"We had our at bats but struck out," said Oklahoma Coach Barry Switzer after the Sooners lost to Southern Cal 12-0 with a Punch-and-Judy ground game that gained just 43 yards. Oklahoma went 0 for 4 in the first half from inside the USC 30. And the whitewash hurled by the Trojan defense was the first shutout the Sooners had suffered in an NCAA-record 181 games. Southern Cal now holds the longest current streak of games in which they've scored, with 169. USC's two touchdowns came on a one-yard Sean Salisbury pass following a shanked Sooner punt and on a quarterback-to-tailback-to-flanker-to-split-end flea-flicker that ended with Split End Jeff Simmons cradling Flanker Timmy White's 67-yard TD pass.
Herkie Walls, Texas' 5'8", 154-pound wide receiver and former Southwest Conference indoor sprint champion, feigned disappointment after his 80-yard dash on an end-around gave the Longhorns their first score in a 21-0 defeat of Missouri. "Hell, I'm supposed to be faster than that," said Walls after being told that he took 13 seconds to reach the end zone. Tailback Darryl Clark had 128 yards on 26 carries, and the Texas defense jarred Mizzou into losing four fumbles.
Arkansas Coach Lou Holtz had scheduled Mississippi because he wanted to keep the Arkansas-Texas game from looming so big in the eyes of the Hog faithful—not because he expected a breather. "I've never been so limp after a game," said Holtz, who had just watched Ole Miss nearly tie—and then nearly beat—the Razorbacks. After the Rebels had pulled within two points of Arkansas, at 14-12, a bold defensive stunt stopped Ole Miss Tailback Andre (Hammerhead) Thomas on a sweep for a two-point conversion. Later, after a 15-yard penalty against the Hogs for having 12 men on the field put Ole Miss at the Razor-back 30, Reb Kicker Todd Gatlin sent a 48-yard field goal attempt wide with :01 left. So it remained, 14-12. Arkansas Quarterback Billy Taylor threw for one score and ran for another in his first start.
SMU, a 22-point favorite, had just one pass completion, for seven yards, in struggling past TCU 16-13. Could the Ponies be running too much? "Sure, we run all the time," snapped Coach Bobby Collins. "But we don't run in the same spot. We go around end, off tackle, over guard, up the middle. Anybody who says we're predictable has problems." The Horned Frogs had theirs with SMU's variety at the tailback spot. Eric Dickerson ran for 160 yards on 27 carries and two TDs; Craig James carried 22 times for 122 yards.
Texas A&M Quarterback Gary Kubiak threw for three touchdowns and ran for another in the Aggies' 38-27 defeat of Louisiana Tech; Baylor edged Texas Tech 24-23; and Houston romped past Lamar 48-3.
"I feel sorry for Tony," said Illini Coach Mike White, lamenting the fate of his quarterback, Tony Eason, who suffered five interceptions and nine sacks in Illinois' 20-3 loss to Pitt. "It was like he was in a revolving door." The game—and Eason—turned abruptly on a single play early in the second quarter. Leading 3-0, Illinois had a first down at the Pitt two when Eason tried to throw a pass away. He apparently mistook 6'3", 255-pound Panther Defensive Tackle Dave (Freak of Nature) Puzzuoli for the right sideline, and Puzzuoli rumbled 95 yards with the interception for a score, thanks to a block from his 6'1", 251-pound linemate, J.C. Pelusi. "There were 12 minutes left in the second quarter when he intercepted it and eight left when he got to the end zone," said Pelusi. Pitt Linebacker Yogi Jones, who is stronger than the average bear, had 14 tackles, and Quarterback Dan Marino was 18 of 35 for 215 yards and a TD—but threw four interceptions.
Ahead 20-16 at home with barely 2½ minutes left against Stanford, Ohio State had the ball and no reason to pass. Yet the Buckeyes did, twice, and both times a Cardinal intercepted. Stanford took the second interception—of a Mike Tomczak throw on second-and-12 from the Cardinal 27-80 yards on seven passes by Quarterback John Elway to pull out a 23-20 victory. Coach Earle Bruce took the blame for the decisive interception, saying, "I called it. It was a bad call. But you can't have four interceptions and two fumbles and win." Elway, who was 35 of 63 for 407 yards, threw two scoring passes, his second an 18-yard strike to Wide Receiver Emile Harry with :34 remaining to cap the final Cardinal drive. As Elway rolled left. Halfback Mike Dotterer ran the wrong pattern and Harry simply vacated Dotterer's area and headed for the right corner of the end zone. No one was within 10 yards of him. "It's a lot like hitting a home run with two out in the bottom of the ninth," said Elway, an outfield prospect in the New York Yankee farm system who will soon have to choose between pro football and baseball. "Right now football is so much fun. And I don't think anyone will want to see me in Columbus anymore."
