It was one of those days that confounded the oddsmakers and left coaches of heavily favored teams, like Ohio State's Earle Bruce, stunned. "The darkest day I've seen in Ohio State football," said Bruce after his team gained only 10 rushing yards in the second half and lost to Indiana in Columbus 31-10.
The Hoosiers hadn't beaten Ohio State since 1951, the late Woody Hayes's first season as the coach at Columbus. They played error-free football—Indiana had no turnovers and only 26 yards in penalties—and Hoosier coach Bill Mallory, who was an assistant to Hayes in the '60s, credited his old boss. "We brought in a referee to work our practices Tuesday and Wednesday," said Mallory. "Woody did that, and I learned a lot from him. He was a great man."
Two straight-ahead drives right out of the Hayes play book gave Indiana a 10-0 lead. Quarterback Dave Schnell, who leads the Big Ten in total offense, completed 15 of 23 passes for 200 yards and two TDs; and tailback Anthony Thompson gained 126 yards on 34 carries behind superb blocking. "We ran right at [All-America linebacker] Chris Spielman and it worked," said Thompson.
For company in his misery, Bruce has Foge Fazio. In 1983, when Fazio was the coach at Pitt, he recruited tailback Craig (Ironhead) Heyward. Last week, as Notre Dame's defensive coordinator, Fazio had the thankless task of dealing with Heyward. "Craig can really get his 260-pound body through those little holes," said Fazio. "He's tough to bring down."
Heyward proved his former coach right by carrying the ball a school-record 42 times, gaining 132 yards and scoring two TDs as the Panthers handed the Irish their first defeat of the season, 30-22.
Alabama was another upset victim, losing 13-10 at Memphis State. When it became clear that the Tigers, who hadn't beaten the Crimson Tide in five tries, were on their way to victory, the mood among 'Bama fans turned ugly. "Don't you give a damn anymore?" some yelled to the players. "Do you care, Alabama?"
Penalties doomed the Tide. Alabama, ahead 7-0, was called for pass interference, which allowed the Tigers to kick a 37-yard field goal on the last play of the first half. With a 10-3 lead late in the third period, 'Bama was twice whistled for pass interference during a 55-yard Memphis State touchdown drive. Then, with the score tied at 10-10 and 10:53 remaining in the game. Alabama scored from six yards out—only to have the play nullified by a holding call. On the next down Tiger defensive tackle Greg Ross snared a pass that had been deflected by noseguard Tory Epps and returned it to the Memphis State 45. When John Butler kicked what would be the winning field goal from 47 yards out with 8:28 remaining, the jeering started. "I couldn't believe all the things they were saying," Alabama guard Larry Rose said after the game. "Our own fans. Our own people."
USC became Oregon's latest upset victim. In their season opener the Ducks surprised Colorado 10-7. Two weeks ago they upset Washington 29-22 before 44,421, the largest crowd ever to watch a sports event in Oregon. On Saturday it was the Trojans' turn as Oregon won 34-27 before 39.587 at Autzen Stadium. The Ducks are 4-1 and hoping for their first bowl bid in 24 years.
On its first two series Oregon scored on drives of 80 and 55 yards. The Ducks, who were ahead 21-0 at the half, were led by Bill Musgrave, a freshman quarterback who's fourth in the country in passing. He completed 22 of 33 attempts for 287 yards and three touchdowns. Oregon gained 448 total yards. Oregon and UCLA, both 2-0 in the Pac-10, meet for the conference lead Saturday, and Oregon will be an underduck once again. If it wins, there will be no more upsets. The Ducks will be feared and favored the rest of the year.
Was Michigan State's 17-11 win over Michigan really an upset? After all, the Spartans have Lorenzo White. Can a team with a runner like White be called an underdog? Besides, the Spartans had already beaten USC and Iowa and were playing the Wolverines at home.
But, yes, Michigan should have won. And it could have won. In fact, it would have won had quarterback Demetrius Brown and his nonsupporting cast not blown scoring opportunity after scoring opportunity. Brown was intercepted seven times, but even before he started connecting with the Spartan defense, it was clear the Wolverines were foundering. In the first period, with a first-and-goal at the Spartan two, running back Jamie Morris lost four yards, after which Brown lost seven more and threw an incomplete pass. "It was terrible that we had to settle for a field goal there," said Michigan coach Bo Schembechler.
Thereafter, things got even worse for the Wolverine offense, and by game's end a rattled Brown was playing catch with the Michigan State defense. Spartan safety Harlon Barnett was hit in the hands with a pass at his own 10 with slightly more than three minutes left, and safety Todd Krumm was the recipient of another Brown giveaway with 26 seconds remaining.
So the Big Ten's Big Two both fell on a single afternoon, leaving Michigan State, Indiana and Minnesota atop the league, each with a 2-0 record. The Golden Gophers and the Ducks in the Rose Bowl?
Auburn quarterback Jeff Burger. Burger, a senior, was nearly perfect in the Tigers' 48-15 win over Vanderbilt, completing 14 of 18 passes—three of the four incompletions were balls that were dropped by his receivers—for 282 yards and two touchdowns.
