UCLA could empathize with Saturday's upset victims but avoided inclusion by beating Arizona 35-18. Last year the undefeated and second-ranked Bruins were upended by the Wildcats 23-17 as Quarterback Tom Ramsey was sacked seven times and threw two interceptions. Saturday, the stats showed 146 yards through the air, three touchdown passes and no sacks as Ramsey directed a ball-control offense that scored after drives of 76, 94, 80 and 80 yards. Sophomore Halfback Kevin Nelson gained 152 yards in 25 carries and Fullback Frank Bruno added 74 more yards on 16 carries. UCLA also went for a relatively short 37-yard TD trip after an interception by Tom Sullivan, one of his two in the game.
USC, which barely beat Tennessee, 20-17, a year ago, had no problems this time around, routing the Vols 43-7 in its opener. Playing little more than a half, Tailback Marcus Allen rushed for 210 yards and four touchdowns. Allen also caught four passes for 21 yards. "Marcus is a little quicker this year, a little more dynamic," said USC Coach John Robinson in understatement. Also turning in a dynamic performance was Quarterback John Mazur, playing in his first college game; he completed seven of 12 for 91 yards. "John Mazur started as well as any quarterback I've ever coached. He knew more about what, was going on than I did," said Robinson about Mazur's six completions in his first six attempts, including a 50-yard score to Timmy White.
A pair of old hands led Arizona State to a 52-10 win over Utah. Senior Fullback Gerald Riggs rushed for 139 yards and two touchdowns, and Quarterback Mike Pagel passed for three touchdowns as Darryl Rogers got the 100th win of his 17-year coaching career. Washington also won its opener, beating Pacific 34-14, while Washington State defeated Montana State 33-21 and Oregon State overcame a 28-0 deficit to beat Fresno State 31-28, ending a 14-game losing streak.
As usual, footballs were flying in the Western Athletic Conference. Brigham Young Quarterback Jim McMahon, suffering from chills and a fever, burned the Air Force with 28 completions in 39 attempts for 226 yards and four touchdowns in a 45-21 win. At Colorado State, Matt Kofler broke one San Diego State passing record and just missed tying another while leading the Aztecs to a 30-14 win. Kofler completed 35 passes in 52 attempts for 359 yards. The 35 completions erased the mark of 33 set by Jesse Freitas in 1973, while the 52 attempts were just one short of Brian Sipe's 1971 record.
For Alabama, Michigan's loss stood to be its gain. Playing against undermanned Georgia Tech, Alabama seemed sure to rise in the polls, with Bear Bryant's 308th collegiate win, six short of Amos Alonzo Stagg's record. Both events will have to wait for another day. "Our group of skinny-necked youngsters refused to be beaten," said Georgia Tech Coach Bill Curry after Tech, 1-9-1 a year ago, the tie coming against favored Notre Dame, upset 'Bama 24-21. For Tech, it was the first win against the Tide on the road in 25 years. "I played on a couple of Super Bowl championship teams, but this is it," said Curry. "A win in the Super Bowl doesn't come close to matching this." Tech trailed 21-17 with 8:36 remaining but then marched 80 yards for the winning touchdown, scored on a two-yard run by freshman Tailback Robert Lavette with 3:57 to play. Alabama then drove to the Tech 33, but a 50-yard field-goal attempt by Peter Kim fell short. "it wasn't a fluke or an upset," said Bryant. "GT came out and whipped us. They wanted to win a lot worse than we did." Although the Tide outgained Georgia Tech in total offense 384 yards to 262, 'Bama didn't help its cause by losing three fumbles and being flagged with seven penalties for 84 yards, three coming during Tech's scoring drives.
Georgia extended the longest winning streak in college football to 15 with a 27-13 win over California. Although the Golden Bears' run-and-shoot attack amassed 325 yards of total offense against the Bulldogs, 285 of them in the air, Georgia's Herschel Walker helped offset it by running for 167 yards on 35 carries.
