Several weeks ago, Clemson Strong Safety Willie Underwood and Linebacker Jeff Davis came up with the colorful idea of having the Tigers wear orange uniform pants for their shootout against intrastate rival South Carolina. Clemson Coach Danny Ford listened to the suggestion but kept mum. Then, at the team breakfast last Saturday, he spoke up: the Tigers would, indeed, wear orange pants for the first time ever, along with their home orange jerseys. Despite the running of George Rogers, who ripped off 168 yards and regained the lead as the nation's No. 1 rusher with a 161.9 average, South Carolina was limited to a pair of field goals, and orange power prevailed. The Gamecock three-pointers were kicked by Eddie Leopard, giving him a school record of 11 in a row. Obed Ariri of Clemson matched those two kicks to set an NCAA single-season record of 23. With the score 6-6 in the third period, Underwood set up a touchdown by returning an interception 64 yards. He picked off another pass a minute later and ran it back 37 yards for six more points as Clemson pulled off a 27-6 upset. "The uniforms helped fire us up," Underwood said.
Something vastly different was motivating Maryland: a three-part series in the Washington Post (Oct. 30-Nov. 1) that said the Terp football program had leveled off and that the team was incapable of winning important games. Understandably, those articles irked the Terps. Since the Post stories appeared, Maryland has won three straight and out-scored the opposition 89-7. The Terrapins topped off the surge last week by drubbing Virginia 31-0 in an ACC game, as Charlie Wysocki rushed for 148 yards. In contrast, Cavalier runners set a team record for futility with minus 17 yards in 27 carries.
With Amos Lawrence breaking loose for 120 of his 143 yards in the first half and with Kelvin Bryant gaining 164 of his 199 in the second half, North Carolina locked up first place in the ACC by defeating Duke 44-21. Lawrence scored on a 56-yard scamper and ended the season with 1,118 yards, tying Tony Dorsett's record of having run for 1,000 or more yards in each of four straight years. Bryant, a sophomore who scored twice, closed out with 1,039, and so the Tar Heels became the 11th NCAA team to have two ballcarriers with 1,000 yards in the same season.
December 1, 1980
North Carolina State got 176 yards rushing from Wayne McLean, overcame a 14-10 half-time deficit and beat East Carolina 36-14. In another non-conference game, Jay Venuto passed for 226 yards and threw two touchdown passes to Kenny Duckett as Wake Forest upended Appalachian State 28-16.
With a 19-14 Southeastern Conference victory over Mississippi, Mississippi State wound up 9-2, its best record since 1940. The Bulldogs, down 14-13 in the fourth quarter, pulled the game out when Michael Haddix scored on a 10-yard run that was set up by John Bond's 54-yard pass to Glen Young.
In a matchup for the Southland Conference title and a berth in the Independence Bowl, McNeese State beat Southwestern Louisiana 14-0. The Ragin' Cajuns, who had been averaging 339.5 yards a game, were held to 164 and never caught up after Stephan Starring put the Cowboys on top with a 27-yard pass to Mike Kysar. Southern Mississippi is also headed for the Independence Bowl despite a rain-drenched 6-3 loss to Louisville. That upset occurred when Dave Betz booted his second field goal of the night, a 38-yarder, with 1:54 remaining.
Miami earned its first postseason invitation in 13 years—to the Peach Bowl to face Virginia Tech. A team-record four field goals by Dan Miller led the Hurricanes to a 26-8 win over North Texas State, which was playing its ninth away game of the year.
Tennessee State's Joe (747) Adams passed for four touchdowns in his final college game, a 38-13 victory over Kentucky State. Adams thus extended his Division I-A record for career touchdown passes to 81.
Barry Redden became the first Richmond runner to gain 1,000 yards in a season, bringing his total to 1,151 by getting 191 yards in a 26-14 defeat of William & Mary. Stump Mitchell's 149 yards on the ground, however, couldn't keep The Citadel from falling 28-15 to the Southern Conference's champion, Furman. Mitchell became the 12th NCAA runner to reach the 4,000-yard plateau, wrapping up his collegiate career with a total of 4,062. Leading Furman to victory were Tim Sorrells, who passed for 195 yards, and Mike Glenn, who ran for 100.
