There were some 40,000 fans in Baylor Stadium for the Bears' homecoming game against Arkansas. It would have been understandable if some of those rooting for the Bears had left before halftime. After all, the early going hadn't been much fun for them, what with the Razorbacks taking a 14-0 lead midway through the second quarter. Besides, what chance did Baylor, already a five-time loser, have against an undefeated team that hadn't surrendered a touchdown in 17 periods and was fourth nationally in total defense? The Hogs were ranked fifth in the country by the Associated Press, and the Bears hadn't beaten a team of that caliber since way back in 1966.
The first bit of hope for Baylor fans came when the Bears drove 80 yards for a touchdown that cut their halftime deficit to 14-7. Then, early in the fourth period, Baylor tied the score at 14-14 when Mike Brannan passed 12 yards to Allen Rice. Arkansas moved ahead on a 33-yard field goal by Martin Smith, but the Bears squared matters at 17-17 on a 32-yarder by Ben Perry with 7:19 to go in the game. Perry's footwork needed a helping hand. His kick into a gusty wind would have been too low to make it over the crossbar, but it deflected off one of the Razorbacks, and that gave it enough loft to get over the bar.
Late in the fourth quarter Arkansas resorted to trickery, which was fitting for a team coached by amateur magician Lou Holtz. After a double reverse, Wide Receiver Mark Mistier threw downfield, but Baylor Defensive Back Preston Davis wasn't fooled and intercepted at the Hogs' 47. Tailback Alfred Anderson, who had scored Baylor's first touchdown on a two-yard run, barged over from four yards out with 2:38 remaining in the game and the Bears made that stand up for a 24-17 victory. Brannan, whose 10-for-20 passing accounted for 230 yards, stung the Razorbacks with three passes that were longer than any completed against them all season—52, 39 and 60 yards.
It was a homecoming of a different sort for SMU Tailback Craig James and Split End Gary Smith during a 41-14 win over Rice in Houston. James, who is from Houston, had his biggest day of the year, rushing for 130 yards on 20 carries, scoring on a one-yard plunge and throwing a 62-yard touchdown pass. That ball was caught by Smith, who's also from Houston. Earlier, Smith had grabbed a 28-yard TD pass from Quarterback Lance McIlhenny. Eric Dickerson, the Mustangs' other fine tailback, scored on a 19-yard run and wound up with 102 yards on 25 carries. All of which left SMU a game and a half ahead of Arkansas in the Southwest Conference race.
Texas recovered four Houston fumbles, intercepted three passes and handed the Cougars a 50-0 setback, their worst ever. The Longhorns led 30-0 at intermission and played their reserves most of the rest of the way. Texas Tech was a 16-14 winner at Texas Christian.
Independent East Carolina got 16 points from freshman Placekicker Jeff Heath during the Pirates' 40-24 triumph at Texas-Arlington. In addition to booting four extra points, Heath kicked a school-record four field goals from distances of 53, 42, 45 and a team-record 58 yards.
Trailing by three Points, UCLA had a fourth and seven with less than half a minute to go at Washington. Bruin Quarterback Tom Ramsey threw what looked to be a perfect pass to Tailback Danny Andrews. A completion would give the Bruins a first down near the Husky 20. An incompletion would give the ball—and a 10-7 victory—to Washington. Just as the pass reached Andrews, so did Washington Cornerback Bill Stapleton—and his hard hit jarred the ball loose and put an end to UCLA's comeback. For the Bruins, it was the first loss of the season.
Stapleton's hit was the last of many big plays by Washington defenders, who sacked Ramsey nine times, recovered three fumbles and intercepted two passes. Outside Linebacker Mark Stewart accounted for five of the sacks, for minus 17 yards. Nonetheless, the Bruins had 384 yards in total offense, 248 of them on 18-for-31 passing by Ramsey, who produced UCLA's only score on a 39-yard throw to Jojo Townsell with 5:37 to go. Washington had built a 10-0 advantage on a four-yard run by Jacque Robinson in the first quarter and an 18-yard field goal by Chuck Nelson in the third. The Huskies, who trail Arizona State by half a game, meet the Sun Devils this week in a showdown for first place in the Pac-10—and a likely trip to the Rose Bowl.
