To warn his team against a letdown in their game with Louisville, Miami Coach Howard Schnellenberger attached two paragraphs to the back of each player's scouting report on the Cardinals. One was headed: "The importance of this game if we win." The other was entitled: "The importance of this game if we lose." Schnellenberger used this sort of ploy all week, and it seemed to do the trick. In a 42-4 victory, the Hurricane line gave Bernie Kosar six and seven seconds of protection on nearly every pass play, and Running Back Albert Bentley rushed for 152 yards.
Playing before the largest crowd (74,500) in the history of South Carolina's Williams-Brice Stadium, Notre Dame didn't want to give the hometown fans a chance to get excited. "It was a priority to take the crowd out of the game early," said Tailback Allen Pinkett, who ran 53 yards on the Irish's first offensive play to set up a field goal. Notre Dame Coach Gerry Faust asked the officials to stop the South Carolina band from playing when his team had the ball, and the Irish scored on their first five possessions to take much of the wind out of the crowd. Notre Dame freshman Quarterback Steve Beuerlein went the distance, completing nine of 13 passes for 163 yards as the Irish won 30-6.
The smartest thing Pitt did against Florida State was what it didn't do. "All year we saw them blitz," said Seminole Coach Bobby Bowden. "All of a sudden they quit blitzing. Our game plan was shot after the third play." Nevertheless, Florida State scored on its first two possessions to lead 13-0 before the Panther defense shut down the Seminoles. "Our defense sputters right at the start of every game," said Pitt Defensive End Al Wenglikowski. "That's scary." In his fourth game as the Panthers' No. 1 quarterback, John Congemi completed 20 of 33 passes to rally his team to a 17-16 victory.
As expected, 16th-ranked Boston College rolled over Yale 42-7 as Doug Flutie of the Eagles passed for 325 yards and four touchdowns. The loss put the Elis' record at 0-4—the worst start for Yale in 111 years of football—and it begged the question of why the teams were playing in the first place. The game, answered Eli Athletic Director Frank Ryan, had been scheduled in 1978, when Boston College had just gone 0-11 and Yale, still a Division I-A team, was between Ivy championships. Times do change.
And at Pace University, a Division III school in Pleasantville, N.Y., two players—Noseguard Bob Monti and Strong Safety Mike Robustelli, son of Andy, the former defensive end for the Giants—were kicked out of school early last week for allegedly beating up two Pace students outside a restaurant. Many of the school's football players believed that the university acted unfairly in passing judgment on Monti and Robustelli before the matter had been decided in court. (The case is scheduled to be heard on Oct. 25.) Six other players, including Tailback Tim Conlon, who was 127 yards short of becoming the Setters' first 2,000-yard rusher, quit the team in protest; others decided to scrape the blue Pace logos off their helmets before Saturday's homecoming game against St. John's. Pace lost 34-6 to the Redmen, who have won 13 straight games.
"At least I don't have to explain why we didn't run up the score," said Nebraska Coach Tom Osborne after the Cornhuskers' unexpectedly narrow 14-10 win at Oklahoma State. "It's not too tough getting your team mentally ready when your opponent is supposed to be the best of all time," said Cowboy Coach Jimmy Johnson the night before the game, and he was proved correct. Oklahoma State forced five Nebraska turnovers, pinned the first sacks of the season, four in all, on Quarterback Turner Gill and held the Huskers to 169 yards and 44 points fewer than their average output. The Cowboys' first score, a 26-yard field goal in the second quarter, was set up by a 64-yard dash by Tailback Shawn Jones. Nebraska then took a 7-3 lead, but Oklahoma State responded with a 15-yard touchdown pass from Quarterback Ike Jackson to Jamie Harris. The Huskers got the winning TD on their second possession of the third quarter, Gill and Tight End Todd Frain combining on a 32-yard pass-run play.
"There's a group of sad young men in the locker room next door," said Johnson afterward, "because they gave every ounce of energy to be successful in this game. We felt like we were going to win, and we felt stronger about that conviction as the game went on." Nevertheless, Oklahoma State, which is 0-21-1 against Nebraska in the last 22 years, probably gained more respect in losing to Nebraska than it would have in beating almost any other team in the country.
Two weeks ago Illinois engineered a 33-0 upset over Iowa by returning to its mix-it-up passing attack. Last week against Wisconsin, the mix-it-up got mixed up. The Badgers led 9-3 at the half, and, said Illinois Coach Mike White, "They had us totally befuddled. Wisconsin was giving our quarterback [Jack Trudeau] a look he hadn't seen before." The Illini came out running in the second half and won 27-16. "We were hoping they wouldn't realize they could run on us," said Wisconsin Coach Dave McClain. "Unfortunately they did." In an earlier game, a 20-10 victory over Michigan State, Illinois had been accused of dirty play, a charge that led one Detroit columnist to dub the team "The Biting Illini." Against Wisconsin, Illinois was assessed 151 yards in penalties. "Those guys are known for their cheap shots," said Badger Tight End Bret Pearson, "but at least they got caught today." Defensive Tackle Scott Bergold agreed: "They were definitely taking some cheap shots. They were throwing punches, and when I went up to block field-goal attempts, I kept getting hit below the belt."