Western Kentucky, which had the only perfect record in Division I-AA, won the coin toss before the Murray State game. From there on, it was all downhill. Western Coach Jimmy Feix had so little respect for Murray's offense that he had his team elect to kick off, hoping to benefit from a moderate tailwind. "The next time I looked up it was 35 to nothing," said Feix, who was on the short end of that startling score. The Racers widened the final margin to 49-0 as Lindsey Hudspeth ran for 150 yards and four touchdowns, and Gino Gibbs passed for 160 yards and three scores.
FLORIDA STATE (9-1)
"We want to go to Miami [to the Orange Bowl] and eat stone crabs and send Nebraska to El Paso [to the Sun Bowl] to eat tamales," said Oklahoma Coach Barry Switzer before playing the Cornhuskers in Lincoln. Since the end of World War II, the winner of the Sooner-Husker showdown has won or shared the Big Eight title 34 of 36 times. Nebraska seemed Miami-bound when Jeff Quinn sneaked in from the one for a 17-14 Husker lead with 3:16 left. But the Sooners went 80 yards in seven plays, freshman Buster Rhymes streaking 43 yards on one gallop and then crashing over from the one four plays later. That gave Oklahoma a 21-17 victory, its ninth in the past 10 games in the series. It also negated the running of Jarvis Redwine of the Huskers, who scored on an 89-yard burst and had 152 yards altogether. But—hold your stone crabs and tamales—Orange Bowl officials had stated earlier that the Sooners would get their bid only if they beat Nebraska and won their season-ender this week against Oklahoma State.
There was no doubt about who would represent the Big Ten in the Rose Bowl; for the fourth time in five years it will be Michigan. A 13-yard pass from John Wangler to Anthony Carter on a third-and-11 play in the third period resulted in the decisive score in the Wolverines' 9-3 victory at Ohio State. Third-down plays were pivotal, Michigan succeeding on 10 of 20, the Buckeyes on only four of 17. Vital, too, were the runs of Butch Woolfolk of the Wolverines, who gained 141 yards. And the Michigan defense, which now hasn't yielded a touchdown in 18 quarters and allowed Ohio State just 123 yards rushing.
Mark Herrmann completed 19 of 23 passes for 323 yards and one touchdown as Purdue nosed out Indiana 24-23. Lonnie Johnson kept the Hoosiers in contention, running for 220 yards, and Steve Corso caught Tim Clifford's seven-yard scoring pass with 17 seconds to go, cutting the Boilermaker lead to one point. That's how it wound up as Mike Marks broke up a pass on a two-point try.
Air Force, which will have traveled farther than any team this season—24,372 miles—came up short at Notre Dame. After the Falcons had held the Irish to a surprising 3-3 halftime standoff, Notre Dame used grind-it-out tactics to win 24-10. Phil Carter put the Irish ahead for keeps with a two-yard run that concluded a 76-yard march during which he carried 13 times for 71 yards. A one-yard plunge by Charlie Heath of Air Force late in the game ended a Notre Dame-record string of 23 periods without giving up a touchdown.
NOTRE DAME (9-0-1)
Unfortunately for West Virginia, its Luck—Quarterback Oliver Luck, that is—didn't last. Luck, who had thrown a five-yard touchdown pass against Syracuse, was knocked out of commission with a separated shoulder late in the second period with the Mountaineers trailing 10-7. From there on, the Orangemen were in control, intercepting four passes as they won 20-7. Syracuse, too, had to make do without a key player. Joe Morris, the school's alltime leading rusher, missed the game because of an injury. Taking his place at halfback was Glenn Moore, a freshman. Moore, wearing the number—44—that once belonged to Orange All-Americas Jim Brown, Ernie Davis and Floyd Little, ran for 192 yards. His running mate, Ken Mandeville, added 120 yards.
Yale clinched its second straight Ivy League title by beating Harvard 14-0. Princeton, with Mark Lockenmeyer passing for three TDs and running for a fourth, edged Dartmouth 27-24. Easier times were had by Cornell, a 31-9 victor over Penn, and by Brown, which defeated Columbia 31-13.
