"When we got the ball on our 10," said West Virginia Quarterback Jeff Hostetler, "our players had a determined look in their eyes. So I said, 'Let's do it.' " And they did. Trailing Pittsburgh 21-17 with 12½ minutes left, the Mountaineers marched 90 yards in 14 plays—the last, Hostetler's six-yard bootleg with 6:27 remaining—for the deciding touchdown in a 24-21 victory, their first over the Panthers since 1975. In the first half, the Pitt defense, which hadn't allowed a TD in any of its three previous games, sacked Hostetler five times, scored one touchdown—on a 75-yard run after a fumble recovery by Defensive Tackle Tim Quense—and set up another on a controversial punt return by Safety Tom Flynn. On that play, as the ball was bouncing near the sideline at the Pitt 38, a West Virginia defender touched it while he was out of bounds. Thinking the ball had been blown dead—which it should have been but hadn't—many of the Mountaineers headed for the bench. Flynn merely picked up the ball and ran 49 yards to the West Virginia 13 before he was tackled. In the second half, the Mountaineers allowed Pitt only 61 offensive yards and no points.
West Virginia's fifth victory produced its best start since 1962 and its highest national ranking (No. 5 in SI's poll) ever. As the Mountaineers were killing the final minute of the game, their fans on the opposite side of the field were already at work tearing down the goalposts. The celebrants then carted one of the posts three miles to the old Mountaineer stadium, where it was propped up—"like a false god," according to one observer—and admired by crowds all night long.
Boston College beat Temple 18-15, despite missing four field-goal tries—from 33, 39, 26, 38 yards—and having one blocked. The Eagles were trailing 15-10 in the fourth quarter when Quarterback Doug Flutie began a drive from the Owl 47. On one third-down play Flutie scrambled 19 yards for a first down; on another he passed 18 yards, again for a first down. The winning TD was a trademark Flutie improvisation with 3:08 left. On a keeper around right end, Flutie saw he was trapped and pitched to Running Back Steve Strachan. "That play isn't designed to be a pitch at all." explained Flutie, "because there's a man playing him." Strachan took the pitch—"a two-handed chest shot," in the words of BC Coach Jack Bicknell—and went four yards for the touchdown.
Rutgers was hanging in against Penn State as long as Quarterback Rusty Hochberg was able to play. But Hochberg, whose father, Jim, is a former Nittany Lion quarterback and now coordinates Penn State's sports medicine services, was knocked out of the game in the fourth quarter with torn ligaments in his knee after he threw a 76-yard touchdown pass that made it Nittany Lions 29, Scarlet Knights 25. Hochberg left with 19 completions in 34 attempts, for 367 yards. Penn State freshman D.J. Dozier then put the game out of reach with a 50-yard TD run. Dozier finished with 196 yards for his third 100-yard performance in a row. Final score: Lions 36, Knights 25.
"They say a tie is like kissing your sister," said Cal Coach Joe Kapp. "Well, I have three beautiful sisters, and I kiss them all the time." Kapp's Golden Bears had trailed Arizona 26-3 in the third quarter before an 80-yard bomb, a 67-yard punt return by last year's five-lateral-play hero Dwight Garner, a 61-yard TD pass, a three-yard run and an Arizona fumble helped them tie the score 33-33 with 49 seconds to go. Cal even had a shot at winning—but Randy Pratt's 61-yard field-goal attempt fell short as time ran out. "We kept coming," explained Kapp. "We kept breathing on them. We took the Mo [momentum]." Ten of Bear Quarterback Gale Gilbert's 24 completions were caught by Tight End Dave Lewis, including the 80-yarder that sparked the rally.
Steve Bono of UCLA, a first-time starter, won the statistical battle with BYU Quarterback Steve Young; Bono completed 25 of 34 passes for 399 yards, three touchdowns and no interceptions, while Young went 25 for 36 for 270 yards, two TDs and three interceptions. Nevertheless, the Cougars won the game 37-35, and Young drew most of the accolades from the pro scouts. "His overall skills—passing, running, scrambling and his coolness," said one, "are far better than anyone I have seen in the West in the past 10 years, and that includes John Elway."
