In 1887 a group of Michigan students visited Notre Dame to introduce a new game: football. Over the years, Michigan returned to South Bend five more times, never losing. But last week the Wolverine win streak finally ended. To the amazement of both the Michigan players and 59,075 fans at Notre Dame Stadium, leftfooted Placekicker Harry Oliver booted the longest field goal of his career, a 51-yarder against the wind, on the last play of the game to give the Irish a 29-27 victory. "I prayed, oh, how I prayed," Oliver said. "I kept reminding myself, 'Point your toe, point your toe.' "
His dramatic kick ended a topsy-turvy game that both teams had seemingly won at one point or another. Overcoming a 14-0 deficit, Michigan took a 21-14 lead when Anthony Carter returned the second-half kickoff 67 yards and Stan Edwards scored from the two. That lead stood up until Notre Dame's John Krimm scored on a 49-yard interception return and, with three minutes left in the game, Phil Carter added another touchdown on a four-yard run. The score: N.D. 26, Michigan 21. But then Wolverine Running Back Butch Woolfolk scampered 37 yards to the Notre Dame four and, with 0:41 to go, tipped a John Wangler pass into the hands of Tight End Craig Dunaway for a one-yard TD. Michigan led 27-26. Whereupon the Irish unveiled a shotgun formation, freshman Blair Kiel throwing, and drove to the Michigan 34 on two completions and an interference penalty. With four seconds showing on the clock, Oliver kicked the game-winner.
Nebraska's Jarvis Redwine raced 69 yards to score on his first carry and left in the middle of the third period with 153 yards rushing as Nebraska whipped Iowa 57-0. The Corn-huskers outgained the Hawkeyes 565-163, and outthought them, too. Anticipating a wide rush from the Iowa ends, Nebraska Coach Tom Osborne inserted an off-tackle option play. Using it, his four quarterbacks gained 112 yards and scored twice. "They picked us apart like a chicken with their audibles," said Iowa Coach Hayden Fry. Missouri was also finger-lickin' good, feasting on Illinois 52-7. Safety Kevin Potter had six tackles, caused a fumble and broke up a pass, and James Wilder ran for 105 yards.
Frustrated by a gusting 35-mph wind in Lawrence, Kans., Pitt's Rick Ryan got off punts of 19, 16 and 27 yards in the first quarter, enabling the Jayhawks to take a 3-0 lead on Bruce Kallmeyer's 25-yard field goal. When the sides changed, however, it was Kansas that got blown out. The Panthers' Dave Trout tied the score with a 21-yard field goal, and Dan Marino completed 17 of 38 passes for 240 yards and two touchdowns. Final score: Pitt 18, Kansas 3.
Minnesota controlled the ball eight minutes longer than Ohio State, ran off 18 more plays and got three more first downs. Unfortunately, the Gophers also dominated the turnover statistics 7-1, had one punt blocked and had another aborted when the punter's knee touched down on the Minnesota 10. Vlade Janakievski had four field goals and five conversions for 17 points to lead the Buckeyes to a 47-0 win. Jim McMahon contributed to all the BYU scoring, throwing for three scores and running for one as the Cougars beat Wisconsin 28-3.
The Iowa State game ball went to Defensive Coordinator Larry Coyer. Why? Because Coyer collected passing data on San Jose State Quarterback Steve Clarkson and fed it into a computer. The computer advised Coyer to keep Clarkson guessing. "We played three, four and five-man lines, sometimes used five backs and moved around, never showing him the same defense," Coyer said. Clarkson completed only 16 of 55 passes and had three intercepted. Linebacker Mark Carlson ran one of them back for Iowa State's first score, and the Cyclones went on to win 27-6.
UCLA put a fake punt to good use in a 23-14 win over Purdue. Leading 10-7 in the second quarter, the Bruins lined up in punt formation at the Purdue 39. But instead of hiking the ball to Punter Matt McFarland, Center Dan Dufour snapped to Safety Kenny Easley, who was in as a blocker for McFarland. Easley raced to the Purdue 14. The play set up the second of Norm Johnson's three field goals, a 24-yarder.
OHIO STATE (2-0) NEBRASKA (2-0) OKLAHOMA (1-0)
Arizona State controlled the ball for only 20 of the 60 minutes but dominated the scoring in a 42-14 win over Oregon State. The Sun Devil offense made quick work of it, putting together brisk scoring drives of 80, 69, and 71 yards. Mike Pagel completed 12 of 20 passes for 134 yards, including a scoring pass to John Mistier, while Willie Gittens, with three touchdowns, and Gerald Riggs, who ran 87 yards, kept the ground game going. But it was a stalwart defense that had Arizona State Coach Darryl Rogers gloating. Led by Linebacker Vernon Maxwell, who ran an interception back 58 yards for a TD, the defenders bottled up OSU's veer. Only Tony Robinson, who rushed for his weight (168) in yards, made much headway for the Beavers. "A classic example of bend but don't break," said Rogers.