In the football series that has encompassed the greatest number of games, Lehigh allowed Lafayette just 12 yards in total offense in the first half and went on to win 32-0 in the 116th meeting of the teams. The Engineers thus finished as Division I-AA's only unbeaten team.
PENN STATE (9-1)
SMU Quarterback Mike Ford is a man who has had his troubles. He missed most of last season because of a knee injury and had been benched for four games this season because he hadn't been nearly as effective as he had as a freshman and sophomore. But when he took over against Arkansas for Lance McIlhenny, a freshman who had taken his starting job but who had been sidelined by a crunching tackle, Ford got a standing ovation. And when he left late in the game he got another standing O, one he had earned by directing four TD drives during the Mustangs' 31-7 victory. A school record was set when three SMU players each gained more than 100 yards: Eric Dickerson had 107, Craig James added 102 and Flanker Mitchell Bennett had 106 on only three plays, all end-arounds.
Baylor also stuck mainly to the ground—Dennis Gentry sloshed through the rain for 130 yards and scored on puddle-splashers of 64 and 16 yards, and Walter Abercrombie rumbled for 109 yards—in a 16-0 defeat of Texas. That shutout, the first by the Bears over the Longhorns since 1939, enabled Baylor to become the first private school to have a perfect record in Southwest Conference play since Rice in 1949. Terry Elston passed for two touchdowns and ran for another pair as Houston defeated Texas Tech 34-7, and Texas A&M downed Texas Christian 13-10.
Tom Flick of Washington was intercepted twice early on as Washington State zipped to a quick 14-0 lead. But the Huskie quarterback rallied his team to a 30-23 Pac-10 victory by completing 20 of 32 passes for 311 yards and three touchdowns. That offset the efforts of Quarterback Samoa Samoa of the Cougars, who ran 33 and five yards for State's first two scores and passed 33 yards for a third.
For the first time in five years, UCLA earned the right to change the colors of the L.A. Coliseum's Victory Bell from cardinal and gold to blue and gold, coming from behind three times to beat Southern Cal 20-17. Freeman McNeil of the Bruins, who out-rushed USC's Marcus Allen 111 yards to 72, got the decisive points when a 58-yard bomb by Jay Schroeder glanced off a Trojan defender's fingers and into McNeil's hands with 2:07 remaining in the game.
Stanford, which had been hoping for a Peach Bowl offer, was shocked by California 28-23. Cal kept as many as eight men back to try to thwart the passing of John Elway, who nevertheless hit on 27 of 44 attempts for 252 yards and ran for 74 yards. Elway's 326 yards surpassed Cal's 275 yards of total offense, but the Golden Bears won when J Torchio bootlegged the ball three yards into the end zone with 4:37 to go.
Like Elway, junior Gerald Willhite of San Jose State labored in vain. Willhite, the second player ever to catch 50 passes and run for 1,000 yards in the same season, increased his reception total to 55 with two grabs and his rushing yardage to 1,210 as he ran for 39 yards in a 44-38 loss to Utah State.
Brigham Young didn't waste Jim McMahon's lofty numbers, winning the WAC title by zapping Utah 56-6. McMahon passed for 399 yards and three scores, completing 21 of 34. He wound up with three NCAA season records: 42 TD passes and the 46 touchdowns and 278 points he accounted for.
Neil Lomax of Portland State augmented two of his records during a 75-0 rout of Weber State, which had been yielding an average of 26.2 points a game. By passing for five touchdowns and 474 yards as he made good on 32 of 55 tosses, Lomax brought his career figures up to 106 TD throws and 13,220 yards.
PLAYERS OF THE WEEK
OFFENSE: John Bond, a freshman signal-caller, excelled as Mississippi State beat Mississippi 19-14. His 163 yards rushing included a 57-yard touchdown run, and he completed eight of 14 passes for another 151 yards.
DEFENSE: Strong Safety Willie Underwood, in his 47th and last start for Clemson, made his first two interceptions ever, returned them 101 yards—one for a TD—and took part in 17 tackles in a 27-6 upset of South Carolina.