"They were so close to the goal line you could barely place a half-burnt cigarette between the nose of the ball and the end zone," said SMU Defensive Tackle Mitch Willis after the Mustangs had held Texas A&M on three successive plays inside the one late in the fourth quarter to preserve a 10-7 victory. Twice Aggie Tailback Jimmie Hawkins tried to go up and over the line, and both times SMU stopped him six inches short. After a time-out, Quarterback Kevin Murray failed on a sneak. "It was just a matter of who wanted it more," said Mustang Defensive Tackle Doug Hollie.
"We talked all week about the danger of being flat today," said Texas Quarterback Todd Dodge. "Maybe we talked too much and somehow let it happen." After facing Oklahoma, Arkansas and SMU on the road, the Longhorns came home and found themselves trailing 30-point underdog Texas Tech 3-0 at halftime. Dodge, who came off the bench to relieve starter Rob Moerschell with two minutes left in the second quarter, engineered a 72-yard touchdown drive in the third quarter and bootlegged 12 yards in the fourth quarter for another score to lead the Longhorns to a 20-3 triumph.
The high point of Ohio State's 45-27 victory over Wisconsin was the Buckeye band's script rendition of Ohio, which traditionally culminates with a tuba player dotting the "i." This time, though, former Ohio State Coach Woody Hayes, who was being saluted in the halftime festivities, did the honors. Quipped Hayes, "Did you hear about the Ohio State tuba player who quit school because he wasn't getting enough work? He transferred to Mississippi."
Even Heisman Trophy candidates make mistakes. On the opening kickoff of Nebraska's 51-25 romp over Kansas State, the Huskers' star runner, Mike Rozier, caught the ball in the end zone, ran it out to the two-yard line and was waved back by a teammate. Uncertain about what to do, Rozier returned to the end zone and knelt on one knee, giving K-State a safety. "I wasn't sure about the rule," said Rozier, who ran for 227 yards and three touchdowns, "but I am now."
As the clock wound down on Iowa's 49-3 rout of Indiana, Hoosier Coach Sam Wyche had his players kneel on the sidelines and stare at the scoreboard. After the final gun he marched them onto the field, telling them to remember the scene. "Nobody is going to kick sand on Indiana anymore," he said. "I won't forget this one." What Iowa did was showcase backup quarterbacks Tom Grogan and Cornelius Robertson at the Hoosiers' expense. They were being scouted by the pros, said Coach Hayden Fry. "I wanted them to have some good film clips." He added that if he'd truly wanted to run up the score, he could have left his first offensive unit in the game. Grogan completed six of eight passes for 117 yards, and Robertson hit three of six for 59. Both threw TD passes.
Pit and Syracuse were dead-HMO I locked 10-10 when he trotted onto the field to attempt the winning field goal with 11 seconds remaining to play. Some of his teammates didn't even know his name. Moreover, not until he was lining up for the boot did his holder. Quarterback John Congemi, realize that he was left-footed. But Pat Viancourt kept his cool. The Panthers' regular kicker had been injured in the first half, and his backup had missed from 25 and 29 yards. So Pitt Assistant Coach Andy Urbanic suggested to his boss, Foge Fazio, that they call on Viancourt, a freshman walk-on who wasn't even listed on the Panthers' roster. Viancourt converted the kick from 43 yards to win the game 13-10. "Of course I was nervous," said Viancourt. "It's only natural." Said Panther Cornerback Troy Hill, "Our guy, No. 2—uh, Pat, what's his name?—he came in and did the job."
Boston College stuck to two major plans in its 27-17 victory over Penn State. On defense the Eagles blitzed on nearly every play. "We got burned badly once [on a 42-yard touchdown run by freshman D.J. Dozier]," said BC Coach Jack Bicknell, "but we thought this would help us stay loose." On offense the Eagles used Tailback Troy Stradford as a decoy on pass routes to clear out acreage for Split End Brian Brennan. The strategy worked perfectly as Brennan ended up with 12 catches for 172 yards—and one assist. That came on a 25-yard pass from Quarterback Doug Flutie that skipped off Brennan's hands eight yards downfield to Stradford, who scampered 42 yards down the left sideline for the Eagles' second TD. "Troy and I were rehearsing that thing all week," said Brennan. Flutie finished the afternoon with 24 completions in 43 attempts for 380 yards to lead Boston College to its first win over Penn State.
"I was between total glee and total ecstasy...and no. I can't spell ecstasy," said Holy Cross Tailback Gill Fenerty after the Crusaders' 77-28 defeat of Columbia. A sophomore transfer from LSU, Fenerty had TD runs of 55, 22, 11, 11, 62 and 68 yards. He wound up with 337 yards on 18 carries as Holy Cross ran its record to 8-0.
In two showdowns between undefeated teams in Division III, Carnegie-Mellon, ranked second nationally going into the game, defeated No. 4 Case Western Reserve 15-10, and Hofstra, ranked third, won 28-24 over St. John's (N.Y.), which had been tied with Case for fourth. The 8-0 Tartans hope to replace 7-0 Augustana (Ill.), a 56-7 winner over Olivet Nazarene last week, as the division's No. 1 team. Said Carnegie Tackle Ross Jicomelli, a humanities major, "All week long we've been saying that two minus four equals one." In the Hofstra-St. John's game, the deciding blow was a 70-yard pass play from Flying Dutchman Quarterback Rich Codella to Tight End Steve Madey with 2:14 remaining.