"At this point a win is almost as important to me as getting my diploma," said Northwestern Cornerback Roosevelt Groves, an industrial and nuclear engineering major, before the Wildcats put their NCAA-record 34-game losing streak on the line against Northern Illinois. Behind Running Back Ricky Edwards' four touchdowns—and despite Northern supporters bearing KEEP IT ALIVE WITH 35 buttons—Northwestern ended its three-year nightmare 31-6. The win was the 'Cats' first since beating Wyoming 27-22 on Sept. 15, 1979, and Coach Dennis Green's first since coming to Evanston in 1980.
"He's someone who spreads fear in me," said Notre Dame Coach Gerry Faust of Purdue's Scott Campbell, the Boilermakers' spoilermaker quarterback, after the Irish had rallied for two second-half scores to win 28-14. Faust was alluding to last season, when Campbell threw for a late TD and two-point conversion to upset the Irish 15-14, and to last Saturday's first half. Fullback Larry Moriarty rushed for two TDs to give Notre Dame a 14-0 lead, but Campbell threw two scoring passes—part of a 15-for-18 first-half effort—to pull Purdue into a tie. "I thought we definitely had the momentum heading into the locker room," said Boilermaker Coach Leon Burtnett. But Irish Tailback Phil Carter, pressed into extra duty because his alternate, Greg Bell, had fractured his right fibula in the first half, gained 115 yards and scored two TDs in the second half. Carter finished with 154 yards on 27 rushes. Linebacker Mike Larkin's 12 stops led the Irish defense, which held Purdue to 11 yards rushing.
"I wanted to beat Bo Schembechler," said UCLA Coach Terry Donahue after the Bruins' 31-27 defeat of Michigan. "I wanted to beat him badly." The reason: the Wolverines' 33-14 have-no-mercy Bluebonnet Bowl win over UCLA last New Year's Eve. Quarterback Tom Ramsey led the Bruins back from a 21-0 deficit by completing 22 of 36 passes for 311 yards and two scores, one of 46 yards to Wide Receiver Dokie Williams and another of six yards to Flanker Jojo Townsell. Williams also ran a kickoff back 65 yards. Wolverine Wingback Anthony Carter caught eight passes for 123 yards and a touchdown and dove vainly for a Steve Smith pass in the end zone as time ran out.
Drake lost 35-10 at Iowa State as the Cyclones got two touchdown runs from Harold Brown; Mike Hohensee became Minnesota's career touchdown passing leader—he has 26 in only 14 games—with two TD tosses in the Gophers' 41-11 defeat of Washington State; Kansas State's redshirt-laden Wildcats won their third straight game, 31-7 over Wichita State, as Quarterback Darrell Dickey passed for one touchdown and ran for another; and Wisconsin ended Toledo's eight-game winning streak—the longest among major colleges—with a 36-27 victory. Elsewhere, Kansas gained a 13-13 tie with Kentucky when Bruce Kallmeyer kicked a last-minute, 27-yard field goal shortly after the Wildcats fumbled in their own territory; Doug Smith booted three three-pointers in Indiana's 17-10 defeat of Syracuse; Miami of Ohio shut out Eastern Michigan 35-0; Western Michigan beat Kent State 24-14; and Indiana State downed Ball State 17-0.
When Brigham Young Punter Mike Mees's kick rolled out of bounds at the Air Force one, yes. Cougar Coach LaVell Edwards did think he had it locked up. After all, BYU was leading 38-31 with 1:30 remaining. "Air Force is a good offensive team, but you don't figure anyone is going to move 99 yards on us in a minute and a half," he said. Quarterback Marty Louthan needed only 1:24 and eight plays to guide the Falcons 99 yards. Louthan passed 22 yards to Halfback Mike Brown to move Air Force to within a point of the Cougars and threw to Brown again for the winning two-point conversion. "We came here to win," said Air Force Coach Ken Hatfield whose decision spoiled the opening of the Cougars' expanded stadium. "We worked hard on that two-point play because I figured it would be exactly this kind of game."