The "hero" of North Carolina's 56-0 win over East Carolina was a senior whose football career was cut short by chronic knee problems. Former Offensive Lineman Ken Saylors, acting as a lookout in the area of the Carolina law library, which overlooks the practice field, espied two overeager observers last Wednesday. Saylors told Coach Dick Crum, who went to law school dean Dr. Kenneth Broun. When Broun confronted the two men (later identified as East Carolina assistant coaches Charlie Elmquist and Garry Fast), neither would produce identification and left shortly thereafter. "He (Fast) was in there Tuesday and was in the same seat today, but I didn't want to jump the gun," said Broun. "He was working on a pad with symbols that appeared to be football players. I told him he could use the law library for what it was intended, but that he could not stay and copy down plays." East Carolina's denial of any wrongdoing gained a measure of credence after the Tar Heels rolled up 571 yards of total offense against the Pirates, with Tailback Kelvin Bryant rushing for 211 yards on 19 carries and six touchdowns.
Florida State's meeting with Memphis State was supposed to be a breather for the Seminoles before consecutive road games against Nebraska, Ohio State, Notre Dame, Pitt and LSU. But FSU nearly smothered, escaping with a 10-5 defeat of the Tigers. Clemson defeated Tulane 13-5.
Penn State Coach Joe Paterno seemed neither appreciative nor charitable after the Nittany Lions' 52-0 thrashing of Cincinnati. "We still have a long way to go," said Paterno about an offense that generated 421 total yards and a defense that allowed only 121. Curt Warner provided the fuel for Penn State's offense, rushing for 122 yards and scoring three touchdowns.
"I think this shows we have the potential to beat anybody on our schedule, bar none," said Temple Quarterback Tink Murphy after the Owls beat Syracuse 31-19. Among Temple's upcoming opponents: Penn State on Oct. 3. The ebullient Murphy completed 16 of 26 passes for 192 yards and one touchdown. Other winners were: Navy, which defeated The Citadel 17-7; Rutgers, which beat Colgate 13-5; and Holy Cross, which defeated Boston University 14-6.
"We've studied Nebraska's tendencies for the past several years and our defense knew just about what to expect," said Iowa Coach Hayden Fry. What he didn't say was that for the most part the expectations had been unavailing, to wit, last season's 57-0 blowout by the Cornhuskers. Saturday, however, the Hawkeye defenders were summa cum laude in a 10-7 upset of Nebraska. The Cornhuskers, who were first in the nation in rushing offense a year ago, were held to 150 yards and entered Iowa territory only three times in the first three quarters. "Never have I seen so many do so much on defense to win a game," said Fry in presenting the game ball to Defensive Coach Bill Brashier. On offense Iowa came out in an unbalanced line for the first time since Fry has been at Iowa. "It worked well in the first quarter and into the second before Nebraska caught on," said Fry. By that time Eddie Phillips had scored on a two-yard run and Lon Olejniczak had kicked a 35-yard field goal for the Hawkeyes. Another big Iowa weapon was Punter Reggie Roby, who set a school record with five kicks for 279 yards, a 55.8 average. Nebraska marched to the Iowa 36 but fumbled with 2:51 left. Iowa fumbled the ball right back to the Cornhuskers, who stalled again at the Iowa 39, losing the ball on downs. A final possession resulted in an interception, finally sealing the win for the Hawkeyes.
Purdue also bested a highly regarded opponent, beating Stanford 27-19. Sophomore Quarterback Scott Campbell, whose only other collegiate start came in a nationally telecast game against Notre Dame last year, was boffo before the cameras, completing 14 of 18 passes for 177 yards and one touchdown. Also starring was Tailback Jimmy Smith, who scored three touchdowns, including one on a 100-yard kickoff return. Stanford's John Elway completed 33 of 44 passes for 418 yards and one touchdown, but the Cardinals lost three fumbles and were penalized 15 times for 104 yards.
Viewing Ohio State's 34-13 win over Duke was none other than Woody Hayes, making his first trip to Ohio Stadium for an OSU game since Nov. 25, 1978. Sitting in an obscure radio booth, the 68-year-old Hayes allowed that he "had a hand" in recruiting 21 players on the present OSU team, including junior Tailback Tim Spencer, who scored three touchdowns, one an 82-yard scamper on the Buckeyes' first play from scrimmage. Quarterback Art Schlichter, another Hayes recruit, ran for one score and passed for another. In other games involving Big Ten teams Illinois beat Michigan State 27-17, Minnesota beat Ohio University 19-17, and Indiana edged Northwestern 21-20 when the Wildcats, trying for their first win in 27 games in the Big Ten, missed a two-point conversion late in the game.
