This is an article from the Nov. 30, 1981 issue
"Heck, I only live five minutes away from the Rose Bowl," said Iowa Quarterback Gordy Bohannon. "Never in my wildest dreams did I think that I would be quarterbacking a team there this year." Yet that's where the Hawk-eyes are going—for the first time since 1959—thanks to their 36-7 win over Michigan State and Ohio State's 14-9 upset of Michigan. Actually, the Hawkeyes and Buckeyes tied for the Big Ten title, but Iowa will go to Pasadena because Ohio State went more recently (1980). "Do they have a good defense? There's none better," said Michigan State Coach Muddy Waters after the Hawk-eyes' victory. "But what really surprised me is how their offensive line blew us out. I thought they would run well, but not that well." Iowa amassed 397 yards on the ground, 247 by Tailback Phil Blatcher. Michigan State, meanwhile, gained just 37 yards rushing all afternoon.
"This game was a simple squandering of opportunities," said Michigan Coach Bo Schembechler, whose Wolverines could have claimed a Rose Bowl berth by beating the Buckeyes. Michigan had four possessions inside Ohio State's 10, 12 plays in all, yet could not score a touchdown. Still, late in the fourth quarter the Wolverines were leading 9-7 on three field goals by Ali Haji-Sheikh. Then, with 2:50 remaining, Buckeye Quarterback Art Schlichter capped an 80-yard drive by scoring his second TD of the game on a six-yard rollout. Ohio State's reward was an invitation to face Navy in the Liberty Bowl. Michigan's consolation was a bid to play UCLA in the Bluebonnet.
Another bowl-bound (Garden State) Big Ten team, Wisconsin, overcame a 254-yard passing performance by Minnesota's Mike Hohensee to defeat the Gophers 26-21. Badger reserve Quarterback Randy Wright came off the bench with 1:54 remaining and Wisconsin behind 21-20, and promptly completed four of five passes for 82 yards and a touchdown. The game winner was a seven-yard toss to Michael Jones with 1:05 left. Purdue lost 20-17 to Indiana in Jim Young's last game as Boilermaker coach (Assistant Leon Burnett was named to succeed him). Hoosier Kicker Doug Smith booted two field goals, including a 39-yarder with 8:30 left that broke a 17-17 deadlock. Illinois extended Northwestern's losing streak to 31 with a 49-12 win. Between them the teams threw a Big Ten record 109 passes. The Wildcats' Mike Kerrigan completed 24 of 55 throws for 263 yards, while the Illini's Tony Fason hit 27 of 48 passes for 409 yards and three touchdowns. Eason's performance boosted his season completion total to 211 and his passing yardage to 3,360. Both are conference marks. Illinois, which finished 7-4, had its best season since 1963.
For the first time since 1969, the Big Eight championship wasn't at stake when Nebraska played Oklahoma. And the Cornhuskers, who ran away with the title this season, showed why by rolling up 462 total yards and beating the Sooners 37-14. The victory was Nebraska's first in Norman since 1971, but the Sooners (5-4-1 this season) still received an invitation to play Houston in the Sun Bowl. Husker I-backs Roger Craig and Mike Rozier rushed for a total of 239 yards. Oklahoma State won the right to play Texas A&M in the Independence Bowl with a 27-7 victory over Iowa State, reportedly the only other team in contention for that berth. Pacing the Cowboys were Quarterback Rusty Hilger, who threw touchdown passes of 16 and 24 yards to Tight End John Chesley and ran for a third score, and Kicker Larry Roach, who set an NCAA record for field goals by a freshman (18) by hitting from 47 and 26 yards. In a matchup of the Big Eight's fourth and fifth bowl teams, Kansas (Hall of Fame) took advantage of six Missouri (Tangerine) turnovers and beat the Tigers 19-11. Colorado defeated Kansas State 24-21. Buffalo freshman Halfback Lee Rouson ran for 149 yards and one TD.
In the Mid-America Conference, Toledo clinched first place and a berth in the California Bowl against San Jose State by whipping Northern Illinois 31-0, Central Michigan edged Bowling Green 6-3 and Miami (Ohio) beat independent Cincinnati 7-3. Drake tied Tulsa for the Missouri Valley title after routing Nebraska-Omaha 53-0. Tulsa, meanwhile, lost 31-7 to Arkansas State in a non-conference game. Pacing the Indians were Tim Langford, Waddell Kelly and Tommy Walker, who ran for 111, 93 and 91 yards, respectively. Each also scored a touchdown.