Oregon State, which had won only one of 30 previous games, almost put a crimp in Arizona State's Rose Bowl hopes. The Sun Devils, who hadn't given up more than 249 yards in total offense in any game and hadn't allowed a run of more than 17 yards, led only 17-16 at halftime. During those first 30 minutes of play, the visiting Beavers had 285 yards total offense. Much of that came on three runs—a 65-yarder by Quarterback Jeff Seay, a 25-yarder for a touchdown by Fullback Bryce Oglesby and a 62-yarder for another score by Tailback James Terrell. Arizona State finally knuckled down on defense, however, and allowed Oregon State past midfield just once during the last two periods. And on offense, second-half scoring runs of four yards by Alvin Moore and 25 yards by Darryl Clack helped the Sun Devils go on to a 30-16 victory. So did 300 yards worth of passing by Todd Hons, who completed 20 of 32 throws. Luis Zendejas of Arizona State kicked three field goals, one a school-record 55-yarder.
Southern Cal intercepted eight California passes, ran two back for touchdowns and romped 42-0. The Trojans also scored on a tricky 39-yard pass from Flanker Timmy White to Wide Receiver Jeff Simmons. White, a senior, has thrown only four passes in college, all after taking handoffs and all to Simmons, two of them for touchdowns. Altogether, White's four completions have covered 197 yards.
With a 27-13 lead and just 12 minutes left, Stanford looked like a sure winner over visiting Arizona. But then on third and two, the Wildcats caught the defense napping and Tom Tunnicliffe teamed up with Tight End Mark Keel on a 63-yard scoring pass. Arizona then marched 72 yards to a touchdown and coverted a fumble recovery and an interception into two more scores for a 41-27 triumph. Stanford's John Elway completed 22 of 33 passes for 259 yards. That gave Elway 719 career completions, two more than the NCAA record set by Purdue's Mark Herrmann two years ago. In a battle to see which team would gain its first conference win of the season, Washington State bumped off Oregon 10-3.
Maryland's freshman Fullback Rick Badanjek scored his second touchdown against Miami on a four-yard run with 7:50 to go, prompting Terp Coach Bobby Ross to opt for a two-point conversion try. Simple enough. Well, not quite. As Quarterback Boomer Esiason explained it, "If Miami came out in a certain defense, Coach Ross told me to audible away from the running play he'd called to a pass, 72. But we had never checked off to 72 and nobody knew which way to block for it. So when time was running out [to get the play off], I just said, 'Block who's in front of you.' " That scheme worked, and Esiason passed over the middle to Wide Receiver Mike Lewis, who made a leaping catch just inside the end line. The Terps still trailed 17-15, but they held the Hurricanes after the ensuing kickoff. An 18-yard punt gave Maryland the ball at the Miami 43. When the Terps' drive stalled at the 21 with 2:14 remaining, Jess Atkinson, who earlier in the half had missed a 23-yard field goal, kicked a 38-yarder. That put Maryland ahead 18-17, a lead that held up when Miami's Jeff Davis, who had earlier kicked field goals of 25, 36 and 46 yards, missed a 40-yard attempt with nine seconds remaining. The Terps' win, their seventh straight, was achieved despite a sputtering offense, 98 yards in penalties and the fact that they used up all their time-outs by the midpoint of the fourth quarter. With Jim Kelly out for the season because of a shoulder separation and backup Mark Richt suspended for the game for training rules violations, freshman Kyle Vanderwende quarterbacked the Hurricanes. Vanderwende completed 16 of 28 passes for 192 yards and had Miami in front 17-7 before Maryland rallied for 11 points in the closing minutes.
North Carolina also lost its regular signal-caller—and a 16-13 Atlantic Coast Conference decision at Clemson. Rod Elkins completed all seven of his passes for 70 yards against the Tigers before he was forced out of the game in the first quarter after reinjuring his left knee; he missed three games earlier in the season because of a knee injury. Scott Stankavage, Elkins' replacement, was on target with 15 of 31 passes for 210 yards and one touchdown. Stankavage's last throw, however, skittered off the fingers of Tailback Tyrone Anthony on a fourth-down play from the Clemson 15 with 35 seconds left. The Tar Heels outgained the Tigers 446 yards to 299 in total offense, but were hurt by four turnovers. Clemson's biggest weapon was the kicking of Bob Paulling, who booted field goals of 46, 43 and 46 yards.
Although he carried just 10 times for 45 yards, Florida State Tailback Greg Allen scored four touchdowns during a 56-26 romp at South Carolina. The Seminoles amassed 437 yards through the air as Kelly Lowrey completed 14 of 24 passes for 269 yards and Blair Williams added 168 more by completing seven of 15. Georgia Tech knocked off Virginia 38-32, and Duke handed Wake Forest a 46-26 loss.