Two weeks ago the cheerleaders at Nevada-Reno went on strike to protest their lack of financial aid. which was discontinued in 1980. While they sat out the Wolf Pack's 38-20 victory over Boise State on Sept. 24, two secretaries from the athletic department and a local real estate/insurance man worked as scabs. Then last Wednesday the cheerleaders met with Reno President Joseph Crowley. He promised to look into arranging some form of financial support for them in 1984, and the cheerleaders were back on the job for Reno's 37-16 triumph over Idaho State, in which the Wolf Pack defense picked off six of the Bengals' 74 passes. As for the strike, "We regretted doing it," said Janice Edgemon, a junior French major, "but you've got to do what you've got to do."
It was a game USC couldn't lose. It was also a game USC couldn't win. That's the way it was when the University of Southern California visited the University of South Carolina. But few fans expected the Gamecocks to be the USC to get the victory—much less one by a lopsided 38-14 score. South Carolina wasn't exactly overwhelmed by Southern Cal's reputation, though. "We knew they had a young offensive line, and that's why we blitzed more than we have been," said Gamecock Linebacker J.D. Fuller. His unit, known as the Fire Ants because of their tendency to swarm around the ball, had seven sacks, stopped the Trojans on 11 of 13 third downs and held them to only a net 49 yards rushing. "It was a great win for us," said South Carolina Coach Joe Morrison. "It was the finest, the greatest and all those other adjectives that I've ever been associated with."
Because Georgia Safety Charlie Dean was out with shoulder and knee injuries sustained the previous week, Terry Hoage, an All-America roverback, had to switch to safety against Mississippi State. But there was no harm done as Georgia won this battle of Bulldogs 20-7. "I couldn't believe it when they didn't test Terry early in the first quarter," said Georgia Defensive Coordinator Bill Lewis. "I visualized them faking to the fullback and sending [Split End] Danny Knight straight down the middle, right at Terry, three times in a row if they had to. But they chose not to do that." Instead, Mississippi State ran its backs up the middle and Quarterback John Bond around the ends. "I was surprised they didn't test me deep," said Hoage, who in the first quarter intercepted a short pass from Bond in the Georgia end zone. Hoage's replacement at roverback was freshman John Little, who said, "They were putting two blockers on Hoage, and it left me open to make a lot of tackles. I was nervous in the beginning, but after that it was just like practice."
At Duke it was a reunion of sorts as Howard Schnellenberger's Miami Hurricanes blew in to play Steve Sloan's Blue Devils. As offensive coordinator under Bear Bryant at Alabama in the '60s, Schnellenberger had recruited Sloan, a quarterback, and coached him to two national titles. Last Saturday Schnellenberger was again teaching Sloan a lesson or two, as the Hurricanes won 56-17. They held the Blue Devils, now 0-4, to 32 net yards rushing and sacked Quarterback Ben Bennett five times. Miami also racked up 613 yards on offense, surpassing a school record of 582 set against Elon College in 1941.
With Boomer Esiason nursing a sore right shoulder, Maryland relied on its running game and short passes to beat Virginia 23-3. Said Esiason, who threw for 190 yards on 13 completions in 26 attempts, "Why go out there and take a chance on getting beat up when I could sit back and take it easy?"
After LSU's 31-17 loss to Florida, Tigers Coach Jerry Stovall was asked if he was disappointed. "Absolutely," he answered. "We will definitely look at the film and cry." The Gators held Dalton Hilliard to 28 yards in 14 carries and Garry James to 21 yards in six. And with a 10-point lead at the half, Florida successfully switched to a running game and gained 210 yards in the final two quarters. Florida Quarterback Wayne Peace, who connected on 14 of 20 passes for 185 yards in the first half, threw only three times in the second, twice for interceptions.
