Knoxville Mayor Randy Tyree proclaimed it Beat 'Bama Week and opened "the hunting season on any species of Alabama bears." Yes, sir, Tennessee's hopes were high. During the game, though, the Crimson Tide socked it to the Vols and the weather soaked it to them. By halftime, 'Bama was in front 17-0 and had limited Tennessee to minus two yards of total offense. Vol fans in the crowd of 96,748, the largest ever in the South, were further silenced when three Tennessee third-quarter opportunities were snuffed out as the Tide intercepted a pair of passes and blocked a field goal. Alabama wrapped up the rainy second half, and its 27-0 win, with a touchdown and Peter Kim's fourth field goal of the day.
Two days before his team took on Vanderbilt, Georgia Coach Vince Dooley's car was struck from behind and spun around before coming to a stop, rather appropriately, smack on top of a Bulldog symbol painted on the pavement near campus. Dooley suffered nothing more than a bruised lip, but the Commodores were left black and blue by the Bulldogs, who clobbered them 41-0 in another SEC game. Doing much of the damage was freshman Tailback Herschel Walker, who broke loose for 283 yards on 23 carries, shattering Charlie Trippi's 35-year-old Georgia single-game rushing record. Walker scored on runs of 60, 48 and 53 yards. For a change, the Bulldogs also did some effective passing, making good on 13 of 17 tries for 214 yards.
Mississippi State also had a freshman standout. John Bond, a 6'4", 200-pound quarterback. Bond was instrumental in shredding Miami's rugged defense, which went into the game ranked fourth nationally against the rush, allowing 73 yards per game, and seventh in total defense (208.8 yards). In all, the Bulldogs pierced the Hurricanes for 404 yards, 339 of them on the ground. When Bond wasn't busy passing for 65 yards, he was rushing for 92 or pitching out to teammates for sizable gains. Mississippi State took a 24-10 lead at the half, but Miami pulled even at 31-31 late in the third quarter when Mark Rush ran back a kickoff 92 yards. A 37-yard field goal by Dana Moore put the Bulldogs back on top 34-31 early in the fourth period and that's where they stayed as they staved off one last Miami threat. The Hurricanes' final chance came when they had a first down at the Mississippi State three. Three plays later they were five yards out, and when a fourth-down field-goal try missed, they were done.
Florida's Brian Clark didn't miss any three-pointers, as he equaled an SEC record with five in an all-field-goal 15-3 triumph at Mississippi. Clark's boots, which ranged from 19 to 47 yards, made up for the four he missed against Louisiana State two weeks earlier.
Although he kicked only one field goal, Al Del Greco of Auburn made it count. His 21-yarder late in the fourth quarter led to a 17-14 victory over Georgia Tech, which put up a gritty battle despite having to play the entire game without both its front-line quarterback and leading rusher, who were injured.
LSU remained tied with Alabama for first place in the SEC by winning 17-10 at Kentucky. After the Wildcats had squared matters at 10-10 with 6:50 to go, the Tigers scored the clincher on a two-yard run by Alan Risher with 41 seconds left.
Freshman Quarterback Ben Bennett directed Duke to a 34-17 ACC upset at Clemson. Bennett, who was on target with 23 of 32 passes for 257 yards, also helped the Blue Devils break their 11-game losing streak when, in a reversal of roles, he caught a 13-yard scoring pass from Halfback Mike Grayson.
Virginia lost 30-0 at Virginia Tech before the largest football crowd in the state's history—52,000. Cyrus Lawrence lugged the ball a school-record 40 times, gained 194 yards and scored twice for the Hokies, now 6-1.
Three other independents also gained lopsided triumphs. Florida State defeated Boston College 41-7, allowing only 105 yards in total offense and sacking Eagle quarterbacks six times. Bill Capece of the Seminoles booted four field goals, giving him nine in the last two games. Altogether, Capece has been successful on 18 of 20 attempts, making him the No. 1 field-goal kicker in the nation. Winless Cincinnati trailed South Carolina 49-7 at the half and that's the way the game ended as the Gamecocks substituted liberally. South Carolina runners, led by George Rogers with 128 yards, gained 424 yards. Southern Mississippi beat Arkansas State 35-0 with Tailback Sammy Winder, the leading scorer in Division 1-A, picking up his 11th and 12th touchdowns, on runs of 12 and five yards. Having won all six of its games and outscored its opponents 195-68, Southern Mississippi has the most dazzling record among the leading major independents in the land. This week the Golden Eagles get their big chance—gulp—at Alabama.