While Georgia was walloping Florida 44-0 (page 26) and Louisiana State was stunning Alabama 20-10 (page 32), Auburn moved into sole possession of third place in the Southeastern Conference. A crowd of 58,000 sang "Happy Birthday Coach Dye" to Pat Dye with five minutes left in the Tigers' 30-7 defeat of Rutgers. Lionel James and Bo Jackson did much to make it a happy 43rd for Dye. James ran back seven punts for 103 yards, breaking loose for two 39-yard returns. Jackson, a freshman running back, ran for 114 yards. The Scarlet Knights didn't get past midfield until the final quarter, when they put together a 77-yard TD drive.
Kentucky remained winless, losing 23-10 to Vanderbilt. SEC teams took two nonconference games, Mississippi defeating Tulane 45-14 and Tennessee knocking off Memphis State 29-3. By losing, Kentucky moved one step closer to having its first winless season ever since it began playing football in 1881. Such ineptitude is something new for Coach Jerry Claiborne, the winner of 138 games in 20 previous seasons at two other colleges. "You've got to have strong faith," said Claiborne as he discussed his tribulations. "There are going to be times in life when your intelligence, your knowledge and your physical ability don't pay off. That's when you need your faith."
A 34-17 defeat of Tennessee Tech left first-place Eastern Kentucky 5-0 in the Ohio Valley Conference and 7-0 overall. Southwestern Conference leader Jackson State beat Texas Southern 34-28.
During a time-out with 27 seconds left, Illinois Coach Mike White and Quarterback Tony Eason huddled, only to discover they were both thinking of the same play, one they felt would bring them their team's first win over Michigan since 1966. Illinois trailed 16-10 but had the ball at the Wolverine two-yard line on fourth down. The agreed-upon play was an off-tackle run by Halfback Dwight Beverly. The Wolverine defense had already given up 243 yards rushing to the Illini and had been riddled for 272 yards through the air by Eason, who had completed 28 of 47 attempts. Those 515 yards in total offense were the most ever yielded by Michigan. On the game's pivotal play, though, the visiting Wolverines stopped Beverly cold. Michigan got 177 yards rushing from Tailback Lawrence Ricks and 125 yards on five catches by Flanker Anthony Carter. It was Carter who scored his team's only touchdown on a 40-yard pass from Steve Smith in the first quarter. The rest of the Wolverines' points came on field goals of 30, 45 and 47 yards by Ali Haji-Sheikh. By winning either of its final two games, against Purdue and Ohio State, Michigan can clinch the Big Ten championship and a berth in the Rose Bowl.
Ohio State coasted past Minnesota 35-10 behind the passing of Mike Tomczak, who completed on 13 of 17 for 224 yards. Split End Gary Williams caught three balls, tying an NCAA record of having caught at least one pass in 42 straight regular-season games. By gaining 133 yards on 22 carries, Tailback Tim Spencer went over 1,000 yards for the second year in a row. Spencer's total for the season is now 1,057 yards.
After catching a pass from Wide Receiver Al Toon late in the second period against Indiana, Wisconsin Quarterback Randy Wright was tackled and landed on his head. Wright, who it was feared might have suffered a broken neck, was rushed to a nearby hospital. After X rays turned out to be negative, Wright returned to the game, completed four of eight passes and led the Badgers to a 14-10 lead. Alas, that wasn't the end of a dramatic little story for Wright and Wisconsin. With the score tied 17-17, Indiana's Babe Laufenberg, who made good on 24 of 32 passes for 297 yards, completed five throws during a last-minute drive. Only four seconds remained when Doug Smith came in and kicked a 42-yard field goal that enabled Indiana to pull out a 20-17 victory.
Two weeks before taking on Iowa, Purdue Coach Leon Burtnett spotted something in the statistical sheets that he found very interesting. What Burtnett noticed was that even though Hawkeye Punter Reggie Roby was then second in the nation with a 47.5-yard average, Iowa's opponents were returning many of his kicks good distances. So Burtnett groomed freshman speedster Steve Griffin to be his new punt returner by having him spend a lot of time fielding balls from the team's kicking machine. Griffin, handling punts for the first time as a collegian, ran back three of Roby's kicks for 92 yards, including one return of 71 yards for a touchdown as the Boilermakers won 16-7. Northwestern beat Michigan State 28-24 for its third win of the season, as freshman Quarterback Sandy Schwab passed for one touchdown, ran for another and caught a pass for a third.
It was billed as a matchup of two of the country's finest runners—Oklahoma State's Ernest Anderson, No. 1 in Division I-A with an average of 189.7 yards a game, against Nebraska's Mike Rozier, No. 5 with a 141-yard average. It was no contest: The Huskers prevailed 48-10 and Rozier outgained Anderson, who left the game in the third period with bruised ribs, 251 yards to 68. Rozier's big day gave him 1,379 yards for the season, breaking a team mark established 32 years ago by Bobby Reynolds.
