"I told the kids a" week that there's just that much difference between the No. 1 team and, say, the No. 56 team," said Arizona Coach Larry Smith as he held his thumb and forefinger an inch apart following the Wildcats' stunning 13-10 Pac-10 victory at Southern Cal. The gap seemed to be wider than that when the Trojans took a 10-0 lead after less than eight minutes. Marcus Allen broke off right tackle for 74 yards for the first score, Steve Jordan kicked a 21-yard field goal and USC appeared to be on its way.
However, a 47-yard field goal by Brett Weber 30 seconds before intermission and his 25-yarder in the third quarter cut USC's lead to 10-6. Then, two seconds before the end of that period, sophomore Tom Tunnicliffe, who wound up completing 21 of 37 passes for 293 yards, hit freshman Tailback Vance Johnson with a 13-yard pass that put Arizona ahead for keeps.
Allen ripped off 211 yards in 26 carries and extended his NCAA record of consecutive 200-yard efforts to five. Allen has 1,136 yards for the season, 46 more than the NCAA record for the first five games set two years ago by former Trojan Charles White. But the rest of the USC running corps gained a meager 26 yards and the Trojans got only 60 through the air. Arizona outgained USC 405 yards to 297 in total offense and its defense clamped down with such vigor that USC got off just nine plays in the third period, 15 in the fourth, and crossed midfield only once in the second half—and promptly fumbled.
Stanford and Washington also rallied, both getting their winning points from players named Nelson. Field goals of 30, 22, 47 and 22 yards by sophomore Mark Harmon, who's 10 for 10 this season, kept the Cardinals in contention against visiting UCLA. Nonetheless, the Bruins led 23-19 until Darrin Nelson plunged two yards for a TD in the last 46 seconds. That enabled Stanford, which had been 0-4, to upset UCLA 26-23. For Washington it was Chuck Nelson who settled matters at California, where the Huskies had trailed 21-0 early in the third quarter. Nelson's 21-yard field goal with 11 seconds left put the Huskies on top 27-26.
So much for Pac-10 suspense. Arizona State defeated Oregon 24-0 and Washington State breezed 23-0 at Oregon State. A three-touchdown splurge in the second half carried the Sun Devils to their victory. The Cougars finished strong, too, scoring 17 points in the fourth period. Kevin Morris kicked field goals of 50, 52 and 33 yards for Washington State.
It was bombs away as Nevada-Las Vegas jolted Brigham Young 45-41 at Provo and San Diego State beat Iowa State 52-31. Rebel Coach Tony Knap decided to give BYU a dose of its own medicine by having Sam King test its defenses with a fusillade of passes. When the test was over, King had indeed passed, connecting on 31 of 57 attempts for 473 yards and two touchdowns. BYU, which gained 269 yards as Steve Young hit on 21 of 40 throws, led 41-24 with six minutes left in the third period. But King kept firing away and his 20-yard pass to Jim Sandusky, with 19 seconds to go, ended a 17-game Cougar win streak. UNLV forced eight turnovers and outgained BYU 628 yards to 511 in the non-conference battle. For San Diego State, it was Matt Kofler at the trigger. Kofler passed for 444 yards and directed the Aztecs to 28 points in the third period to go on top 45-17.
Sophomore Tom Thenell of Colorado State was another on-target passer. In his first start, Thenell completed 24 of 47 for 308 yards and four touchdowns. That didn't deter Mississippi State, though. The Bulldogs won 37-27 as they rumbled for 490 yards on the ground, 181 of them by Michael Haddix.
Southern Mississippi, which was 6-0 and thirsting for national recognition when it lost to Alabama 42-7 a year ago, got a measure of revenge by holding the Crimson Tide to a 13-13 standoff last week. The Golden Eagles did it the hard way, Steve Clark kicking a 40-yard field goal with only eight seconds left. Reggie Collier made it possible by completing four passes for 51 yards and by scrambling for eight more yards during the final drive. For the day, Collier passed for 202 yards and ran for 43.
Herschel Walker had his best day' of the season—265 yards on 41 carries—as Georgia took a 37-7 Southeastern Conference game at Mississippi. But the big play was a 52-yard Buck Belue pass to Flanker Lindsay Scott in the end zone two seconds before halftime.
There were, prophetically, color photos of Florida Defensive Back Kyle Knight and Fullback James Jones in the program for a non-conference game against Maryland. Both Gators came through with picture-perfect plays to make Florida a 15-10 winner. Knight tackled Terp Quarterback Boomer Esiason for a third-period safety and an 8-7 Gator lead. And on a razzle-dazzle play 90 seconds later, Jones threw a nine-yard TD pass to Quarterback Wayne Peace. Auburn beat LSU for the first time since 1942, 19-7.