Lehigh, the East's only unbeaten 1-AA team, beat Davidson 49-14. In the process, the Engineers got four scoring passes from Larry Michalsi.
ALABAMA (6-0) GEORGIA (6-0) FLORIDA STATE (6-1)
During a game at Florida State the week before, Pittsburgh Coach Jackie Sherrill wore an elephant-hair bracelet sent him by a fan who said it was endowed with African tribal magic that would help his team. It didn't; the Panthers lost. Against West Virginia last week, Sherrill, no longer wearing the bracelet, found that his Panthers provided their own magic. Most of the wizardry was performed by Rick Trocano, who took over at quarterback after Dan Marino suffered a sprained left knee. Trocano, the team's No. 1 signal caller for part of last season and the starting safety against the Mountaineers, took over with the score tied 7-7. In a five-minute span in the second period, he guided the Panthers to a 35-7 advantage, passing for two touchdowns during that stretch, 53 yards to Dwight Collins and 25 yards to Willie Collier. For the day, Trocano completed 11 of 18 passes for 150 yards and rallied Pitt to a 42-14 triumph.
Booker Moore of Penn State rushed for 100 yards in just 11 carries during a 24-7 victory over injury-plagued Syracuse. But the Nittany Lion touchdowns were scored by Kenny Jackson, on a 13-yard pass from fellow freshman Todd Blackledge, and two short runs by Curt Warner, who rushed for 76 yards and caught four passes for 57 more.
Rutgers, which gave Alabama fits before losing 17-13 a week earlier, was beaten 21-18 by William & Mary.
In a game played at New Jersey's Meadowlands, South Carolina State, No. 1-ranked in the Sheridan Poll of black colleges and tied for first in the NCAA's 1-AA voting, drubbed Morgan State 49-13. The victorious Bulldogs rushed for 441 yards, 256 of them by Henry Odom, who scored six touchdowns.
Bucknell was a 31-21 victor over West Chester (Pa.) State as Ken Jenkins set a Bison record with 341 yards of all-purpose running: 146 rushing, 108 on three touchdown catches and 87 on kick returns. Jenkins is the Division 1-AA leader in the all-purpose category, with an average of 210.3 yards a game.
Dartmouth and Yale were the only unbeatens left in Ivy League play, the Big Green jarring Harvard 30-12 and the Bulldogs beating Columbia 30-10. Brown knocked off Cornell 32-25 and. in non-league games, Penn lost to Lafayette 3-0 and Princeton downed Colgate 14-10.
PITT (5-1) PENN STATE (5-1) RUTGERS (4-2)
Southern Cal did a couple of wondrous things with the ball at Oregon. One of them was the diving, juggling, end-zone catch of a 38-yard Gordon Adams pass by Jeff Simmons. Nifty, too, was Reggie Brown's five-yard run into the end zone for the Ducks, which was a non-touchdown because Trojan Outside Linebacker Chip Banks had stripped him of the ball before he got to pay dirt. Thus, USC clung to a 7-0 lead until late in the third period. That's when Quarterback Kevin Lusk and Wide Receiver Greg Moser set up Oregon's touchdown with a 68-yard pass-run play, which is all the Ducks needed for a surprising 7-7 deadlock. Although the Trojans were disappointed by the tie, it nevertheless stretched their unbeaten streak to 26 games.