Missouri defeated Colorado 35-14 and Kansas upset Iowa State 24-17. Fullback E.J. Jones of the Jayhawks rushed for 112 yards, caught three passes for 30 yards and scored two touchdowns.
Bowling Green beat Ball State 28-7 to become the new leader in the Mid-American Conference. Central Michigan, which had been first, was blanked 23-0 at Miami. In a game between teams that were both 0-8, the winner was Eastern Michigan, which bumped off Kent State 9-7 to end the nation's longest losing streak at 27 games. Tulsa solidified its grip on the Missouri Valley Conference lead with a resounding 59-21 triumph over West Texas State.
Penn State handed North Carolina State a 54-0 shellacking as Nittany Lion defenders recovered four fumbles, intercepted three passes, allowed only one penetration inside their 40 and sacked Wolfpack Quarterback Tol Avery four times for 45 yards in losses. Penn State passed for 202 yards, 192 of them by Todd Blackledge, who completed 14 of 24 attempts. Flanker Kenny Jackson gained 122 yards on seven catches. The Nittany Lions picked up even more yards on the ground—289 in all—and got two touchdowns apiece from three backs: Jon Williams, Tony Mumford and Curt Warner, who gained a total of 106 yards as he carried 19 times.
Two fourth-quarter scoring passes by Kevin White propelled West Virginia to a 20-17 victory at Temple. With first-string Quarterback Jeff Hostetler sidelined for the second week in a row by a nagging foot injury, White rallied the Mountaineers by passing 68 yards to Split End Rich Hollins and then five yards to Halfback Mickey Walczak. The Owls, who led 7-6 at halftime, played most of the final two periods without Quarterback Tim Riordan, who suffered bruised ribs.
Doug Flutie of Boston College connected on only 11 of 26 passes against Massachusetts, but his completions netted 205 yards and led to a 34-21 victory. Connecticut, which had been tied for last in the Yankee Conference, was a 13-10 winner over Boston University, which had been first. The Terriers could have locked up first place but now are tied for the lead with Maine, which defeated New Hampshire 31-14.
Both Ivy League co-leaders defeated outsiders, Penn stopping Colgate 21-13 and Harvard scoring in the final 19 seconds for a 24-17 win at Holy Cross. Brown was a 23-22 victor at William & Mary, but Princeton lost to Lafayette 47-37. In the latter contest, three players had big numbers: Brent Woods of the Tigers connected for 35 of 57 passes for 403 yards; the Leopards got 272 yards passing from Frank Novak as he hit on 19 of 30 attempts; and Lafayette Halfback Nick Kowgois lugged the ball 27 times for 269 yards, caught four passes for another 46 yards and scored four touchdowns. In league games, it was Cornell 26—20 over Yale and Dartmouth 56-41 over Columbia. The Lions went down despite the feats of Quarterback John Witkowski, who set or tied 14 Columbia and Ivy records. Witkowski established league marks with 499 yards in total offense and with 39 completions (in 64 attempts, for 461 yards), and tied another league record with five touchdown tosses.
Air Force and Navy both stuck mostly to the ground while winning. The Falcons ran through Army for 332 yards as they won their service academy matchup 27-9. Tailback Napoleon McCallum picked up 147 of the Middies' 271 yards rushing during a 20-18 triumph at Syracuse.
PLAYERS OF THE WEEK
OFFENSE: Mike Rozier, a 5'11", 210-pound junior I back, led Nebraska to a 48-10 victory over Oklahoma State as he carried 33 times for 251 yards and scored on runs of four, 17, two and 37 yards.
DEFENSE: Mark Stewart, Washington's 6'3", 227-pound senior outside linebacker, made 15 unaided tackles, helped on two more and sacked the UCLA quarterback five times as the Huskies won 10-7.
SI TOP 20
1. GEORGIA (9-0)
2. SMU (9-0)
3. ARIZONA STATE (9-0)
4. PENN STATE (8-1)
5. NEBRASKA (8-1)
6. LSU (7-0-1)
7. WASHINGTON (8-1)
8. NOTRE DAME (6-1-1)
9. PITT (7-1)
10. FLORIDA STATE (7-1)
11. ARKANSAS (7-1)
12. UCLA (7-1-1)
13. ALABAMA (7-2)
14. WEST VIRGINIA (7-2)
15. SOUTHERN CAL (6-2)
16. MARYLAND (7-2)
17. OKLAHOMA (7-2)
18. CLEMSON (6-1-1)
19. TEXAS (5-2)
20. MICHIGAN (7-2)