Kelvin Bryant may miss the rest of the season after surgery on his left knee, but even without Bryant, who had scored 15 TDs in three games, North Carolina trounced Wake Forest 48-10 in an ACC game. Tyrone Anthony (224 yards rushing) and Bobby Ratliff (158 yards) shared Bryant's tailback slot.
Clemson smothered Virginia 27-0 for its fifth straight win of the season and 21st in a row over the Cavaliers. The defense didn't allow a TD for the fourth straight game.
It was one of the worst hit-and-run cases ever in the South. Unbeaten South Carolina State pulled into Charlotte, N.C., struck down the local team—Johnson C. Smith—and headed back home with an 82-0 triumph.
"This Oktoberfest ain't so bad," said Coach Bobby Bowden after Florida State won 19-13 at Notre Dame. That game marked the midpoint of a brutal string of five straight road games, which began with a loss at Nebraska. Then came a victory at Ohio State. Next up are Pitt and LSU.
Before the game at South Bend, Bowden said, "Ohio State set a record against us by passing for 458 yards, Nebraska set a record against us by rushing for 464 yards. So poor ol' Notre Dame doesn't know which record to break, the passing or the rushing." The Irish broke neither, being outpassed 114 yards to 38 and outrushed 250 yards to 218. Rohn Stark had punts of 53, 54 and 53 yards and the speedy Seminole defenders allowed only one third-down conversion in 14 tries. Notre Dame is now a decidedly un-Irish 2-3.
Ricky Williams, who rushed for 135 yards, set up Florida State's go-ahead touchdown in the third quarter when he broke loose for jaunts of 29 and 33 yards in an 80-yard scoring drive. It ended with a 17-yard strike from Rick Stockstill to Michael Whiting to put the Seminoles in front 10-6. The same battery clicked for a five-yarder in the fourth period to snap a 13-13 deadlock.
Wisconsin's quest for its first Big Ten title in 19 years got a boost when the Badgers beat Ohio State for the first time in 21 years, 24-21. The Badgers, down 14-6 in the second quarter, scored 11 points in 18 seconds to take charge. Jess Cole passed 24 yards to Marvin Neal for a TD, after which John Williams, who filled in for injured Tailback Chucky Davis, scored on a two-point conversion run. As time ran out in the first half, walk-on Wendell Gladem gave the home team a 17-14 lead with a 50-yard field goal on his first try of the season. Cole's second scoring throw—his second and last completion in 12 attempts—a 10-yarder to Thad McFadden in the fourth quarter, put the Badgers ahead 24-14.
Much as Wisconsin did, Iowa received a lift from an unexpected source as the Hawk-eyes outlasted Indiana 42-28. Senior Charles Jones, who had never played in a football game anywhere, caught the first pass that came his way for a 51-yard touchdown and a 14-7 Iowa lead. After Indiana tied the score at 14-14, Norm Granger put the Hawkeyes in front to stay with a 99-yard kickoff return.
Michigan was behind 20-16 early in the third period at Michigan State before its powerful ground game wore down the Spartans for a 38-20 win. Butch Woolfolk, who gained 253 yards in 39 carries, accounted for much of the grind-it-out yardage.
Scott Campbell passed for 290 yards and three TDs as Purdue beat Illinois 44-20. Minnesota's Mike Hohensee also threw three scoring passes in a 35-23 win over Northwestern.
Nebraska Coach Tom Osborne started sophomore Quarterback Turner Gill for the first time, and Gill enabled the Huskers to open their Big Eight schedule with a flourish by throwing four TD passes in a 59-0 romp over Colorado. Gill completed nine of 14 attempts for 178 yards, and the Nebraska attack accounted for 541 yards on the ground. In the process the Huskers set an NCAA mark with 42 first downs.
Missouri, too, went on a rampage, walloping Kansas State 58-13. On the way to their biggest point total since 1969, the Tigers scored three touchdowns in a three-minute, 15-second span in the opening period. Bobby Meyer ran for three TDs and Mike Hyde passed for 202 yards for Missouri.
Oklahoma State handed Kansas its first loss, 20-7. Larry Roach, a Cowboy freshman, joined the list of kickers to be watched when he boomed a 56-yard field goal.