With his team trailing New Mexico 24-17, Colorado State Quarterback Terry Nugent had 40 seconds and no time-outs to go 80 yards. Four straight sideline passes put the Rams on the Lobo 37-yard line, and a Hail Mary tip-play got them to the one. With one second remaining and the clock stopped only so the chains could be moved, Nugent didn't have time to call proper signals at the line. Instead he shouted to everyone, including the Lobo defenders. "Quarterback sneak, first sound!" Nugent bulled over for a touchdown and then passed for a two-point conversion to give the Rams a 25-24 victory. "All they had to do was stack everybody in the middle and they'd have stopped us," said Nugent.
In UCLA's 27-24 defeat of Washington, Bruin Quarterback Rick Neuheisel hit 25 of 27 passes for 287 yards to set an NCAA single-game completion percentage record (minimum of 20 completions). His mark of 92.59% surpassed the previous record of 87.2% (34 of 39) set by Dick Norman of Stanford in 1959. Eight of Neuheisel's passes went to 6'1½" sophomore Split End Mike Sherrard, who, like Neuheisel, was a walk-on. "Actually," says Bruin Offensive Coordinator Homer Smith, "Sherrard was a stroll-on. He strolled onto campus with a girl on each arm. The kid was skin and bones [he's now 186 pounds], he had girls hanging all over him, and he told us he thought he could play football for UCLA." The Huskies were threatening until Bruin Free Safety Don Rogers intercepted a Steve Pelluer pass at the UCLA five-yard line with less than a minute to go.
Don't ask Quarterback Bob Davis of Florida State to do any contact-lens ads. Davis, who can't distinguish jersey numbers without his lenses, was pressed into action against Arizona State when starter Kelly Lowrey suffered a sprained left knee with 10 minutes to play and the Seminoles trailing 19-14. Davis had lost a lens before the game, so he played with just one. He nonetheless directed the Seminoles to two touchdowns, the second on a 10-play drive in the last minute and a half that beat the Sun Devils 29-26.
Brigham Young Quarterback Steve Young scrambled one yard for a touchdown with 11 seconds remaining to beat Utah State 38-34, but the victory was costly: Gordon Hudson, who has caught more passes (178) than any tight end in NCAA history, sustained torn ligaments in his left knee and may be sidelined for the rest of the season.
Southern Illinois beat New Mexico State 41-3 by picking off eight Aggie passes. "I watched all the films," said Saluki Coach Rey Dempsey, "and no one has dominated them like that." Northern Arizona upset Nevada-Reno 41-38 with the help of a remarkable performance by Defensive Tackle James Gee. Gee made 17 tackles, five of them behind the line, forced a fumble and blocked a field-goal attempt. A teammate returned the blocked ball 86 yards for a touchdown.
Duke won its first game of the season by beating Georgia Tech 32-26 in Durham, N.C., and the Blue Devil fans made the most of a rare opportunity. They snapped one of the goalposts off at the base, handed it 46 rows up through Wallace Wade Stadium and then carried it onto campus. Said Blue Devil Quarterback Ben Bennett, who completed 27 of 33 passes for 255 yards, "Hooray for my team!"
In two impressive defensive performances, North Carolina State Strong Safety John McRorie had three interceptions and a fumble recovery in the Wolfpack's 31-17 win over South Carolina, and Murray State Cornerback James (Squeaky) Yarbrough led the Racers to a 23-10 upset of defending Division I-AA champion Eastern Kentucky. In the first quarter Yarbrough picked up a blocked punt and ran 21 yards for a touchdown. In the third quarter he returned a punt he blocked 27 yards to set up another TD. He also made two interceptions, one of which he returned 41 yards for the Racers' final score.
Willie Totten of Mississippi Valley State threw for 477 yards in a 54-12 rout of Prairie View. Wide Receiver Jerry Rice, who leads the nation in receptions with 87, caught 12 of Totten's passes.
PLAYERS OF THE WEEK
OFFENSE: Terry Nugent, who completed 29 of 41 passes, drove the Rams 80 yards in the final 40 seconds and then passed for the winning two points in Colorado State's 25-24 victory over New Mexico.
DEFENSE: In a 23-10 upset of Eastern Kentucky, Murray State's James Yarbrough blocked one punt, returned another for a TD and intercepted two passes, one of which he returned for a touchdown.
SI TOP 20
1. NEBRASKA (9-0)
2. TEXAS (7-0)
3. GEORGIA (7-0-1)
4. AUBURN (7-1)
5. MIAMI (8-1)
6. MARYLAND (7-1)
7. ILLINOIS (7-1)
8. BOSTON COLL. (6-1)
9. N. CAROLINA (7-1)
10. BYU (7-1)
11. FLORIDA (6-1-1)
12. SMU (6-1)
13. CLEMSON (6-1-1)
14. MICHIGAN (6-2)
15. WEST VIRGINIA (6-2)
16. IOWA (6-2)
17. OHIO STATE (6-2)
18. TENNESSEE (6-2)
19. OKLAHOMA (6-2)
20. SOUTHERN ILL. (9-0)