Only 12,940 fans showed up at Louisville's bitter-cold Fairgrounds Stadium Saturday, but they didn't come away disappointed. "We had our bowl today," said Coach Bob Weber after Louisville upset previously unbeaten Southern Mississippi 13-10. The Cardinals, who had lost four games in a row and brought a 4-6 record into the game, led 13-3 early in the fourth quarter after sophomore Quarterback Dean May threw his second short touchdown pass, a three-yarder to Mark Wilson. But the Golden Eagles came back with a 55-yard TD drive midway through the final period to make the score 13-10. Then, with 45 seconds to play, they had the ball on Louisville's 26-yard line. "We thought about trying a field goal," said Southern Mississippi Coach Bobby Collins. "But we decided that where we were, and with the season we had going, it was important for us to win." On fourth-and-12, Golden Eagle Quarterback Reggie Collier, stifled all day by the Cardinal defense, threw an incompletion in the end zone, and Weber had "the biggest win I've ever been associated with." Southern Mississippi's consolation was receiving an invitation to play Missouri in the Tangerine Bowl.
Led by the McSwain brothers, Clemson completed its first perfect season since 1948 by defeating intrastate rival South Carolina 29-13. With the Tigers behind 7-0 in the first quarter, Cornerback Rodney McSwain blocked a Gamecock punt, which Linebacker Johnny Rembert recovered in the end zone for a Clemson TD. Tiger supporters immediately revealed their bowl preference by showering South Carolina's field with oranges. Kicker Bob Paulling then missed his first extra point in 37 tries to leave Clemson trailing 7-6. Only when Rodney's older brother, Chuck, ran for second-half touchdowns of one and 23 yards did the Tigers pull away. Chuck finished with 151 yards on 25 carries, and Clemson got a bid to play Nebraska in, yes, the Orange Bowl.
North Carolina's Kelvin Bryant convinced Duke—and sent a warning to Arkansas, the Tar Heels' opponent in the Gator Bowl—that he is recovered from an early-season knee injury. The junior tailback, who missed four games, boosted his rushing total for the season to 1,015 yards with a career-high 247-yard performance on 36 carries as North Carolina whipped the Blue Devils 31-10. The Tar Heels, whose defense had five sacks and held Duke to less than two yards per carry, have had a 1,000-yard runner each of the last nine years.
Sugar Bowl-bound Georgia and Cotton Bowl-pick Alabama took the week off, and two other SEC teams wished they had. Tennessee, which will play Wisconsin in the Garden State Bowl, had seven turnovers—five fumbles and two interceptions—and blew a 10-0 lead in losing 21-10 at Kentucky. Wildcat Coach Fran Curci, whose team finished 3-8, blew kisses to the Commonwealth Stadium crowd as he walked off the field after the victory. "I love these people and this might be the last time I see them," said Curci, whose fans do not include Kentucky Governor John Y. Brown. Mississippi State was the SEC's other surprise loser, Ole Miss scoring a 21-17 upset. Dana Moore's 27-yard field goal put the Bulldogs ahead 17-14 with 30 seconds remaining, but three plays later State was called for pass interference in its end zone. With two seconds to play, Rebel Quarterback John Fourcade, who hit 21 of 29 passes for 240 yards, scored the winning touchdown from the one. Mississippi ended the season 4-6-1, while the Bulldogs, who will face Kansas in the Hall of Fame Bowl, dropped to 7-4.
Miami jumped ahead of North Carolina State 14-0 in the first 4½ minutes and then used a stingy defense to hold on for a 14-6 victory. Jim Kelly threw TD passes of five and 60 yards to Tailback Mark Rush on the Hurricanes' first two possessions. Kelly wound up completing 21 of 30 throws for 244 yards. The Wolfpack managed only five completions and 57 yards on the ground as it lost its sixth straight game.
Charlie Wysocki ran for 153 yards and four touchdowns as Maryland finished its first losing season (4-6-1) in 10 years by routing Virginia 48-7. It was the 18th time that Wysocki, the Terps' all-time leading rusher, had gained more than 100 yards in a game. Virginia Military ended the bowl hopes of Virginia Tech by beating the Hokies 6-0, and The Citadel upset Southern Conference champ Furman 35-18. Howard edged Morgan State 35-32 in a rivalry that dates back to 1899. Morgan State leads the series 30-15-3.