Last Thursday Tulane transfer Quarterback Jon English had apparently lost his fight for eligibility when New Orleans Civil District Judge Revius Ortique denied a request for a temporary injunction against the NCAA, which had ruled that English could not play for Tulane because he hadn't sat out a year since leaving Iowa State. "This court is not unmindful of the adverse impact this decision may have on the life of the plaintiff," read Ortique's opinion. "He sincerely believes he can become a professional football player. He wishes to hone his skills in his final year of intercollegiate competition.
"But when one weighs Jon English's plight against the principles of liberty and freedom, our courts will not interfere with the internal affairs of private associations, except in cases where affairs and proceedings have not been conducted fairly and honestly."
On Friday, English's lawyers persuaded the Fourth Circuit Court of Appeals that he would suffer irreparable harm if he were not allowed to perform. The court issued a temporary restraining order, and English played. He completed 21 of 36 passes for 318 yards, but Vanderbilt's Kurt Page threw for 282 yards and three touchdowns to lead the Commodores over the Green Wave 30-17.
Trailing 27-24, Florida State Quarterback Kelly Lowrey guided the Seminoles to the Auburn 26-yard line with 59 seconds to play. Obviously time for some War Eagle heroics. Enter, or rather reenter, Auburn's All-America Defensive Tackle Donnie Humphrey, who had been in and out of action with a left knee injury. With the game in the balance, he told Defensive Line Coach Wayne Hall that he was going back onto the field. Humphrey then hurried Lowrey into throwing an interception to Linebacker Greg Carr.
North Carolina battled back from an 11-point deficit at the half to hand Georgia Tech its fourth loss of the season, 38-21. The last time Tech opened a season 0-4 was in 1900.
A short week after Iowa's crowning victory over Ohio State, the Hawkeyes were upset 33-0 by Illinois. In the Illini's first three games, pass-oriented Coach Mike White had attempted to balance his attack between the air and the ground by keeping two backs in the backfield, with mixed results. Against Iowa, White reverted to his all-pass, one-back offense, and Illinois scored 27 points in the first half. During the afternoon, Illini Quarterback Jack Trudeau completed 23 of 32 passes for 286 yards. The Illinois defense, meanwhile, used a variety of blitzes, and seven different defenders sacked Chuck Long.
Eighty-two Ohio State players took part in the Buckeyes' 69-18 mauling of Minnesota. Twelve Gophers were seriously injured, and at least two of them are out for the season. "It could be an infirmary in there," said Minnesota Coach Joe Salem of the scene in his post-game locker room. "The only ones left healthy are the managers."
In the visitors' dressing room at Michigan, Indiana Coach Sam Wyche's biggest complaint wasn't the 43-18 losing score. His main gripe was about the locker room itself. "It is a crying shame that a place with all the class of Michigan would have facilities like this," he said. "It's ridiculous in there. The offense gets two nails to hang their stuff on, the defense gets one and the coaches don't have anything. We hang ours on the backs of rusty chairs." Wyche was also disturbed at the officiating. "I've heard that Bo [Schembechler] intimidates officials," he said. "And maybe it's true. Once [when the Wolverines had the ball] I watched that clock tick off 28 seconds [three more than is allowed] without the ball being snapped. The ref was looking at his watch, too, but you knew he wasn't going to call the penalty. That guy over there [Schembechler] wasn't going to let him call it."
Although Marcus Dupree hadn't fully recovered from a bruised nerve beneath his left knee, he played in Oklahoma's 29-10 win at Kansas State. Dupree fumbled twice, but he also ran for 151 yards and three touchdowns—one of them the result of an exhausting 48-yard excursion. "The knee was hurting all during the game," said Dupree. "I had to play. I wanted to play. But on that long run, I didn't think I was going to make it."
