Remember the good old days when the Big Ten was a three-yards-and-a-cloud-of-dust conference? Now it's 10 to 20 yards and a clod of AstroTurf, and scoreboards are aglow with points. In five games last week Big Ten teams scored a total of 307 points and completed 179 of 360 passes for 2,331 yards. The turnaround has been so pronounced that the Big Ten leads the nation's conferences in passing yardage with an average of 197.9 a game per team.
Perhaps the best indication to date that throwing the ball in the Big Ten is no mere passing fancy came last week as Minnesota stunned visiting Ohio State 35-31. Altogether, 100 passes were unleashed. The Gophers' Mike Hohensee, a junior college transfer from California, threw a school-record 67 of them. He also set Minnesota marks for completions (37) and passing yardage (444). The Gophers, who trailed 21-7 at the half and 31-21 in the fourth period, pulled out the game when Hohensee fired his fourth and fifth touchdown passes. Both were caught by reserve Tight End Jay Carroll, who had earlier grabbed another TD pass. Minnesota Coach Joe Salem admitted that Carroll's scoring plays were designed to get the fullback open. But Salem didn't mind at all that Hohensee hit Carroll instead on passes covering 27, 18 and 28 yards, the last with 2:38 left.
Illinois led Michigan 21-7 at the end of the opening quarter and was driving early in the second period. A blowout appeared imminent. It was: Michigan won 70-21. Defensive Halfback Jerry Burgei's end-zone interception thwarted the Illini's second-period thrust, and from there on the game belonged to the Wolverines. Michigan Quarterback Steve Smith ran for three touchdowns and passed for three more, two of them scored by Anthony Carter.
Iowa ended a two-game slide with its first victory over Purdue since 1960. The Hawk-eyes won 33-7 by more or less corraling Boilermaker Quarterback Scott Campbell and Wide Receiver Steve Bryant. Campbell, who entered the game leading the nation in passing efficiency, completed 21 of 41 passes for 211 yards. Bryant, who was the No. 1 receiver in the country with 50 catches, was held to one reception. Gordy Bohannon, operating out of Iowa's new shotgun spread, which deploys two tight ends, passed for 136 yards and scored on runs of 12 and seven yards. "Twenty cotton-pickin' years!" shouted Iowa Coach Hayden Fry after the game. "The players are doing the hokey-pokey."
Another happy coach was Wisconsin's Dave McClain. The Badgers' 28-7 win at Indiana gave McClain his first victory in the Hoosier state since he left Ball State in 1978 to take his current job. Jess Cole, who passed for a touchdown in the first half, scored on a seven-yard run in the third period and collaborated with Split End Michael Jones on a 56-yard touchdown pass-run in the fourth. David Greenwood's 65-yard return of an interception cemented the victory for the Badgers, who are tied with Michigan for first place in the Big Ten, a game up on Ohio State and Iowa. Michigan State's game with Northwestern produced 39 total completed passes and 476 total yards passing.
There were lots of passes in the Notre Dame-Georgia Tech game, but the Irish got most of the yardage and an easy 35-3 win. The Yellow Jackets gained only 134 yards through the air, while the Irish picked up 253. Freshman Tailback Robert LeVette tied a Tech record with 14 catches, but they were good for only 50 yards. Another freshman, 5'7", 163-pound Split End Joe (Small Wonder) Howard of Notre Dame, hooked up with Quarterback Blair Kiel on pass-runs covering 96 and 58 yards.
Oklahoma trailed 14-0 at Kansas State before the Sooners even got off a play. The Wildcats drove 80 yards for a touchdown in the game's first offensive series and then, after recovering the ensuing onside kick, put together a six-play drive for another score. Kansas State increased its lead to 21-0 early in the second period by converting a Sooner fumble into a TD. Freshman Halfback Alvin Ross made the score 21-6 with a four-yard run just before halftime, but Oklahoma missed the extra-point kick. The Sooners' troubles continued in the third quarter: A penalty nullified a touchdown, a first down at the Wildcat 12 was missed by inches and a fumble was lost at the Kansas State two. A 12-yard run by Ross and a two-point conversion run closed the gap to 21-14 as the final quarter began. From there on Oklahoma Quarterback Darrell Shepard was in charge. He ran 20 yards to pull the Sooners to within one but missed on a two-point pass try with 6:47 remaining. Then, after a short quick kick by the Wildcats on third-and-18, Shepard took the Sooners 60 yards in four plays. He dashed the last 49 for the go-ahead points with 2:31 to play. A two-point run by Shepard completed Oklahoma's 28-21 comeback.
Kansas did better, surprising Iowa State 24-11 in Ames. Frank Seurer bedeviled the Cyclones by passing for one touchdown and running for another. He completed 12 of 18 for 132 yards and ran for 101 yards.
