If there was anything North Carolina thought it could rely on against the visiting Maryland Terrapins, it was its defense. After all, the Tar Heels were first in Division I-A in both total defense (155.7 yards a game) and in rushing defense (43 yards a game). North Carolina scored 24 points, which should have been plenty, and led 24-17 in the fourth period after Tailback Kelvin Bryant, who rushed for 130 yards, scored on an acrobatic grab of a three-yard pass from Quarterback Rod Elkins. The Terps, however, kept chiseling away at that rocklike Tar Heel defense for a stunning 31-24 triumph.
Led by Running Back Willie Joyner, Maryland rushed for 320 yards and got 166 more on Boomer Esiason's passes. During three consecutive scoring drives in the second half, the Terps needed only nine running plays to cover 253 yards—just five rushing yards short of the total the Tars Heels had yielded in six previous games. Of those 253 yards, 188 were gained by Joyner, who set up the first of those three touchdowns with a 55-yard burst and scored the next two on fourth-quarter runs of 49 and 84 yards. On the last of his big gallops, Joyner broke a tackle just beyond the line and then took off. When it was over, Joyner had gained a team-record 240 yards and Maryland had moved into first place in the Atlantic Coast Conference.
Duke outlasted Georgia Tech 38-21 in another ACC matchup. In non-conference games, Virginia defeated VMI 37-6 and North Carolina State breezed past South Carolina 33-3.
"You always know who's going to run the ball against us because he's the guy who's got tears in his eyes when he comes out of the huddle," said Florida State Middle Guard David Ponder after a 24-7 victory at Miami. The Seminoles' Ponder-ous defense limited Hurricane runners to a mere 91 yards. "My main objective was to shut Speedy Neal's mouth," said Defensive Tackle Alphonso Carreker of Florida State. Neal, a 245-pound Miami fullback who predicted he'd have no trouble plowing through the Seminoles, gained only 23 yards. Nonetheless, the Hurricanes trailed just 10-7 going into the final period. But then Orson Mobley, a 6'6", 260-pound Seminole tight end, caught a pass from Quarterback Kelly Lowery and bowled over three defenders on his way to a 24-yard score. Tailback Greg Allen's second short touchdown run—a two-yarder—finished off Florida State's scoring for the 24-7 win. During the two weeks the Seminoles had to prepare for this game, Coach Bobby Bowden drilled his players on how they could most effectively stop Miami on short-yardage plays by having his No. 1 defense go up against his No. 1 offense. It paid off: Miami was stopped twice on fourth-and-one, first at the Florida State one-yard line and later at midfield.
"The offense was erratic, spasmodic, missing like a car needing a tuneup, maybe even an overhaul. We didn't throw the ball well, didn't catch it very well, didn't block very well. On defense, we weren't very physical." Surely that was the losing coach talking. No, it was Vince Dooley, whose Georgia team had beaten Memphis State 34-3. In truth, the Bulldogs weren't all that impressive. But Herschel Walker was, as usual, no slouch, rushing for 219 yards and a pair of touchdowns as he carried the ball 33 times.
Alabama was another lackluster winner, holding off a frantic final Mississippi State drive to preserve a 20-12 SEC decision. John Bond's 18-for-33 passing accounted for 231 yards for State, but its last-ditch attempt to salvage a tie, a drive that started on its own 13, came up short at the Tide's five when time ran out. Florida, though, did beat the clock. Jim Gainey's fourth field goal of the game, a 42-yarder with one second remaining to be played, gave the Gators a 19-17 victory over visiting Auburn. Wayne Peace kept the Gator attack going by completing 23 of 30 passes for 250 yards.
The only thing Louisiana State lost was the pregame coin toss, which it has yet to win this season. Tiger defenders had eight quarterback sacks, nailed seven other ballcarriers behind the line of scrimmage and held Mississippi to minus 50 yards rushing, a record for an SEC game. The Rebels, who had gained 524 yards against Georgia three weeks earlier, this time were limited to a paltry 82 yards in total offense. LSU's freshman tailbacks, Dalton Hilliard and Garry James, also got the job done as the Tigers romped to a 45-8 victory. Hilliard rambled for 123 yards and a pair of touchdowns, James for 74 yards and three TDs.