Freshman Jon Poole kicked a 29-yard field goal with six seconds left to give 14-point underdog Colorado State a 15-13 victory over Arizona and spoil Coach Larry Smith's home debut. Trailing 13-6 with 2:41 left, the Rams' national passing leader, Steve Fairchild, who hit 30 of 50 throws for 330 yards in the evening, engineered a 49-yard scoring drive, which took 1:38, but State missed a two-point conversion and trailed 13-12. So the Rams successfully executed an onside kick and recovered at the Wildcats' 48. Fairchild moved Colorado State to the Arizona 13 on three plays, setting up Poole's third field goal.
"Our defense did a great job in stopping George Rogers," said Southern Cal Coach John Robinson. Stopping George Rogers? The South Carolina back had his 13th consecutive 100-yard game, gaining 141 yards in 26 carries. But Robinson wasn't kidding. Using as many as eight men on the line, the Trojans had held Rogers to 65 yards after three periods. By that time, capitalizing on Dennis Edwards' fumble recovery and Dennis Smith's interception, Southern Cal had built up a 23-6 lead. So Rogers' fourth-quarter stats and touchdown meant little as the Trojans went on to win 23-13. Another misleading statistic was Marcus Allen's 107 yards on 31 carries. Before proclaiming him the Trojans' latest Heisman candidate, consider that the longest run from scrimmage by a USC tailback this season has been 13 yards.
Among the five Pac-10 teams eligible for the Rose Bowl, unbeaten Washington looks the strongest. The Huskies routed Northwestern 45-7 as Toussaint Tyler scored three times and Quarterback Tom Flick completed seven of 10 for 189 yards and one TD—in little more than a quarter. Led by an offensive line that goes 255 pounds per man, Washington scored on its first seven possessions.
USC (2-0) UCLA (2-0) WASHINGTON (2-0)
For the second straight week Houston outgained an opponent, but lost. The Cougars, who had more total offensive yardage, 352-280, than Miami of Florida, were upset 14-7 on a freak play. With Miami leading 7-0 in the second quarter, a Hurricane punt hit Houston Defensive Back Donnie Love in the back and was recovered at the 14 by Miami Center Don Bailey. Jim Joiner then ran six yards for the clinching score.
Two other Southwestern Conference powers, Texas and Arkansas, also had scares. However, the breaks went their way, and they won. Trailing Utah State 17-7 late in the first half, the Longhorns ran off four long drives to win 35-17. Jam Jones scored the go-ahead touchdown on a one-yard run following a pass-interference penalty. Tied at the half 7-7 with Oklahoma State, Arkansas went ahead 10-7 when Thomas Brown fielded the second-half kickoff five yards in the end zone and, instead of downing the ball, ran it back 53 yards to set up a 40-yard field goal by Ish Ordonez. The Razorbacks went on to win 33-20. SMU won its ninth straight over TCU, but barely. In fact, if Mike Ford hadn't taken the Mustangs the length of the field, scoring the winning TD on a one-yard dive at 0:55, SMU would have lost 14-10 instead of winning 17-14. Earlier, Cornerback John Simmons had kept the Mustangs in the game by blocking two TCU field-goal attempts, intercepting a pass and setting up a field goal with an 18-yard punt return.
Penn State was on hand for the dedication of Texas A&M's renovated Kyle Field, but the Nittany Lions were hardly polite guests, winning 25-9 in a game in which the Aggies crossed the 50-yard line only twice. The opening kickoff had to be replayed because a television network taping the game wasn't ready when the first whistle was blown. Texas A&M, suggested a press-box wit, should have asked for a replay of the entire game.
TEXAS (2-0) ARKANSAS (1-1) SMU (2-0)
Two Western teams came East and wished they had stayed on the other coast. California Quarterback Rich Campbell, who had set an NCAA record with 43 completions the previous week, was held to 19 by Army, a two-touchdown underdog that came up a 26-19 winner. The Cadet defense held California twice on goal-line stands, and Army's Jerryl Bennett threw two TD passes to Larry Pruitt. Boston College got its biggest win since a 1976 upset of top-ranked Texas by beating 11th-ranked Stanford 30-13. The BC defense intercepted Cardinal Quarterback John Elway four times, and one of the Eagles interceptors, Defensive Back Mike Mayock, also kept Stanford's celebrated receiver, Ken Margerum, from scoring.