Like Oklahoma, Oklahoma State fell behind quickly: 17-0 to Nebraska after one period. Unlike the Sooners, though, the Cowboys didn't regroup, and they lost 54-7. The Oklahoma State defense, second in the nation with an average yield of only 216 yards a game, was torn apart by the Cornhuskers, who gained 546 yards. I-Backs Roger Craig (121 yards, including a 69-yard scoring run) and Mike Rozier (102 yards plus a 93-yard kickoff return for a touchdown) did much of the damage. The Cowboys committed seven turnovers, but had the distinction of scoring the first touchdown Nebraska's defense had allowed in six games.
Missouri came from 14 points back to knock off Colorado 30-14 and end a three-game losing streak.
In the second half, Central Michigan ran 57 plays and held Miami of Ohio to 15 yards on 13 plays but still lost 7-3. The Redskins took over second place in the Mid-American Conference by stopping Central five times within their 11. Miami's victory enabled Toledo, a 28-14 victor over Western Michigan, to climb to first.
When Steve Brown returned a kickoff 93 yards for a touchdown to give Oregon a 7-6 first-quarter lead, Washington State rooters became fearful. They dreaded that the Cougars, who the week before had lost their first game of the season, at USC, would collapse as they so often had in recent years. The fans needn't have fretted. Four second-half touchdowns—two by Fullback Robert Williams on runs of 22 and 12 yards—enabled Washington State to cruise to a 39-7 victory.
Stanford backers reveled in a 63-9 romp at Oregon State. The Cardinals, one of the season's biggest flops, gained 439 yards on the ground and 245 through the air as they ended a three-game losing streak. Quarterback John Elway (page 54) accounted for all the aerial yardage. Stanford's other superb offensive weapon, senior Wide Receiver Darrin Nelson, ran 19 times for 190 yards, caught seven passes for 107 yards and broke a school record by scoring five touchdowns. Nelson's TDs came on a 53-yard pass play and on runs ranging from one to 80 yards. Nelson, who has gained 6,538 yards running, receiving and returning kicks, is only 77 short of Tony Dorsett's NCAA career mark.
Southern Cal's Marcus Allen broke another of Dorsett's NCAA records by increasing his season rushing yardage to 1,968 in a 21-3 victory over Cal. Allen gained 243 on 46 carries and scored three touchdowns despite practicing only twice last week because of a sprained ankle. The triumph enabled the Trojans to move into a tie with Arizona State for the Pac-10 lead, a half game ahead of Washington State and UCLA.
"Just because they're in the Pacific Coast Athletic Association, people malign them," said Arizona State Coach Darryl Rogers after the Sun Devils held off San Jose State 31-24. "They are better than most teams in the Pac-10. We knew the game would be like this." The score was 24-24 with 5:12 left when Arizona State's Mike Pagel threw a desperation pass on a third-down play. Wide Receiver Doug Allen made a leaping grab in the end zone to complete the Sun Devils' resurgence from a 24-17 third-period deficit. Pagel completed 20 of 42 throws for 347 yards. The Spartans picked up 344 yards in the air as Steve Clarkson hit on 25 of 53 passes, two of them for touchdowns.
UCLA scored all its points in second-and third-period sprees en route to a 31-0 win over Washington, which hadn't been shut out since 1976. The two scoring spurts, which lasted a total of only 4:50, were set up by an interception and the recovery of four fumbles.
Jim McMahon of Brigham Young didn't merely have a couple of hot moments; he kept firing until the final three minutes of a 63-14 rout of Colorado State. Coach LaVell Edwards left McMahon in the game to give him a shot at the NCAA single-game record for pass completions. McMahon got it by completing 44 of 65 passes for seven touchdowns. He also established three NCAA career records: 8,897 yards in total offense, surpassing the record set last year by Purdue's Mark Herrmann; touchdowns responsible for (90); and points responsible for (540). The last two records had belonged to Tennessee State's Joe Adams, who had accounted for 86 TDs and 518 points from 1977 through 1980.
BYU's win set up this week's showdown for WAC supremacy between the Cougars and Hawaii. The Rainbow Warriors won their 11th straight by routing Texas-El Paso 35-7 with 566 yards in total offense. Hawaii tailbacks excelled. Anthony Edgar, who scored on runs of 82 and 47 yards, rushed for 153 yards. Gary Allen ran for 71 and scored three times, once on a 62-yard pass.
New Mexico held visiting Utah to a 7-7 standoff. The Lobos earned the tie when Robin Gabriel, the son of former pro Quarterback Roman Gabriel, passed for 59 of his 71 yards during a fourth-quarter scoring drive.
