By muffing a not-so-routine fly ball, Houston helped Texas score 14 unanswered points in seven seconds early in their SWC game. After kicker Jeff Ward's extra point gave Texas a 14-7 lead, Ward got his instructions on the sideline: pooch kick. Thinking nine iron, Ward lofted the ball into the rarefied air of the Astrodome—a can of corn, as it were. The football landed between Houston's front nine, which was expecting a squib kick, and its two deep backs. The Longhorns recovered on the Cougar eight, scored on the next play and went on to win 34-24.
The prologue for this one was a snappier read than the book itself. In the much chronicled 100th replay of a quaint, musty Division III rivalry, the Amherst Lord Jeffs overwhelmed the Ephmen of Williams 35-20.
Long used to athletic obscurity, both schools had become the focus of national media attention. President Reagan saluted the colleges. The Ivy Satellite Network arranged closed-circuit viewings for Amherst and Williams alumni nationwide. "I'm not used to this!" moaned Amherst coach Jim Ostendarp of all the interviews suddenly required of him. He had, however, brought much of the attention on himself. The Darp, as intimates know him, said thanks but no thanks to ESPN's offer to televise the game.
"People unfamiliar with small-school New England football would have seen the bleachers that only go four rows up, the lack of organized halftime activities," said the Darp. "They'd have seen play interrupted to shoo dogs off the field. It might have struck them in a negative way. It just wouldn't have been to the benefit of Amherst."
"It's a benevolent dictatorship," said Amherst quarterback Paul Foye, who threw for three TDs and ran for another in the rout. "We all back the Darp."
"We restored order back to nature," said Georgia center Peter Anderson after the Bulldogs had snapped No. 1-ranked Florida's 18-game unbeaten streak. If Anderson sounded matter-of-fact about the 24-3 upset, he had good reason: The Dawgs have defeated Florida in 11 of their last 14 games. Georgia's freshman fullback Keith Henderson had 145 yards and two TDs on just nine carries.
Sadly for Florida, all of sophomore quarterback Kerwin Bell's school-record 408 passing yards came between the five-yard lines. The Gator ground attack chipped in a chintzy 28 yards. More substantial contributions—in fines to the city of Jacksonville—will come from the 60-plus miscreants arrested for scalping, public drunkenness and related offenses at the Gator Bowl, where 82,327 fans gathered.
Trailing Miami by nine points with plenty of time to play in the second half, Maryland figured to have its seventh win sewn up. Heck, last season, with most of the same personnel, the Terps had been down 31-0 and stormed back to win 42-40. That game went into the books as "college football's greatest comeback."
This time the Hurricanes blanked Maryland on the Terps' last seven possessions to preserve a 29-22 victory, Miami's eighth straight and sixth on the road.
After pulling to within a point of LSU with 1:24 to play, Alabama coach Ray Perkins eschewed the two-point attempt and called for a kick, which gave him a 14-14 tie. The decision outraged many Crimson Tide boosters. Predictably, the ghost of Bear Bryant was evoked, and one man yelled at Perkins outside the locker room, "You're a disgrace to the university and an embarrassment to the state of Alabama!"
Michigan's 47-0 steamrolling of Purdue came just in time for Wolverine quarterback Jim Harbaugh, who had had it up to his chin strap with some of his critics on campus. "Someone had said he'd like to see Purdue's offense with our defense," said Harbaugh, "and that really got to us." Completing 12 consecutive passes, three of which went for TDs, Harbaugh easily outshone Boilermaker quarterback Jim Everett, who had been averaging 368 passing yards per Saturday. The Michigan defense, which has yielded just two touchdowns all season, granted Everett only 96 yards and never allowed Purdue to cross midfield. In the week before the Illinois game, the Iowa Hawkeyes were forced to evacuate their locker-room building across the street from Kinnick Stadium. Officials feared it was on the verge of collapse. The building didn't, but the visiting Illini, who lost the game 59-0, did.
As it has most of the season, Penn State played only as well as it had to in beating Cincinnati 31-10. Down by just four points at the half, the Bearcats self destructed in the third quarter, when they got off all of eight plays, two of them turnovers. Dave Currey, Cincinnati coach, think fast! Is Penn State No. 1? "They're a fine football team," said Currey, hedging slightly. "They've won all their games." Added freshman halfback Al McKinney, "Miami hits harder."
For the first time since 1957—Joe Kapp's junior year—USC failed to score a touchdown against Cal. Saturday's 14-6 loss to the Bears dropped USC's record to 4-4 and all but demoed the Trojans' conference hopes. The heat is on coach Ted Tollner, who has yet to beat Notre Dame or UCLA since taking over at USC in 1983.
The best runner on the field was not one of the Trojans' vaunted tailbacks but Cal freshman Marc Hicks, who gained 113 yards and scored both Bear TDs. Hicks talks a flashy game, too. "I think they came up here expecting to win without trying," he said. "We just kicked their backsides up and down the field."
UCLA never did deliver a knockout blow, but it still prevailed over Arizona 24-19. The Bruins need only to win their next two, against 3-6 Oregon State and USC, to clinch the Pac-10 crown.
Air Force romped over Army 45-7 in the Battle of the (wish) Bones. Falcon quarterback Bart Weiss didn't throw a pass until early in the second quarter, when he sucked the Knights up with a flawless play-action fake and then unloaded a 64-yard strike to split end Ken Carpenter, who coasted for the Air Force's second TD. Carpenter's father, Bill, earned renown playing for Army a generation ago. Bill Carpenter was better known as the Lonely End.
PLAYERS OF THE WEEK
OFFENSE: Sophomore tailback Lorenzo White gained 286 yards on 25 carries and scored three touchdowns in Michigan State's 35-16 win over Indiana. He played less than a minute in the second half.
DEFENSE: California junior linebacker Hardy Nickerson made 17 tackles—nine of them unassisted, three for losses—and forced two fumbles as the Bears held USC to 138 rushing yards in a 14-6 upset.
SI Top 20
1.PENN STATE (9-0)
2. NEBRASKA (8-1)
3. OHIO STATE (8-1)
4. IOWA (8-1)
5. MICHIGAN (7-1-1)
6. AIR FORCE (10-0)
7. OKLAHOMA STATE (7-2)
8. AUBURN (7-2)
9. MIAMI (8-1)
10. GEORGIA (7-1-1)*
11. FLORIDA (7-1-1)*
12. ARKANSAS (8-1)
13. OKLAHOMA (6-1)
14. FLORIDA STATE (7-2)
15. BAYLOR (7-2)
16. UCLA (7-1-1)
17. BYU (8-2)
18. ARIZONA STATE (7-2)
19. ALABAMA (6-2-1)
20. LSU (5-1-1)
* On probation