It was Dickerson or it was James. James or Dickerson. It mattered little whether Eric Dickerson or Craig James carried the ball for Southern Methodist against defending Southwest Conference champion Baylor. The two juniors alternated at tailback, James rushing for 89 yards and Dickerson for 158 as he attained the 100-yard mark for the seventh straight game. Dickerson gained 47 of the 60 yards in the Mustangs' first scoring drive, and later scored on runs of one, 15 and 21 yards to help topple the Bears 37-20. In a 42-yard march leading to SMU's second TD, James caught a 13-yard pass, had a 17-yard run and barreled the final yard into the end zone. The victory made the Mustangs 5-0 for the first time since 1950.
"Going home to play Texas next week is like going home with lipstick on your collar," Coach Lou Holtz said after Arkansas labored past 1-4 Texas Tech 26-14. "You might be better off not going home." Against Tech, Bruce Lahay kicked field goals of 42, 34, 41 and 48 yards, the last of which put Arkansas ahead 19-14 in the fourth period. The outcome wasn't sealed until Ted Morris, a linebacker, stole a pass and returned it 36 yards for a TD with 2:16 left. Meanwhile, Texas whipped Oklahoma 34-14 (page 40).
Steve Stamp, who passed for 399 yards and hit on 24 of 43 attempts, enabled Texas Christian to build a 21-6 second-period lead at Rice. But the Owls wound up with hooting rights by forcing seven second-half turnovers and getting four touchdown passes from Michael Calhoun to win 41-28. Texas A&M held off Houston 7-6.
Pitt had a thorny problem when it played at West Virginia in a matchup of undefeated independents: Dan Marino, the leading passer in the country, was sidelined with a strained right shoulder. No sweat. The Panthers had another No. 1 going for them: the stingiest defense in the land, one that had yielded an average of only 161.7 yards a game. Pitt allowed the Mountaineers only 46 yards rushing and 92 passing while shutting them out 17-0. Danny Daniels, Marino's replacement, didn't complete any of his six passes, but the Panthers got 103 yards on the ground from Wayne DiBartola and another 99 from Bryan Thomas, who scored on runs of 43 and two yards.
Penn State also coasted behind a grudging defense, winning 38-7 as Boston College gained just 45 yards in the first half and 231 all told. When Mike Meade (107 yards) and Curt Warner (105) weren't churning on the ground, Todd Blackledge (8 of 17 for 182 yards) was moving the Nittany Lions through the air. Warner scored twice and Meade once, and Blackledge teamed up with Kenny Jackson on a 39-yard touchdown pass.
Senior Dan Ryan of Lehigh, a substitute defensive back last season, asked for a tryout as a split end during spring training. Coach John Whitehead assented, and last week Ryan out-maneuvered two Connecticut defenders, caught a pass from Larry Michalski with 3:40 left and raced the final 35 yards into the end zone. That 83-yard play gave the Engineers a 21-17 victory and Ryan now has 29 receptions and 10 touchdowns.
Navy Halfback Eddie Myers, who had missed most of three games because of an injured thigh, ran for 179 yards and one TD as the Middies beat Air Force 30-13. Rutgers romped 17-0 at Army.
In Ivy League competition it was Harvard 27-10 over Cornell, Princeton 21-14 over Columbia and Brown 26-24 at Penn, where Bob Granfors booted four field goals for the Bruins. Another three-pointer—a 32-yarder by Tony Jones with 35 seconds to be played—gave Yale a 29-28 out-of-conference win at Holy Cross. Dartmouth, however, was upended 12-7 by William & Mary, which had been outscored 153-30 while going 0-4.
PLAYERS OF THE WEEK
OFFENSE: In a 52-31 San Diego State win over Iowa State, Matt Kofler accounted for 517 yards. His 32-for-45 passing netted 444 yards and four touchdowns, and he ran for 73 yards, 27 for a TD.
DEFENSE: David Morze, a 6'5", 225-pound senior linebacker, helped Stanford upset UCLA 26-23 by making 12 tackles and setting up a pair of touchdowns with an interception and a fumble recovery.
SI TOP 20
1. TEXAS (4-0)
2. PENN STATE (4-0)
3. N. CAROLINA (5-0)
4. PITT (4-0)
5. USC (4-1)
6. MICHIGAN (4-1)
7. GEORGIA (4-1)
8. SMU (5-0)
9. CLEMSON (5-0)
10. MISSOURI (5-0)
11. MIAMI (3-1)
12. IOWA (4-1)
13. WISCONSIN (4-1)
14. MISS. STATE (4-1)
15. FLORIDA ST. (4-1)
16. ALABAMA (4-1-1)
18. ARIZONA ST. (4-1)
19. WASH. ST. (5-0)
20. SAN DIEGO ST. (4-0)
* Last week