San Diego State, which began the season with four victories, lost for the fourth straight time. Wyoming converted an interception and a fumble recovery into second-quarter touchdowns to go in front 14-0, and ultimately won 24-15. All of which left Hawaii 5-0 atop the WAC, followed by Utah at 4-0-1 and Wyoming and BYU, both 5-1.
"I don't like to think of myself as being just a single-dimension back. I can do more than just run the ball." So said Georgia's Herschel Walker, who had to be multidimensional indeed for the Dogs to defeat Florida 26-21. The Gators had a 14-0 lead late in the second quarter. Then Walker showed his stuff, teaming with Buck Belue on a 24-yard touchdown pass 31 seconds before halftime. Those two clicked again on a 16-yarder that tied the game at 14 in the third period. Walker's four-yard run in the fourth quarter put Georgia in front, but the Bulldogs' errant PAT left the door open for Florida, which went on top 21-20 when Wayne Peace hit Spencer Jackson with a 10-yard pass. So it was back to work for Walker, who culminated a 95-yard, 18-play drive with a one-yard leap into the end zone with 2:31 left. The Gators, who had been yielding just 120 yards a game on the ground, found out how destructive Walker could be: He ran for 192 yards on 47 carries.
Dana Moore's 23- and 49-yard field goals gave Mississippi State a 6-0 lead over Southern Mississippi in a non-conference game. A crowd of 64,112, the largest ever to see a sporting event in the state, showed up in Jackson and watched the Golden Eagles pull out a 7-6 victory after recovering a fumble at the Bulldog 14 in the second period. Sammy Winder needed just three carries to reach the end zone, which he did on a one-yard run.
Miami won its second straight Sunshine State title with a 27-19 defeat of Florida State. The Hurricanes, who beat Florida earlier in the year, trailed 13-10 before Danny Miller kicked a 57-yard field goal. Halfback Smokey Roan put Miami in front on a six-yard touchdown run. Jim Kelly then passed 23 yards to Fullback Speedy Neal for the clincher.
"If you're going to be a good team, you have to get points from your defense and specialty teams," said Penn State Coach Joe Paterno after the Nittany Lions had won 22-15 at North Carolina State. Penn State's specialists did just that. Kevin Baugh set up a touchdown with a 56-yard punt return and Corner-back Giuseppe Harris blocked a punt for a safety. In between came the most dazzling play of all—a fake punt. Instead of the ball being snapped to Kicker Ralph Giacomarro, it went to Ken Kelley, a former high school quarterback who was the upback. Kelley passed five yards to Harry Hamilton, who ran 46 more for a TD. The Nittany Lions needed all that help from their specialty teams because their leading ground-gainer, Curt Warner, was out with a pulled hamstring.
Tailback Mike Grayson ran for 188 yards on 17 carries and threw a 13-yard touchdown pass to lift Duke past Wake Forest 31-10 in an ACC game. Meanwhile, Clemson took over first place in the conference by edging North Carolina 10-8 (page 40).
Tailback Larry Fourqurean gained 245 yards on 32 carries as Marshall defeated Appalachian State 17-10. The victory was the Thundering Herd's first Southern Conference win in 27 attempts.
Pacific pulled off one of the week's biggest shockers by beating South Carolina 23-21.
Was this going to be the pits for Pitt? Would the Panthers, trailing Rutgers 3-0 late in the second period at New Jersey's Meadowlands, become the sixth No. 1-ranked squad to fall this season? No way. Two touchdown passes by Dan Marino put Pitt in front 14-3 at the intermission. Marino then sneaked one yard for a score in the third quarter, passed for another in the fourth and finished with 18 of 28 for 239 yards. The Panthers picked up 315 yards on the ground and came out on top 47-3. Tailback Bryan Thomas, who rushed for 168 yards and one TD, also caught five passes.
That wasn't the Seventh Fleet that beat Syracuse 35-23. It was Senior Tailback Eddie Meyers, who broke his own Navy single-game rushing record by running for 298 yards, the most anyone had ever gained against the Orange. Meyers thereby also set a Middie career rushing record, boosting his total to 2,620 yards. Against Syracuse he scored four times, on jaunts of 10, 32, five and 78 yards.
Army's Gerald Walker ran 21 and 39 yards for touchdowns and wound up with 162 yards rushing against Holy Cross before leaving the game in the third quarter with bruised ribs. But Walker wasn't enough; the Crusaders erased a 13-0 Cadet lead and won 28-13.
West Virginia overcame Temple's 10-0 first-quarter lead to prevail 24-19. Jim Brown of the Owls ran for 178 yards, and Oliver Luck of the Mountaineers passed for 234.