"It became a stat game. They were trying to get stats for players." That was the strongly voiced opinion of Texas A&M Coach Jackie Sherrill after the Aggies' 47-9 Southwest Conference defeat at Southern Methodist. The most impressive of the Mustangs' stats belonged to Eric Dickerson, who carried 14 times for 200 yards and scored on runs of nine, 80 and 79 yards. That gave Dickerson season totals of 13 touchdowns and 1,319 yards on 168 carries, an average of 7.85 yards a crack. Sherrill objected that Dickerson and fellow Tailback Craig James weren't yanked from the game until SMU led by 31 points. That, Sherrill felt, was literally adding insult to injury—a severely bruised left hip and a chip fracture of the left ankle that put Aggie Quarterback Gary Kubiak out of commission in the first period.
The Arkansas defense also put together some impressive numbers in a hard-fought 24-6 victory over winless Rice. Three boots gave the Owls something to hoot about before they were done in: field goals of 45 and 25 yards by Joel Baxter that had given Rice a 6-0 halftime advantage, and an 80-yard punt by Dale Walters in the third quarter—wind-aided, to be sure. But after that kick, which rolled through the end zone, the Razorbacks, who had suffered three turnovers to that point, finally got their offense untracked, with Fullback Jessie Clark scoring twice in 51 seconds late in the quarter. First, Clark climaxed the 80-yard march following Walters' punt with a two-yard touchdown run. Then, one play after an interception and a 21-yard return by Arkansas Linebacker Milton Fields, Clark ran six yards for another score. As for those defensive stats, the Hogs held the Owls to 86 yards in total offense, only four in the last two quarters. Arkansas, which trails SMU by half a game in the SWC standings, has allowed no touchdowns and just four field goals in its four conference games.
"All we did was come out here and lay an egg," Texas Tech Coach Jerry Moore said after an at-home loss to Texas. Tech trailed only 7-0 at halftime, but from there on the Longhorns scrambled the Red Raiders, leaving them 27-0 losers. Quarterback Robert Brewer scored all three Texas touchdowns on short runs, and the 'Horns' defense surrendered only 134 yards in total offense. Houston held off Texas Christian 31-27.
Louisiana Tech remained unbeaten in Southland Conference competition, knocking off Arkansas State by a score of 24-14. Runner-up Northeast Louisiana was a 14-0 victor over Lamar.
Pitt fans, who have been extremely critical of first-year Coach Foge Fazio and the team's tepid offense, got what they wanted last week. The Panthers built a 49-0 second-quarter lead and ran away from Louisville 63-14. Tim Lewis started the rout by taking the opening kickoff in the Pitt end zone and returning it 91 yards. From there on, the Panthers displayed a well-rounded attack for the first time this year. Dan Marino completed 10 of 18 passes for 156 yards and two touchdowns. This was the 17th consecutive regular-season game in which Marino threw a TD pass, one short of the NCAA record. Tom Flynn returned a punt 63 yards for another Pitt score, Bryan Thomas carried nine times for 119 yards, and three players who hadn't run with the ball all season—freshmen Darnell Stone and Bill Callahan and junior Mike Boyd—added 175 yards on 32 trips.
At a press conference a few days before the game, Fazio had broken into song (Ac-cent-tchu-ate the Positive), later explaining that when he'd been in Syracuse for the previous week's game, "They said my name—Serafino Dante Fazio—made me sound like a Mafia leader. They said that I looked like Yogi Bear with a blow-dry haircut. I think my name makes me sound like an opera singer." Following last week's blowout of the Cardinals, Fazio was finally able to sing the praises of the Pitt offense.
Doug Flutie of Boston College, who had worn a flak jacket for the past six games as a precautionary measure, took it off and riddled Penn State by completing 26 of 44 passes for a team-record 520 yards. Two other quarterbacks tacked on another 75 yards passing for the Eagles, who had 656 in total offense. Tight End Scott Nizolek gained a school-record 229 of those yards on 11 receptions. That should have been enough to finish off the Nittany Lions. It wasn't. Not nearly enough. Penn State intercepted two passes, pounced on four BC fumbles and got a perfect split from its offense—309 yards on the ground and 309 yards through the air—to win 52-17. Tailback Curt Warner became the Nittany Lions' career rushing leader by increasing his total to 3,031 yards. He scored three times and gained 183 yards on 28 carries. Todd Blackledge's 14-for-27 passing netted 243 yards and three touchdowns, two of which were scored by Flanker Kenny Jackson.