"We wanted to restore his confidence, so we devised some reasonably surefire short passes to start the game," Washington Coach Don James said of his plan to help boost Quarterback Tom Flick, whose passing had been barely passable of late. Flick responded by completing five of his first six tries in a pivotal Pac-10 game at Stanford. Two of those "surefire short passes" turned out to be big gainers—41-and 28-yard scoring tosses to Aaron Williams. Undeterred. John Elway cut the Cardinals' deficit to 24-21 by passing for two touchdowns and running two yards for another. Ken Naber then tied the score by kicking a 26-yard field goal with 1:27 left after Stanford had eschewed going for it on fourth-and-two at the Huskie nine. Back came Flick, clearly brimming with confidence, for one last effort. He hit on six passes during a 72-yard drive to the Stanford eight. Overall, Flick was 21 for 33 for 278 yards, but it took a 25-yard field goal by Chuck Nelson as time ran out to give the Huskies a 27-24 triumph and the inside track on a trip to the Rose Bowl.
California kept its hopes alive, too. With Rich Campbell running for one touchdown and passing for another, the Golden Bears wiped out Oregon State 27-6.
Arizona, which had given up only 69 points in four games, lost to Washington State 38-14 for its worst home loss since 1967. Samoa (Here We Go Again) Samoa kept the Wildcats offstride with his 15-for-23 passing, good for 272 yards, and by running for two TDs.
A 26-7 victory at San Diego State put Colorado State atop the WAC. Wyoming knocked Utah out of a share of the lead by defeating the Utes 24-21. Brigham Young remained one game off the pace with a 70-46 triumph at Utah State in which the Cougars had 710 yards of total offense. For the most part, this was aerial warfare, Bob Gagliano of the Aggies connecting for five touchdowns as he completed 29 of 49 for 358 yards, a figure that BYU's Jim McMahon exceeded by 127 yards.
Last season Weber State upset Northern Arizona 34-10. This time around, the Lumberjacks, playing in their domed stadium, returned the favor by handing the Wildcats their first Big Sky loss, 32-7.
UCLA (5-0) USC (5-0-1) WASHINGTON (5-1)
There were 24 seconds left to be played when Texas A&M Quarterback Gary Kubiak ran into the Baylor end zone from three yards out. Did that pull out a dramatic come-from-behind victory for the Aggies? Hardly. All it accomplished was to finally get them on the scoreboard. As Kubiak had sensed even before the opening kickoff—"You could see when they came out they knew they were going to win," he said—the Bears were ready for the Aggies. By halftime, Kubiak's worst fears had been realized: Baylor led 25-0 in points, 15-1 in first downs and 241-34 in total yardage. When it was over, A&M was saddled with a 46-7 loss, its worst defeat in the Southwest Conference since 1970. The Bears, 4-0 in the conference for the first time since 1922, took a two-game lead over idle Texas as Jay Jeffrey passed for three touchdowns and Walter Abercrombie rushed for 143 yards.
Houston Coach Bill Yeoman, who's adamantly opposed to playing freshmen, had to use one against Southern Methodist. With Terry Elston suffering from a dislocated left wrist and Brent Chinn from a deep thigh bruise, 5'11", 166-pound Audrey McMillian was forced into action as the Cougar quarterback. After guiding his team to a 13-11 upset, McMillian said jokingly, "I'm up to six feet and 175 pounds." Wide Receiver Lonell Phea felt 10 feet tall after scoring Houston's lone touchdown on a weird third-quarter play. Terald Clark had run for 17 yards when he fumbled at the Mustang 13. Cougar Wide Receiver Eric Herring tried to pounce on the ball around the seven but knocked it to the three-yard line. And Phea, in his attempt to corral the pigskin, inadvertently shoved it into the end zone before picking it up.
TEXAS (5-0) BAYLOR (6-0) ARKANSAS (4-1)
When the two opposing signal callers—Mark Herrmann of Purdue and Dave Wilson of Illinois—spotted one another as they came off the field following the game, they each spoke the same greeting: "Good game." Understatements, both. When Herrmann left the field he had connected on 24 of 35 passes for a Big Ten-record 371 yards, four touchdowns and a 38-14 lead. Five minutes later Wilson surpassed Herrmann's mark; when he was finished, he had passed for 425 yards and his 35 completions and 58 attempts were also conference records. Altogether, the teams passed for 796 yards, yet another Big Ten record. Purdue's victory knocked Illinois out of first place and moved it into a three-way tie at the top with Ohio State and Michigan.