While the combination of Washington's 23-10 win over Washington State and Southern Cal's 22-21 defeat of UCLA was sending the Huskies to the Rose Bowl (page 32) and Brigham Young was earning a spot in the Holiday Bowl (page 88), Idaho State and Weber State were making college football history with the first-ever triple-overtime game. Weber State's Roger Ruzek sent the game into overtime—which under Big Sky Conference rules consists of each team receiving one series in which it attempts to score from the opponent's 15-yard line—by kicking a 51-yard field goal with 11 seconds left in regulation play to make the score 23-23. It was 30-30 after Weber State's Phil Principe caught a nine-yard TD pass and Idaho State's Rick Ambrosi scored on a two-yard run in the first OT. In the second, after Bengal Quarterback Mike Machurek (who wound up with 312 yards passing) threw his fifth interception of the day, Ruzek missed a 32-yard field-goal attempt. Ruzek missed again, from 44 yards, on Weber State's third overtime possession, but then, three hours and 33 minutes after the opening kickoff, Idaho State's Case de Bruijn settled matters with a 32-yard field goal that gave the Bengals a 33-30 victory. Although both Idaho State and Boise State, which defeated Idaho 45-43, finished with 6-1 Big Sky records, the Bengals are considered sole champions because they beat the Broncos earlier this year.
Hawaii, which had won its first seven games, dropped to 7-2 after a 23-17 loss to the University of the Pacific. Arizona State drubbed winless Colorado State 52-7 as Sun Devil Fullback Gerald Riggs ran for 208 yards on 23 carries, and Quarterback Mike Pagel threw four touchdown passes and ran for another in only three quarters.
Running Back Darrin Nelson led Stanford to a 42-21 win over California by grabbing six passes and rushing for 78 yards. Nelson caught 67 passes and ran for 1,014 yards this season. He also had two TDs against Cal to become the Cardinals' alltime leading scorer with 242 points. Although the Bears' J. Torchio threw for more yardage than Stanford's John Elway (312 to 247), Elway, only a junior, tossed three touchdown passes to break Jim Plunkett's school record for career TD throws with 53. Both Oregon and Oregon State were 0-6 in Pac-10 play before Saturday's game in Eugene. For the seventh year in a row the Ducks floated and the Beavers sank. Final score: Oregon 47, Oregon State 17.
A 34-12 defeat of Baylor sent Texas to the Cotton Bowl as the Southwest Conference representative, but Southern Methodist's 32-18 win over Arkansas left no doubt as to which is the finest team in the SWC. The Mustangs, who are on NCAA probation and can't go to a bowl, concluded their best season (10-1) in 46 years and won their first conference championship since 1966. After taking a 12-7 halftime lead on two field goals by Eddie Garcia and a 10-yard interception return for a TD by Defensive End Russ Washington, SMU fell behind 18-12 at the start of the final period. Garcia tied the score with kicks of 24 and 47 yards, and then Linebacker Eric Ferguson set up Craig James's winning 10-yard TD run by picking off a pass deep in Arkansas territory. With 27 seconds remaining, Eric Dickerson added a security touchdown on a 31-yard dash. Tailbacks James and Dickerson combined for 258 of SMU's 302 yards on the ground, and the Mustangs' three interceptions gave them a national-high 31 for the year. "This is the first time anyone outmuscled us," said Razorback Coach Lou Holtz, whose team will face North Carolina in the Gator Bowl.
"We ran into a buzzsaw in the first quarter," said Baylor Coach Grant Teaff after the Bears lost to Texas. The Longhorns scored three touchdowns in the first quarter, one a 67-yard run by Running Back A.J. (Jam) Jones. The Texas defense gave Baylor Quarterback Jay Jeffrey fits all afternoon, stealing six of his passes. Jeffrey had thrown only six interceptions all season. Jones finished with 146 yards on 15 carries, and Darryl Clark, filling in for suspended Fullback Carl Robinson, had 131 on 13 tries as Texas gained 424 yards on the ground.
Houston, which still must play Rice, received an invitation to face Oklahoma in the Sun Bowl after beating Texas Tech 15-7. Tech, which ended up 1-9-1, led 7-3 late in the third quarter, when Cougar Quarterback Lionel Wilson hit Lonell Phea with a five-yard touchdown pass. Houston wrapped up the scoring in the final period with a field goal and a safety. Texas A&M, headed for the Independence Bowl against Oklahoma State, routed TCU 37-7 as junior Tailback Earnest Jackson rushed for 219 yards and three touchdowns.