Oklahoma had trouble in its season opener. Wyoming led the Sooners 20-17 midway in the second half before finally going under 37-20. Nevertheless, Barry Switzer called it OU's best opener in nine years. Five other Big Eight teams won games against non-conference opponents.
In his first game as a collegiate coach, Gerry Faust emerged victorious as Notre Dame whomped LSU 27-9. Leading the way for the Irish were Middle Linebacker Bob Crable, who had 13 solo tackles, including three on a goal-line stand, and Quarterback Tim Koegel, who completed six of seven passes for 101 yards and a touchdown. "Notre Dame would have won without those players and that coach from Moeller," said Faust, who coached Crable, Koegel and seven others on the Notre Dame roster when he was at Moeller High in Cincinnati.
Out of injury and necessity, Texas played old faces in new places and new faces in old places in its opener. Unfortunately for Rice, the result of the changes was all too familiar as the Longhorns rolled to a 31-3 win, their 16th straight over the Owls. Donnie Little, a three-year starter at quarterback but a wide receiver this year, caught a 65-yard touchdown pass from his successor, Rick McIvor, and John Walker, a 204-pound sophomore tailback who was a third-stringer two weeks ago, rushed for 155 yards in 25 carries. Walker was replacing A.J. (Jam) Jones, out with a hamstring pull. In all, Texas out-gained Rice 478 yards to 109.
Last year Arkansas needed a late field goal by Ish Ordonez to nip Tulsa 13-10. This year the heroics were provided by Bruce Lahay, whose field goals of 46 and 21 yards in the final 5:51 gave the Razorbacks a 14-10 win over the Golden Hurricane. SMU had no problems with North Texas State, romping 34-7. Dual tailbacks Craig James and Eric Dickerson continued their successful job-sharing program, each rushing for more than 100 yards for the fourth consecutive game. Craig gained 137 yards in 26 carries, Dickerson got 126 yards on 23 rushes. Both scored a pair of touchdowns. Neighboring Baylor made up for last week's 18-17 loss to Lamar by trouncing Bowling Green 38-0.
"It seemed like old times," said Arkansas State Coach Larry Lacewell after a 35-13 win over Northeast Louisiana. A former assistant at Oklahoma, Lacewell installed the wishbone that helped the Indians gain 410 yards rushing and a 40:57 to 19:03 edge in time of possession. Lacewell, who watched the offensive display from a seat in the press box, said, "I just stayed out of everyone's way. I'm sure that my staff appreciated it."
PLAYERS OF THE WEEK
OFFENSE: Marcus Allen, USC's senior tailback, rushed for 210 yards in 22 carries, a 9.5 average, and scored four TD's in the Trojans' 43-7 win over Tennessee. Allen outgained the Vols in total offense, 231 yards to 159.
DEFENSE: Mark Bortz, a 6'6", 256-pound junior tackle, had five solo tackles, three assists, two sacks and a pair of fumble recoveries in Iowa's 10-7 upset of Nebraska. Bortz had 14 tackles against Nebraska last year.
SI TOP 20
1. TEXAS (1-0)
2. USC (1-0)
3. NOTRE DAME (1-0)
4. PENN STATE (1-0)
5. OKLAHOMA (1-0)
6. UCLA (1-0)
7. GEORGIA (2-0)
8. N. CAROLINA (1-0)
9. PITT (1-0)
10. OHIO STATE (1-0)
11. WASHINGTON (1-0)
12. MISS. STATE (1-0)
13. BYU (2-0)
14. WISCONSIN (1-0)
15. IOWA (1-0)
16. MIAMI (1-0)
17. MICHIGAN (0-1)
18. NEBRASKA (0-1)
19. ALABAMA (1-1)
20. FLORIDA ST. (2-0)
* Last week