With six seconds to go against Michigan State, Purdue led 29-26. Spartan Kicker Ralf Mojsiejenko prepared for a 59-yard attempt, and the Boilermakers, naturally, called a timeout. "I was glad they took it," said Mojsiejenko. "I like all the time I can get. I like to line up the kick and take a few practice swings. I was probably the only guy in the stadium who thought I could make it, and I did [for a final score of 29-29]. I could have hit a 60-or 70-yarder today."
The Rice Owls have felt like cannon fodder before, but never quite so much as last Saturday in Austin. Down 21-0 to Texas, they emerged from the locker room after the half in time for the tail end of the University of Texas' centennial extravaganza. On the field were the 320-member Longhorn band and the 550-member alumni band—both shrouded in thick smoke from a climactic fireworks display that was still in progress. As rockets burst over the south end zone, a stationary fireworks display on the scoreboard spelled out HAPPY BIRTHDAY—UT—100TH and formed the outline of a Longhorn head. Picking apart shell-shocked Rice provided a nice pastime for Texas Quarterback Rob Moerschell, who apparently sewed up the starting job against Oklahoma this week with his savvy performance in the 42-6 victory.
Three weeks ago Texas A&M Coach Jackie Sherrill took a time-out with seven seconds to play in the Aggies' 38-0 trouncing of Arkansas State to allow his kicker, Alan Smith, to try an NCAA record-tying sixth field goal in one game. It was good from 57 yards. Last week Smith never got a chance from any distance, and the Aggies lost to Texas Tech 3-0. The winning points came from Ricky Gann, who made a 51-yarder before the half to give Tech its first 2-0 start in Southwest Conference competition since 1976. The Aggies, meanwhile, slipped to 1-3.
Arkansas rebounded from its Sept. 24 upset at Mississippi with a 38-21 defeat of TCU, while SMU shut out Texas-Arlington 34-0 as Reggie Dupard, a sophomore, and Jeff Atkins, a freshman, ran for 168 and 140 yards, respectively. The Mustangs are now 4-0, but they're not dancing in the streets because the victims have been Louisville, Grambling and TCU, in addition to the Mavericks.
PLAYERS OF THE WEEK
OFFENSE: Oil Quarterback Gale Gilbert, a 6'3", 215-pound junior, led the Bears from 23 points behind to a 33-33 tie with Arizona, completing 24 of his 38 passes for 344 yards and two TDs.
DEFENSE: Linebacker Mike Durrah, a 6-foot, 221-pound senior, caused two fumbles, broke up two passes and made 14 tackles, two of them sacks, in South Carolina's 38-14 upset of Southern Cal.
PERKIN' UP THE SCORE
Don't invite Memphis State's Rex Dockery and Alabama's Ray Perkins to the same coaches' clinic next summer. After spotting the Tigers 10 points last Saturday, the Crimson Tide rallied for 41 in the second half and ended up a 44-13 victor. Dockery was irked that Perkins played Quarterback Walter Lewis the whole way and also allowed freshman Van Tiffin to kick a 51-yard held goal in the final minute. "For sure, Lewis is a great quarterback," Dockery snapped, "and Perkins gave him plenty of good opportunities to show it." Said Perkins, "I thought about putting somebody else in at quarterback but I decided against it."
SI TOP 20
1. NEBRASKA (5-0)
2. TEXAS (3-0)
3. N. CAROLINA (5-0)
4. ALABAMA (4-0)
5. WEST VIRGINIA (5-0)
6. FLORIDA (4-0-1)
7. ARIZONA (4-0-1)
8. OHIO STATE (3-1)
9. MICHIGAN (3-1)
10. GEORGIA (3-0-1)
11. AUBURN (3-1)
12. OKLAHOMA (3-1)
13. MIAMI (4-1)
14. MARYLAND (3-1)
15. WASHINGTON (3-1)
16. BOSTON COLL. (4-1)
17. ILLINOIS (3-1)
18. IOWA (3-1)
19. OKLAHOMA ST. (4-0)
20. KENTUCKY (4-0)