Senior Tailback Cal Murray rumbled for 224 yards and two touchdowns in Ohio State's 27-17 defeat of Indiana. Other than the fact that the Buckeyes allowed Mike Harkrader of the Hoosiers to run for 117 yards, making him the seventh player in Big Ten history to exceed 3,000 yards in career rushing, Ohio State Coach Earle Bruce was pleased by the results of his frequent use of a five-man defensive line rather than the three-man alignment the Buckeyes had been favoring.
Two touchdown runs by Butch Woolfolk and a pair of scoring strikes from John Wangler to Anthony Carter propelled Michigan to a 37-14 triumph at Minnesota. Wisconsin earned its first conference victory by beating Michigan State 17-7. But Northwestern remained winless, losing 25-3 at Iowa.
Before playing at Kansas, Iowa State Coach Donnie Duncan used zoological metaphors to describe his team. "On defense, we always have two or three guys around the ball like a pack of dogs," Duncan said. Duncan also likened hard-running Dwayne Crutchfield to a bull coming out of the chute. As it turned out, the Jayhawks had some pack dogs and a bull of their own, and they rallied Kansas from a 17-7 deficit to a 28-17 Big Eight victory over the previously undefeated Cyclones. Kansas scored after recovering Iowa State fumbles at the Cyclone eight and 32. A pair of freshmen who used to be California high school teammates, Quarterback Frank Seurer and Tailback Kerwin Bell, clicked on a six-yard scoring pass after the first of those fumble recoveries. Following the next recovery, Bell slammed over from two yards out for the points.
With Jeff Quinn and Craig Johnson taking care of the offense and with the defense shutting down Oklahoma State's attack, Nebraska prevailed 48-7. Quinn completed 10 of 14 passes for 155 yards and two touchdowns and ran for 81 yards. Johnson, filling in for injured Jarvis Redwine, topped off his 105 yards rushing with three TDs. Against the Husker defense the Cowboys wound up with minus 13 yards on 39 carries.
Hapless Colorado was a 45-7 loser at Missouri. The Tigers got 106 yards rushing from James Wilder, 139 yards passing from Phil Bradley and three TDs from Terry Hill.
When Oklahoma freshman Buster Rhymes took the opening kickoff at the goal line, broke loose from two Kansas State defenders at mid-field and went all the way for a school-record 100-yard touchdown run, the anticipated rout seemed to be under way. Indeed, the Sooners led 28-0 before the Wildcats pounced on a Sooner fumble, picked off a pass and scored after both to narrow their deficit to 28-14. Next came a five-play, 84-yard drive by Kansas State that was climaxed by a fourth-down 36-yard pass from Darrell Dickey to John Liebe to make it 28-21. But Oklahoma put the game away, 35-21, when Rhymes scored again, this time from one yard out.
Notre Dame's Jim Stone, playing at tailback in place of injured Phil Carter, ran for 122 yards aginst Army. That was just five more yards than the Irish were assessed in penalties on their way to a 30-3 victory.
Western Michigan moved in front in the Mid-American race, beating Toledo 17-7, while Central Michigan fell to third after a 21-0 loss at Northern Illinois.
Kansas Wesleyan ended the nation's longest winning streak at 34 games by beating Bethany 20-12 in a Kansas Conference encounter. But Nebraska-Omaha and Northern Michigan, which were ranked 1-2, respectively, in Division II, both ran their records to 7-0. The Nebraskans defeated South Dakota 18-7. and Northern beat Delaware 22-7.
NOTRE DAME (5-0) NEBRASKA (5-1) OHIO STATE (5-1)
PLAYERS OF THE WEEK
OFFENSE: BYU junior Jim McMahon, whose 358 yards in total offense in the first half, 342 of it passing, set an NCAA record, hit on 21 of 33 passes for 485 yards and six TDs during a 70-46 win at Utah State.
DEFENSE: Junior Cornerback Dennis Tabron helped Duke beat Clemson 34-17 by making five tackles, deflecting a pass and intercepting three others, which he ran back for 128 yards (one for a TD), an ACC record.