael completed 15 of 19 passes for 175 yards. Jerryl Bennett threw to Split End Mike Fahnestock for 10 completions, 149 yards and two touchdowns as Army trounced Holy Cross 28-7.
PENN STATE (1-0)
While top-ranked Ohio State had its troubles with Syracuse (page 22), Big Ten archrival Michigan was pressed even harder by lowly Northwestern before winning 17-10. Indeed, with 11 minutes left, the Wolverines, who were the 32-point favorites, were fortunate to be tied 10-10, having scored a field goal following a Northwestern fumble and a touchdown after the Wildcats were penalized for having 12 men on the field for a Michigan punt. With 10:59 to go, Sophomore Quarterback Rich Hewlett put Michigan ahead for good with his second scoring pass of the day, a 23-yarder, to classmate Anthony Carter.
Oklahoma, another heavy favorite, needed a fourth-quarter fumble, an unusual safety and a long pass to beat Kentucky 29-7. Trailing 7-0 at the half, Oklahoma tied the score on sophomore Chet Winters' 13-yard run and Ali Haji-Sheikh's PAT. The Sooners took the lead early in the fourth quarter; after Kentucky fumbled on its own 28, Quarterback J.C. Watts hit Steve Rhodes on a 21-yard pass play, setting up David Overstreet's TD run. Oklahoma subsequently got a safety when Kentucky's Randy Jenkins was called for intentionally grounding the ball from his own end zone. Taking the ensuing free kick, Sooner freshman George Rhymes set up Watts' 12-yard touchdown run with a 36-yard runback, and Watts completed the scoring with a 74-yard bomb to Split End Bobby Grayson.
A third favorite, Purdue, got by Wisconsin 12-6 on field goals of 30, 48, 19 and 40 yards by Rick Anderson. The Boilermakers were more than satisfied, however, because Quarterback Mark Herrmann, who had missed Purdue's season-opening loss to Notre Dame with a sprained thumb, completed 27 of 43 passes for 347 yards.
Yet another ranked team, No. 17 Missouri, beat New Mexico 47-16 in a game that was much closer than the final score indicates. Having upset BYU the previous week, New Mexico used a 5-3 defense to bottle up Missouri's running game and trailed just 19-10 with a minute left in the third quarter. Then Tiger Quarterback Phil Bradley hit Running Back Terry Hill on a 68-yard scoring play, and then Mizzou scored three more times in only 1:43.
The only heavy favorite to win easily was eighth-ranked Nebraska, a 55-9 victor over Utah. The Cornhuskers gained 672 yards, with I-back Jarvis Redwine getting 179 of them on 17 carries and scoring three times.
Iowa used a razzle-dazzle play to upset Indiana 16-7. With 1:44 left in the first half, 5'10", 156-pound sophomore Jeff Brown took a pitchout, headed into the Indiana line and handed off to Quarterback Phil Suess, who ran to his left. Seeing Wingback Doug Dunham alone in the end zone, Suess pulled up and threw him a 24-yard scoring pass.
OHIO STATE (1-0)
Auburn scored its first touchdown of the 1970s on a pass by Pat Sullivan, and the Tigers got their first TD of the 1980s on a pass by Pat's brother, Joe, a 15-yard completion to Bill Grisham that beat TCU 10-7. The game was a dream come true both for Sullivan, a third-string quarterback given a start when Charles Thomas and Randy Campbell were injured, and Grisham, who had been moved to tight end after a season as an interior lineman.
The SMU-North Texas State game took place despite double tragedy. SMU Linebacker Pete Collins was killed in an auto crash in early August, and the night before the game North Texas State Back Bernard Jackson was shot to death outside a bar. Though Eagles' Coach Jerry Moore denied that the shooting had affected his team, North Texas State was obviously shaky, giving up a touchdown on the first play of the game, turning the ball over nine times and losing 28-9.
To rest Famous Amos Lawrence in the 90° heat at Texas Tech—the thermometer recorded a melting 130° on the AstroTurf—North Carolina Coach Dick Crum used Kelvin Bryant at running back for most of the second half. The move paid off when Bryant caught a 58-yard fourth-quarter pass from Rod Elkins to give the Tar Heels a 9-3 win.