West Virginia also coasted, scoring on its first three possessions and winding up with a 30-3 defeat of East Carolina. The Mountaineers got off to a fast start by rushing for 133 yards in the first quarter against the Pirates, who had been yielding only 129.3 yards a game on the ground.
A 42-yard field goal by Chris Price with 25 seconds left gave Princeton a 17-14 upset over Penn. Harvard, which for the second week in a row equaled an Ivy League mark by picking off six passes, tied the Quakers for first place by beating Brown 34-0. Cornell won by an identical score over the Merchant Marine Academy. Yale overcame a 21-3 deficit to defeat Dartmouth 22-21. Columbia was a loser, 41-8, at Army, which got 177 yards rushing from Gerald Walker.
The Southern Cal-at-Arizona State matchup came down to one decisive play. USC, trailing 17-10, had a fourth-and-eight at the Sun Devil 25 with 46 seconds left. Arizona State, as it had all night, blitzed, and Free Safety Mike Richardson dumped Trojan backup Quarterback Scott Tinsley for an 11-yard loss. A third-quarter Richardson blitz had sidelined USC's starting signal caller, Sean Salisbury, who will miss the rest of the season with an injured right knee. In all, the Sun Devils tackled USC ballcarriers 12 times behind the line for minus 76 yards. USC's running corps, badly depleted by injury, gained only 20 yards on 43 rushes. The Trojans got their sole touchdown on a 21-yard pass from Salisbury to Split End Jeff Simmons to forge a 10-10 halftime tie.
Arizona State's first 10 points came on Todd Hons' 29-yard pass to Tailback Darryl Clack and on a school-record 52-yard field goal by Luis Zendejas. The Sun Devils drove 54 yards for the winning touchdown in the third quarter, Alvin Moore storming in from six yards out. That, plus Stanford's upset of Washington (page 24), put Arizona State atop the Pac-10.
UCLA's Irv Eatman, a 6'6¼", 268-pound defensive tackle, agreed to Coach Terry Donahue's suggestion that he shift to offensive tackle against Oregon. From Tuesday through Friday, Eatman got a crash course on the position from Offensive Tackle Coach Ed Kezirian. Their early-morning, afternoon and evening sessions bore quick fruit; Eatman added needed muscle to the Bruins' pass protection and run blocking as UCLA won 40-12. Four field goals by freshman John Lee helped, too.
With Tom Tunnicliffe passing for 204 yards, Arizona defeated Washington State 34-17. California beat Oregon State 28-14. Fresno State, 4-0 in the PCAA and 7-1 overall, took command of the conference race by dumping Long Beach State 40-22, despite a conference-record 35 completions—on 59 attempts for 367 yards—by 49er Quarterback Todd Dillon. The PCAA gained prestige when Utah State jarred WAC leader Brigham Young 20-17. Aggie Quarterback Doug Samuels completed 19 of 31 passes for 326 yards and three TDs.
Week after week, John Brunelle, a student serving as the sports information director at Pacific University in Forest Grove, Ore., had to report that his team had lost again. Last week, though, Brunelle was able to announce that the Boxers had ended their string of losses at 30 games, the longest such streak for a four-year college at any level. And just who was the big gun for Pacific during its memorable 21-14 triumph over Lewis and Clark? Why, it was none other than the same John Brunelle, who doubles as the team's quarterback. Brunelle completed six of 11 passes for 132 yards, including a 72-yarder to Jeff Kaihewalu for a touchdown.
Question: What chance did Kansas, which was ranked 96th out of 97 Division I-A teams against the rush with an average yield of 263.8 yards a game, have against visiting Nebraska, which was first in rushing with 392 yards a game? Answer: None. The Cornhuskers pounded out 426 yards on the ground while romping to a 52-0 Big Eight triumph. Although bothered by a hip pointer, Husker I Back Mike Rozier carried 16 times for 123 yards and scored a pair of touchdowns on runs of 25 and 27 yards.