After Ohio State's 33-22 victory over Purdue, Buckeye Coach Earle Bruce described his feelings in near-Stengelese: "I don't think you ought to say anything negative about a win, because a win is a win. But I don't like fumbles, penalties, interceptions and lack of concentration." In a game that should have been a cakewalk, Ohio State threw three interceptions and was penalized on six crucial occasions, while Purdue, which had averaged six turnovers a game, played almost error-free. The difference turned out to be two punt returns—one for 63 yards, the other for 71—for touchdowns by Buckeye Garcia Lane.
"I felt a little embarrassed about that score," said Iowa Coach Hayden Fry after his team's 61-21 defeat of Northwestern. "But I can't tell guys to go out there and play dead. They're fighting for jobs and want a chance to show their stuff." Fry had planned to rely primarily on his running attack against the porous Mildcat defense. But, he said, "We had a lot of ailing running backs, and I could see that we could pass, so why not?" Why not indeed? The Hawkeyes piled up a Big Ten-record 713 yards in total offense. Said Iowa Quarterback Chuck Long, who completed 23 of 33 throws for 420 yards, "I kind of got in the groove passing and decided to stay there."
During practice Oregon Coach Rich Brooks had noticed his third-string tight end, Dave Christensen, passing balls 70 yards and more. "I don't throw for distance," says Christensen, "I just play catch." Nonetheless, last week Brooks installed a tight-end-around pass play, and on the Ducks' first possession against Cal, Christensen fired from near midfield to Lew Barnes, who made the grab at the 15 and ran into the end zone untouched. On its next possession Oregon got even trickier. Without huddling, nine Ducks, including the center, lined up on the left side of the ball. Before the Bears knew a play was being run, Quarterback Mike Jorgensen snapped the ball to himself and pitched it to Barnes, who went 41 yards to the Cal seven behind the wedge of blockers. Said Brooks, "I double-checked the rules and I alerted the referee before the game that we might use that play. It's legal as long as you have seven men on the line and everybody is within 15 yards of the line of scrimmage." After the Ducks prevailed 24-17, Cal Coach Joe Kapp said, "I give full credit to Oregon. Everything they did was outstanding."
One could almost see the vultures gathering around Stanford Stadium. The feast would be the losing coach—either Terry Donahue of 0-3-1 UCLA or Paul Wiggin of 0-4 Stanford. Fortunately for Donahue, Bruin Don Rogers produced one TD on an interception and set up two field goals as UCLA won 39-21. Wiggin, on the other hand, almost certainly will lose his job. Among those rumored to be in line to replace him are Jack Elway of San Jose State, Dennis Green of Northwestern, Jim Sochor of UC-Davis, Jack Bicknell of Boston College and even Bill Walsh of the 49ers.
Another coach feeling heat is Ted Tollner of Southern Cal, which has lost to Kansas and South Carolina. One Los Angeles Times reader asked, "When did USC de-emphasize football? The Trojans are playing like a bunch of walk-ons." Another wondered, "Does anybody think [former coaches John] McKay or [John] Robinson would be 1-2-1 with the 1983 Trojans?" USC Quarterback Sean Salisbury said, "I'd be a blatant liar if I said the criticism didn't bother me. But I can't go around wearing earmuffs and sunglasses so I don't hear or see those things." Last week he was fortunate to hear and see Washington State, as he hit on 19 of 25 passes for 256 yards, and the Trojans won 37-17. Said Tollner following the game, "We're ready to become a football team now."
SMU rose to its first real challenge of the season, beating Baylor 42-26 to extend the nation's longest unbeaten streak to 21 games. For the second week in a row both Mustang tailbacks, sophomore Reggie Dupard and freshman Jeff Atkins, rushed for more than 100 yards apiece. Quarterback Lance McIlhenny threw four touchdown passes, three of them to Split End Marquis Pleasant. "I think this was an indication of how good we can be," said Coach Bobby Collins, who has a week off before facing Texas.
Kevin Murray of Texas A&M, a freshman quarterback, was allowed to play college football only after a federal judge in Houston ruled last summer that he had fulfilled his pro baseball contractual obligations with the Milwaukee Brewers, in whose minor league system he played in 1982. In his first start, in place of John Mazur, Murray connected on 18 of 31 passes for 217 yards and three touchdowns to beat Houston 30-7. He also rushed for 67 yards. "He's going to make it tough for other teams to prepare for us," said Aggie Coach Jackie Sherrill.
PLAYERS OF THE WEEK
OFFENSE: Tailback Paul Lewis, a 5'8", 190-pound junior, rushed for 223 yards and scored three TDs—the last on a 17-yard run with 1:18 to play—to lead Boston University to a 26-19 win over Richmond.
DEFENSE: UCLA Safety Don Rogers, a 6'1½", 208-pound senior, set up two field goals with a recovered fumble and an interception and scored on another interception as the Bruins beat Stanford 39-21.
SI TOP 20
1. NEBRASKA (6-0)
2. TEXAS (4-0)
3. N. CAROLINA (6-0)
4. WEST VIRGINIA (5-0)
5. FLORIDA (5-0-1)
6. ARIZONA (5-0-1)
7. OHIO STATE (4-1)
8. MICHIGAN (4-1)
9. GEORGIA (4-0-1)
10. ALABAMA (4-1)
11. AUBURN (4-1)
12. MIAMI (5-1)
13. MARYLAND (4-1)
14. OKLAHOMA ST. (4-1)
15. WASHINGTON (4-1)
16. BOSTON COLL. (5-1)
17. ILLINOIS (4-1)
18. IOWA (4-1)
19. BYU (4-1)
20. SMU (5-0)