The sun shone on all the Division I teams in the Sunshine State. Florida beat California 41-13, Florida State whipped Louisville 52-0, and Miami defeated Florida A&M 49-0. Florida State defenders held Louisville to minus-five yards rushing, and Florida Quarterback Bob Hewko had 10 completions for 146 yards and two touchdowns in leading the Gators to their first win in 14 games. In defeat, Cal's Rich Campbell set an NCAA record by completing 43 passes.
Georgia freshman Running Back Herschel Walker scored three touchdowns and rushed for 145 yards as the Bulldogs routed Texas A&M 42-0. Beaten 16-15 by Georgia on the last play of the game the previous week, Tennessee was again victimized, this time by USC, when Eric Hipp's 47-yard field goal with no time left on the clock knocked off the Vols 20-17. A screaming crowd of 95,049 at Tennessee's Neyland Stadium made every effort to distract Hipp, and the Vols called their last time-out before the placement, hoping Hipp would get the jitters. He didn't. There were other Trojan heroes. Marcus Allen, in the tradition of USC I-backs, carried 39 times for 132 yards, while Quarterback Gordon Adams, in his first start, hit on 17 of 25 passes for 170 yards. Tennessee Linebacker Chris Bolton had 20 tackles. "This was college football at its best," said USC Coach John Robinson. "Ninety-five thousand people, two good teams going at each other. We love this kind of thing." Less enthralled by the joys of football were Memphis State, a 61-7 loser to Mississippi, and Louisiana Tech, beaten 31-11 by Mississippi State.
NORTH CAROLINA (2-0)
It was the week's strangest set of statistics: Colorado outdid UCLA in first downs (20-18), yards passing (205-85), offensive plays (82-66) and total yardage (430-352), but UCLA crushed Colorado in points (56-14). Led by Freeman McNeil's rushing—he had 111 yards in 14 carries—UCLA rolled up a 56-0 halftime lead. Whereupon Bruin Coach Terry Donahue emptied his bench, allowing Colorado to accumulate meaningless second-half yardage.
Slow-starting Washington used a different script but ended with the same sort of result—a 50-7 trouncing of Air Force. The Huskies trailed 7-6 early in the second quarter when Chuck Nelson missed a conversion attempt, breaking a streak of 111 successful extra-point tries by Washington placekickers. But after shaking off his nervousness, Nelson hit a 46-yard field goal and the Huskies began to roll. In all, Quarterback Tom Flick completed 18 of 24 passes for 316 yards and a host of Husky backs rushed for 257 yards, much to the relief of Coach Don James. "I thought at one point in the first quarter that we were one of the worst college football teams I've ever seen," he said.
Disputing James was Houston Coach Bill Yeoman. "We played very poorly," he said after his ninth-ranked, defending Southwest Conference co-champions were upset 29-13 at Arizona State. "It might be the worst game a team of mine ever played." It was indisputably the best game the Sun Devils have ever played for Coach Darryl Rogers, who was making his debut at Arizona State. The Sun Devil defense recovered five fumbles and intercepted four passes. Quarterback Mike Pagel celebrated his 20th birthday by completing 13 of 28 passes, including two scoring throws to End John Mistler, for 159 yards.
Continuing a school tradition of heart-stopping finishes, John Elway threw a 24-yard pass to Flanker Ken Margerum with :38 left to give Stanford a 19-14 victory over Tulane. Margerum's 24th TD catch, a Pac-10 career record, was made possible in part by Tulane's insistence on blitzing Elway and leaving Margerum with single coverage. Continuing Brigham Young's run of excellent quarterbacks, Marc Wilson's successor, Jim McMahon, threw four touchdown passes as BYU beat San Diego State 35-11.
PLAYERS OF THE WEEK
OFFENSE: Iowa sophomore halfback Jeff Brown rushed for more yardage (176 to 136) than the entire Indiana team, caught five passes and set up a touchdown with a 55-yard run as the Hawkeyes defeated the Hoosiers 16-7.
DEFENSE: David Little, a 6'1", 228-pound Florida linebacker and brother of Dolphin Larry Little, made 13 tackles, assisted on three others, recovered two fumbles and caused a third as the Gators whipped California 41-13.