Yale, too, had to scramble to avoid losing. The Elis were down 17-7 at the start of the final period at Cornell. What's more, Yale Quarterback John Rogan had been sidelined with an injured right elbow. Two poor punts, a lost fumble and a deliberate safety by the Red Raiders enabled the Elis to gain a 23-17 win and remain undefeated. The decisive points came with 53 seconds to play when Joe Dufek, Rogan's replacement, hit Wide Receiver Curtis Grieve with a 16-yard touchdown pass. It was Grieve's 10th TD reception of the season. Dartmouth defeated Columbia 21-7 in the only other game between Ivy League opponents. Princeton's Bob Holly passed for three touchdowns and ran for two, but Maine rallied from a 28-14 deficit to win 55-44. Delaware routed winless Penn 40-6. Brown won 10-8 at Rhode Island, and Harvard beat William & Mary 23-14.
Widener (Pa.), the No. 1 Division III team, coasted past Ursinus 43-14 for its 34th straight regular-season victory.
"I thought we'd have to give the kickoff teams mouth-to-mouth resuscitation," said Arkansas Coach Lou Holtz after a breathtaking 41-39 victory over Baylor in Little Rock. Jay Jeffrey of the Bears was on target with 17 of 26 passes for 286 yards and three touchdowns. Two of those scoring throws were hauled in by Split End Gerald McNeil, who caught 10 passes altogether for a school-record 197 yards. Fullback Dennis Gentry put Baylor ahead 39-38 with 2:05 to go by grabbing Jeffrey's nine-yard toss on fourth down. But for the second time in the final period, the Bears failed on a two-point conversion. Freshman Quarterback Brad Taylor then took the Razorbacks 66 yards in nine plays. By completing all five of his passes during the drive, Taylor wound up hitting on 17 of 23 throws for 250 yards. Fullback Jessie Clark, who tied the Arkansas single-game touchdown record with five scoring runs, didn't get a chance to wrap up the final march. That opportunity went to Bruce Lahay, who earlier in the game had booted a 49-yard field goal. This time, with 12 seconds remaining, Lahay kicked a 27-yarder that put the local fans in Hog heaven.
There was no such joy in Houston, where Texas, which trailed 14-0 at halftime, salvaged a 14-14 deadlock. Robert Brewer, who took over at quarterback for the Longhorns after Rick McIvor injured his right shoulder shortly before halftime, was instrumental in dashing Houston's hopes for an upset. Brewer completed three passes for 38 yards during an 80-yard fourth-quarter drive that ended when John Walker ran eight yards for a touchdown. That score, plus Walker's grab of Brewer's PAT pass, cut Houston's advantage to 14-11. Then with 3:27 to go, Raul Allegre, who had kicked a 45-yard field goal in the third period, added a 47-yarder.
Despite four turnovers and 14 penalties, SMU defeated Rice 33-12. The Mustangs rolled up 513 yards in total offense, with tailbacks Eric Dickerson and Craig James accounting for a total of 347. Dickerson ran for 186 yards on 26 carries and scored his 18th TD of the season on a 58-yard sprint. James, who carried 20 times, gained 161 yards.
For Texas Christian, its game at Texas Tech seemed to drag on longer than a performance of Nicholas Nickleby. After three periods the Horned Frogs were behind 32-15. Then came the final act: three TCU touchdowns and a safety caused by Linebacker Mike Dry, the son of Coach FA. Dry, who blocked a punt out of the end zone with 1:31 to go. When the curtain came down, the score was 39-39.
PLAYERS OF THE WEEK
OFFENSE: Senior Quarterback Jim McMahon of BYU threw for seven touchdowns and 538 yards, setting four NCAA records, including most completions in a game (44), in a rout of Colorado State.
DEFENSE: Freshman Johnny Jackson, a 5'11", 210-pound linebacker, helped New Mexico earn a 7-7 tie with Utah by taking part in 16 tackles. Two were quarterback sacks that set Utah back 21 yards.
SI TOP 20
1. PITT (8-0)
2. USC (8-1)
3. CLEMSON (9-0)
4. GEORGIA (8-1)
5. PENN STATE (7-1)
6. N. CAROLINA (7-2)
7. ALABAMA (7-1-1)
8. SMU (8-1)
9. ARIZONA ST. (7-1)
10. MIAMI (6-2)
11. NEBRASKA (7-2)
12. MICHIGAN (7-2)
13. TEXAS (6-1-1)
14. ARKANSAS (7-2)
15. WASH. STATE (7-1-1)
16. S. MISSISSIPPI (7-0-1)
17. IOWA (6-3)
18. OKLAHOMA (5-2-1)
19. UCLA (6-2-1)
20. HAWAII (7-0)
* Last week