Colorado, which had given up 185 points in losing five of seven games, also seemed to have no chance when it played at home against new-look Oklahoma, with its I formation. Marcus Dupree, the Sooners' speedy freshman, scored on a 77-yard punt return in the second period. Nevertheless, the Buffaloes, whose Rich Johnson had broken four tackles on a 17-yard touchdown run in the first quarter, battled to a 10-10 halftime standoff. But second-half interceptions set up three Oklahoma TDs, leading to a 45-10 victory for the Sooners.
Kansas State moved closer to a possible bowl bid, which would be its first ever, with a 9-3 win at Iowa State. The Wildcats are now 5-2-1. Oklahoma State, which got 227 yards on the ground (on 37 carries) from NCAA rushing leader Ernest Anderson, toppled Missouri 30-20. Anderson has a total of 1,328 yards in seven games.
When first-string Michigan Tailback Lawrence Ricks wasn't grinding out 135 yards on 18 carries, third-string Tailback Kerry Smith was running for 113 on 11. Altogether, the Wolverines picked up 374 of their 566 yards of total offense on the ground while clobbering injury-plagued Minnesota 52-14. Michigan struck through the air, too, Steve Smith firing three touchdown passes for the second week in a row. Mike Hohensee of the Gophers gained 239 yards with his 27-for-39. passing, but Minnesota ballcarriers struggled to just 47 yards in 29 carries.
Multiple tailbacks also powered Ohio State, which defeated Purdue 38-6 at Columbus. Tim Spencer of the Buckeyes ran for 168 yards on 20 carries and Jimmy Gayle for 80 yards on nine. Earlier in the season, Ohio State had lost three consecutive games at home as sophomore Quarterback Mike Tomczak struggled to master the offense. Tomczak has evidently done his homework; he proved it last week by completing nine of 16 passes for 180 yards and two touchdowns. Ohio State's rubber-band defense gave up 423 yards but allowed only two field goals. Quarterback Scott Campbell of the Boilermakers, who threw a team-record 55 passes, completed 28 for 333 yards.
Iowa moved into a second-place tie with Ohio State by jolting Illinois 14-13. Eddie Phillips of the Hawkeyes, who rushed for 158 yards on 27 carries, knotted the score at 7-7 with a two-yard run in the first quarter. Iowa went ahead 14-10 on an eight-yard pass from Chuck Long to Ronnie Harmon in the third quarter and then held on. The Illini got field goals of 52 and 45 yards from Mike Bass, plus 292 yards passing from Tony Eason, who connected on 31 of 46.
Troy King, a third-string tailback for Wisconsin who started because the two players ahead of him were out of action, carried 15 times for 166 yards in a 54-20 defeat of Northwestern. Michigan State was a 22-14 winner at Indiana.
Tulsa, which had been tied with Wichita State for first in the Missouri Valley Conference, stood alone at the top after beating the Shockers 30-21. Central Michigan was the new leader in the Mid-American Conference race after a 42-18 wipeout of Ohio, which had been on top. Chippewa Tailback Curtis Adams scored four touchdowns and gained 238 yards on 21 carries.
PLAYERS OF THE WEEK
OFFENSE: Maryland Running Back Willie Joyner, a 5'10", 196-pound junior, rushed for 240 yards and scored TDs on 49- and 84-yard runs in the final quarter of a 31-24 ACC upset of North Carolina.
DEFENSE: Tommy Young, a 6-foot, 212-pound senior linebacker, was instrumental in Florida State's win over Miami by making 14 unassisted tackles, lending a hand on seven others and intercepting a pass.
SI TOP 20
1. PITT (7-0)
2. GEORGIA (8-0)
3. SMU (8-0)
4. ARIZONA STATE (8-0)
5. PENN STATE (7-1)
6. NEBRASKA (7-1)
7. ARKANSAS (7-0)
8. WASHINGTON (7-1)
9. ALABAMA (7-1)
10. UCLA (7-0-1)
11. FLORIDA STATE (6-1)
12. WEST VIRGINIA (6-2)
13. LSU (6-0-1)
14. FLORIDA (5-2)
15. SOUTHERN CAL (5-2)
16. MARYLAND (6-2)
17. OKLAHOMA (6-2)
18. N. CAROLINA (5-2)
19. CLEMSON (5-1-1)
20. MICHIGAN (6-2)
* Last week