Oregon Coach Rich Brooks was looking at the prospect of playing Washington in Seattle without his starting quarterback when someone asked what his problems were on offense. "I've got 11 of them," he replied. But when the first quarter ended with the winless Ducks, who hadn't scored a touchdown from scrimmage in three previous games this season, leading the unbeaten Huskies 7-0, those problems appeared to be solved. Harry Billups had thrown a 23-yard halfback option pass to Osborn Thomas, and the Husky fans, many of whom had participated in 2½ hours of pregame Oktoberfest revelry, were ready to cry in their beer. But Tailback Sterling Hinds ran 21 times for 103 yards and three touchdowns, and Chuck Nelson booted three field goals as Washington rallied once, fell behind again and then came back once more to win 37-21.
Arizona State's defense sacked California quarterbacks Gale Gilbert and J. Torchio 12 times, intercepted three of their passes and forced 11 punts—one of which Sun Devil Linebacker Jimmy Williams and Free Safety Mike Richardson blocked out of the end zone for a safety—in a 15-0 defeat of the Golden Bears. "They came at us from everywhere," said Cal Right Guard Tim Galas. "If we picked up one, it seemed there'd be another and another." Three times Strong Safety Paul Moyer blitzed in for a sack; twice Richardson laid back for an interception.
Cal is next up for San Jose State, which ran its record against Pac-10 opponents to 3-0 with a 17-13 come-from-behind win over Oregon State on Cornerback Gill Byrd's 26-yard return of a pass interception; Wyoming knocked off Colorado 24-10; Iowa got by Arizona 17-14; Utah State shut out Fullerton State 19-0; Montana edged Northern Arizona 36-35; Montana State beat Nevada-Reno 19-10; and Colorado State defeated New Mexico State 24-17.
Alabama Coach Bear Bryant was late for the press conference following the Crimson Tide's 24-21 defeat of Vanderbilt because he was busy making sure all his houndsteeth were still intact. "I was in the coaches' dressing room praying, thanking the Lord for letting us get by," he said. "I feel real, real lucky to win. Vandy deserved more than it got in this one." All the Commodores got was the satisfaction of giving 'Bama as close a game as the Tide has had in Tuscaloosa since Florida State lost there 8-7 in 1974. Trailing 24-7 at the half, Vandy rallied on two scoring passes from second-string Quarterback Kurt Page, who completed 17 of 35 for 223 yards after replacing injured starter Whit Taylor in the first half, to Flanker Allama Matthews. Fullback Craig Turner's two first-half TD plunges helped bail out 'Bama.
For North Carolina there was no satisfaction at all in its 62-8 thumping of Army. First, Quarterback Rod Elkins became the third Tar Heel backfield starter this season to fall to an injury, when he twisted his left knee evading a tackier near the sideline after scrambling around right end for 23 yards in the second quarter. "Nobody hit him," moaned Coach Dick Crum. "He could have been walking down the sideline." He'll be out for three to four weeks. Then the Heels, despite Crum's best efforts to keep the score down, kept adding to their 41-0 halftime lead. Erstwhile reserves Ethan Horton and Tyrone Anthony, semiregulars since an ankle injury felled Tailback Kelvin Bryant, each scored twice.
Florida ran for 258 yards in a 27-17 defeat of Mississippi State, rolling up 202 of those yards—and all of its points—in the second half. Lorenzo Hampton's three scoring runs were part of a 109-yard afternoon, the first 100-plus game turned in by a Gator back since 1980. Bulldog Quarterback John Bond twice hit Split End Danny Knight with TD passes, on plays covering 44 and 80 yards.
"I thought, 'I've already given them the game. This is my chance to get it back,' " said Miami Halfback Mark Rush, who had fumbled twice to set up Michigan State scores. So he dove one yard into the end zone with 1:04 left to seal the Hurricanes' 25-22 victory. Rush had strained his knee on the last play of the first half and had appeared in only one second-half play until Miami's final series. But after the Spartans had prevented Miami from scoring on seven straight plays on two separate possessions inside the Michigan State 10, there was Rush on the sidelines, nudging Offensive Coordinator Kim Helton and saying, "I can go right now." Rush, who's known as Up and Over among his teammates for his knack of swan diving into the end zone, used the technique he developed diving over the ocean waves off his hometown of Fort Lauderdale.
Herschel Walker (page 94) wore a soft cast on his right thumb and forearm in Georgia's 34-18 defeat of South Carolina, but busted loose in the second half for 110 yards and a TD; Florida State's Kelly Lowrey completed 22 of 35 passes for 322 yards and two scores and ran nine yards on a fake field goal attempt for the winning touchdown in the Seminoles' 24-17 defeat of Southern Mississippi; and Auburn beat Tennessee 24-14 as Bo Jackson and Lionel James accounted for 239 of the Tigers' 357 rushing yards.