"I think guys like [Defensive Tackle] Phil Puzzuoli and myself and some of our offense would be great on Bourbon Street," said Pittsburgh Linebacker Sal Sunseri before the Panthers' 35-0 rout of Temple. Sunseri will find out how great when Pitt travels to New Orleans to play Georgia in the Sugar Bowl. In winning their 17th game in a row, the No. 1-ranked Panthers recovered five Owl fumbles and intercepted two passes, and Quarterback Dan Marino completed 20 of 34 passes for 249 yards and four touchdowns. But Marino also threw four interceptions, and Temple Defensive Back Sam Shaffer, who had two of them, said, "If I were a betting man, I'd pick Georgia." The Bulldogs defeated Temple 49-3 back in October.
Penn State flexed all sorts of muscle tuning up for this week's game with Pittsburgh. Tailback Jon Williams ran for 192 yards on 27 carries, and 6'2½", 270-pound Defensive Tackle Greg Gattuso set up the winning touchdown drive with a fourth-quarter interception as the Nittany Lions edged Notre Dame 24-21. After the game, when the Penn State team bus was unable to drive the half-mile from Beaver Stadium to the locker facilities because several parked cars were blocking the road. 10 players got out and lifted four of the cars out of the way. "Did you see me pick up one of those babies?" joked Coach Joe Paterno, whose team accepted an invitation to play Southern Cal in the Fiesta Bowl. Gattuso's interception, off Irish Quarterback Blair Kiel, came after Kiel had thrown 17-and four-yard TD passes to put Notre Dame ahead for the first time, 21-17. The Nittany Lions then went 82 yards in nine plays, with Quarterback Todd Blackledge scoring the winning touchdown on a one-yard run with 3:48 remaining.
In New Haven, 75,300 spectators watched Yale score its second straight shutout over Harvard, 28-0. The crowd was the largest to witness a football game in New England since the Harvard-Yale game of 1930, and included some pranksters from Princeton, who distributed a mock Yale Daily News announcing both an NCAA investigation of Harvard and Yale that might disqualify the two schools from the Ivy race, and the imminent resignation of Eli Coach Carmen Cozza. Noting the interest in The Game, Cozza said, "If I were a scalper this week, I wouldn't be a football coach." Just kidding, NCAA. Tailback Rich Diana and Split End Curtis Grieve scored two touchdowns apiece for the Elis, who finished 9-1 overall and tied for first in the league with Dartmouth. The Big Green beat Penn 33-13 to match Yale's 6-1 Ivy record and stay one ahead of the Elis—12 to 11—in league titles won or shared. Dartmouth Defensive Back Charles Williams set up one touchdown with a fumble recovery and returned an interception 42 yards for another. Led by Fullback Larry Van Pelt, who picked up 118 yards on 24 carries and scored a pair of TDs, Princeton clinched third place with a 37-14 victory over Cornell. Brown beat Columbia 23-20 as Running Back Billy Barrett scored the winning touchdown with 27 seconds remaining on a one-yard plunge.
Joe Morris ran for 168 yards on 27 carries and scored two touchdowns to help Syracuse upset Peach Bowl-bound West Virginia 27-24. Quarterback Oliver Luck of the Mountaineers completed 34 of 48 passes for 360 yards and a pair of TDs, but he also threw four interceptions in the second half. Gary Anderson's 44-yard field goal with 4:13 to play—his 18th successful kick in 19 attempts this year, unofficially an NCAA percentage record (.947)—was the margin of victory for the Orangemen.
In the 117th renewal of the nation's most often contested rivalry, Lafayette beat Lehigh for the first time since 1976, 10-3. Boston College's 27-21 defeat of Rutgers sealed the Scarlet Knights' first losing season (5-6) in a decade.
PLAYERS OF THE WEEK
OFFENSE: Iowa Tailback Phil Blatcher, a 5'8", 188-pound senior, rushed for 247 yards and two TDs in the Rose Bowl-bound Hawkeyes' 36-7 win over Michigan State. His longest run was 46 yards.
DEFENSE: USC junior George Achica, a 6'5", 260-pound nose guard, blocked a last-second field-goal attempt with his left hand to preserve the Trojans' 22-21 win over UCLA. He also had five tackles.
SI TOP 20
1. PITT (10-0)
3. GEORGIA (9-1)
4. ALABAMA (8-1-1)
6. N. CAROLINA (9-2)
7. MIAMI (8-2)
8. NEBRASKA (9-2)
9. PENN STATE (8-2)
10. TEXAS (8-1-1)
11. WASHINGTON (9-2)
12. USC (9-2)
13. IOWA (8-3)
14. ARIZONA STATE (8-2)
15. OHIO STATE (8-3)
16. UCLA (7-3-1)
17. MICHIGAN (8-3)
18. S. MISSISSIPPI (8-1-1)
19. BYU (10-2)
20. WASH. STATE (8-2-1)
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