Two Midwestern visitors didn't fare much better. Kent State traveled to Annapolis and was shut down 31-3 by the Navy defense, which hasn't allowed a touchdown in two games. The Midshipmen converted four turnovers into a like number of TDs. Miami of Ohio, Syracuse's guest for the opening of the Carrier Dome, fell 36-24 to the Orangemen.
While Dartmouth whipped Penn 40-7, defending Ivy League champion Yale recovered five fumbles and intercepted a pass en route to a 45-17 win at Brown. In the play that broke it open for the Elis, Quarterback John Rogan threw an up-for-grabs pass to the Brown 21. Yale Tailback Rich Diana wrestled the ball away from Bruin Safety Jeff Gradinger and bolted into the end zone, giving the Elis a 31-17 bulge. Cornell recovered two fumbles deep in Princeton territory, scored each time and went on to win 17-7. Harvard Quarterback Brian Buckley passed for 137 yards and rushed for 55 more as the Crimson defeated Columbia 26-6.
Charlie Wysocki scored both Maryland touchdowns in its 14-11 victory at West Virginia. Rutgers whipped Cincinnati 24-7 as Deron Cherry faked a punt and threw a 30-yard touchdown pass. Fifteen seconds later Mark Pineiro picked off a Cincy pass and ran 47 yards for another score.
PITT (2-0) PENN STATE (2-0) RUTGERS (2-0)
Top-ranked Alabama scored three times in just over three minutes of the first quarter, rolled up 524 yards of total offense and won its 23rd consecutive game, 59-35 over Mississippi. Nonetheless, Ole Miss Coach Steve Sloan was pleased, at least with his offense. "If somebody had told me we were going to score 35 points against that defense, I would've guaranteed that Alabama's win streak wouldn't exceed 22 games," he said. John Fourcade completed 21 of 43 passes for 296 yards and four touchdowns as Mississippi gained 500 yards. The losers didn't begin to click, however, until after Alabama had taken a 21-0 first-period lead. Billy Jackson and Linnie Patrick each gained more than 100 yards rushing for the Tide.
Despite a sprained right ankle, James Brooks accumulated 187 yards and scored twice to lead Auburn to a 35-28 win over Duke. Florida State ran on 81 of 100 offensive plays and beat East Carolina 63-7. Sam Piatt, whose 29 carries were good for 130 yards, was the Seminole workhorse. Florida overwhelmed Georgia Tech 45-12 as Quarterback Bob Hewko threw for two touchdowns and ran for a third.
Scott Woerner's interception and punt return enabled Georgia to defeat Clemson 20-16. It was a good thing the Bulldogs' defense was sharp because their offense wasn't. In fact, the longest Georgia TD drive covered two yards; Running Back Buck Belue went that distance after Woerner's interception had given Georgia the ball on the Tigers' two. Held to 12 yards in the first half, the Bulldogs' Herschel Walker ran for 109 after intermission and set up field goals of 42 and 27 yards by Rex Robinson.
Beaten in the closing moments of its first two games, Tennessee needed a big play to avoid a possible upset by winless Washington State. The Vols squandered a 28-3 first half margin, led by just 28-23 with a little more than four minutes left and were third and eight on their own 13. Quarterback Steve Alatorre chose that perilous moment to uncork a 45-yard pass to Anthony Hancock. Eight plays later, Glenn Ford scored from four yards out and Tennessee won 35-23.
Quarterback Tim Clifford threw a 27-yard last-ditch pass to the coach's son, Flanker Steve Corso, to give Indiana a 36-30 win over Kentucky. "It was the old pine-tree play," Steve explained. In high school he and his father, Indiana Coach Lee Corso, would practice the play. "I'd go out, fake to the apple tree and cut to the pine tree." Defensive Back Tim Wilbur accounted for two other Indiana scores, running 78 yards on a punt return and 40 yards with an interception.
ALABAMA (2-0) FLORIDA ST. (3-0) NORTH CAROLINA (2-0)
PLAYER OF THE WEEK
OFFENSE: Joe Morris, a 5'7", 182-pound running back, scored four times, gained 170 yards on 32 carries and became the No. 3 career rusher (2,693 yards) in Syracuse history, as the Orange defeated Miami of Ohio 36-24.
DEFENSE: Scott Woerner, a 6'1", 190-pound defensive back, returned a punt 67 yards for one touchdown and set up another with a 98-yard interception runback in leading Georgia to a 20-16 victory over Clemson.