"Maybe he's the next Joe Namath," said Virginia Coach George Welsh of Duke Quarterback Ben Bennett, who threw for 208 yards and two touchdowns in the first half of the Blue Devils' 51-17 rout of the Wahoos. "Or maybe it was us." Bennett finished with 21 of 30 for 291 yards and three TDs. He hasn't been intercepted in 107 attempts. By contrast, Clemson coughed up the ball on four of its first six possessions against Western Carolina, but used Tailback Chuck McSwain's two third-quarter touchdown runs to turn back the Catamounts 21-10. It was the defending national champion's first win. Maryland had three field goals from Jess Atkinson in its 23-6 defeat of North Carolina State, and Georgia Tech Tailback Robert Lavette ran for three scores in the Yellow Jackets' 24-20 win over Memphis State, which lost its 11th in a row. Appalachian State also played its 11th game without a win, losing 31-22 to Wake Forest; Virginia Tech routed William & Mary 47-3; Louisville shaded Oklahoma State 28-22; and LSU romped by Rice 52-13.
"I really can't see that far," says West Virginia Placekicker Paul Woodside, who booted three field goals in the Mountaineers' 43-10 romp past winless Richmond. "I'll probably get glasses at the end of the season, but I didn't want to make the change in August." When the season is over, Woodside may need bifocals, so as to make out the print in the NCAA record book. He has succeeded on his last 13 field-goal attempts, dating back to the 1981 Peach Bowl, a school record, and needs only three more in a row to tie the three-year-old collegiate mark for consecutive three-pointers set by Ish Ordonez of Arkansas and Dale Castro of Maryland. In the win over the Spiders, West Virginia scored on its first seven possessions and built a 33-3 halftime lead as Quarterback Jeff Hostetler ran for three one-yard touchdowns.
Two second-half scoring passes from Doug Flutie to Flanker Brian Brennan led Boston College to a 31-0 defeat of Navy, which couldn't take advantage of the four fumbles the Eagles lost, or convert any of its own 15 third-down opportunities, or pick up a first down on any of three fourth-down plays from scrimmage inside BC territory during the second half. "Those third-and fourth-down situations are tough ones to make calls in," said an agitated Gary Tranquill, Navy's coach. "But they gave us exactly what we were looking for in their defense and we didn't execute." Flutie added a 40-yard scramble to his 279 yards passing on 19 completions in 36 attempts.
Rutgers broke a seven-game losing streak by defeating Temple 10-7; Harvard Quarterback Don Allard threw for a school-record 358 yards in a 31-14 win over Massachusetts; and Maine lost its second straight game under the NCAA-approved tiebreaker rule, 48-45 in four overtimes to Boston University, which got five touchdown carries from Tailback Paul Lewis. "It's a wonderful rule for college football," said Terrier Coach Rick Taylor. "It's a lousy rule for coaches." And especially for Maine. The Black Bears have scored 100 points in their last two games, but lost both in a total of 10 overtimes. In shorter order Connecticut beat Yale 17-7; Delaware downed Princeton 35-17; Colgate defeated Cornell 21-6; Holy Cross wore down Dartmouth 28-12; Penn edged Lehigh 20-17; Brown beat Rhode Island 24-20; and Lafayette routed Columbia 53-23.
PLAYERS OF THE WEEK
OFFENSE: Penn State Quarterback Todd Blackledge, a 6'4", 222-pound junior, threw his third TD pass with :04 left as the Lions defeated Nebraska 27-24. He completed 23 of 39 passes for 295 yards.
DEFENSE: Pitt Defensive Tackle Dave Puzzuoli, a 6'3", 255-pound senior, was in on four sacks costing Illinois 34 yards and ran a pass interception 95 yards for a touchdown in a 20-3 win over the Illini.
SI TOP 20
1. PITT (3-0)
2. WASHINGTON (3-0)
3. GEORGIA (3-0)
4. PENN STATE (4-0)
5. SMU (3-0)
6. ARIZONA STATE (4-0)
7. FLORIDA (3-0)
8. NEBRASKA (2-1)
9. N. CAROLINA (2-1)
10. ALABAMA (3-0)
11. ARKANSAS (3-0)
12. NOTRE DAME (2-0)
13. MIAMI (3-1)
14. AUBURN (3-0)
15. W. VIRGINIA (3-0)
16. SOUTHERN CAL (2-1)
17. TEXAS (2-0)
18. BOSTON COLL. (2-0-1)
19. UCLA (3-0)
20. SAN JOSE STATE (3-0)