Texas A & M cornerback Alex Morris. Morris, a junior, had 14 unassisted tackles and helped out on two others as the Aggies beat Houston 22-17. Among the tackles were five quarterback sacks, including two in a row late in the game that thwarted a Cougar drive deep in A & M territory.
Miami defensive back Bubba McDowell and Florida State linebacker Kelvin Smith. Each blocked two punts. The first block by McDowell, a junior, was run in for a touchdown, and his second led to a field goal as the Hurricanes beat Maryland 46-16. The handiwork of Smith, a freshman, set up a TD and a field goal in the Seminoles' 61-10 rout of Southern Mississippi.
...AND SATURDAY'S GOATS
The Illinois offense. Against Purdue the Illini fumbled 10 times, tying their own 39-year-old Big Ten record. Illinois lost eight of those miscues—and the game, 9-3—to give coach Fred Akers his first win with the Boilermakers.
Maybe it will all be over by this Saturday, when TCU returns home to play North Texas State—the annual central Texas cricket plague, that is, which is worse than usual. In spite of attempts to eradicate the bugs by spraying, swarms of the pesky critters have descended upon TCU's Carter Stadium in Fort Worth, where they are more than just a nuisance. After Arkansas committed three illegal procedure penalties in the first half of a 20-10 win over the Horned Frogs on Oct. 3, Razorback offensive guard Mike Benson complained that the distraction of the crickets was causing him and his linemates to jump. Afterward the Hogs' coach, Ken Hatfield, cracked that he wanted to "round those things up to sell to fishermen."
The crickets had been thicker when TCU hosted Brigham Young two weeks earlier in its only previous home game of the season. "Tens of thousands" was the estimate put forth by the TCU sports information department. "It really wasn't funny," says department secretary Dawn Hummer. The players agree. BYU wide receiver Rick Zayas complained that a cricket flew into his helmet and prowled around for a few seconds before departing through his ear hole. "When I lined up, I looked down the line and the crickets were crawling up on the football," Zayas recalls. "I wondered how that center could keep from flinching." Players on both teams were slipping and sliding as cricket carcasses coated the artificial turf.
Of course, BYU players up on their Mormon history already knew about the damage crickets can do. In the 1840s, just after Brigham Young and his followers arrived in Utah from Illinois, an entire wheat crop was threatened by crickets. Miraculously, a flock of sea gulls appeared from the Great Salt Lake, devouring the insects and saving the crop. Today the Seagull Monument stands in Salt Lake City as a memorial to this remarkable occurrence. Alas, no sea gulls showed up in Fort Worth, and the Frogs beat the Cougars 33-12.
Washington coach Don James spent last week imploring Husky fans to come to Saturday's game against Arizona State and scream their heads off. "I would hope our fans would get behind us and make a lot of noise," he told reporters. The loyalists answered the call—and loudly. A record crowd of 73,883 packed Husky Stadium and made an unholy racket as Washington beat the Sun Devils 27-14. "The receivers couldn't hear anything out there," said Arizona State flanker Chris Garrett. "The snap counts were wrong, and we couldn't hear the checks at the line because it was too noisy." At one point a police officer, concerned that the fans' behavior had gotten out of hand, requested that Washington athletic director Mike Lude make an announcement asking for calm. Lude's response: "I told him to go to hell."
...Florida's freshman sensation Emmitt Smith leads the nation in rushing with 836 yards after gaining 130 in a 65-0 thrashing of Cal State-Fullerton. His five straight 100-yard games are a school record. If Smith gains 164 against Temple this week, he will become the first freshman in all NCAA history to reach 1,000 yards in only seven games. Pitt's Tony Dorsett and Georgia's Herschel Walker did it in eight....
Though it's a terrific rivalry, Michigan-Michigan State isn't always a terrific game. The Spartans' six-point win Saturday was only the second spread of less than nine points in the teams" last 22 meetings.
PLAYERS OF THE WEEK
OFFENSE: Michigan State senior tailback Lorenzo White gained 185 yards on 34 carries and scored two TDs in the Spartans' 17-11 upset of Michigan. White is now the Big Ten's second alltime leading rusher, with 3,651 yards.
DEFENSE: Spartan strong safety John Miller was Michigan's favorite receiver, making four of State's seven interceptions, a school record in a Big Ten game, against the Wolverines. Miller, a junior, had 29 yards in runbacks and made five tackles.
SPECIAL TEAMS: Wilson Hoyle, a walk-on sophomore kicker at Wake Forest, booted a school-record five field goals as the Deacons beat North Carolina 22-14. Hoyle also has a school-record 10 field goals this year, and Wake is 5-0 for the first time since 1944.
FLORIDA STATE (5-1)
NOTRE DAME (3-1)
PENN STATE (5-1)
MICHIGAN STATE (3-2)
ARIZONA STATE (3-2)
AIR FORCE (4-1)
OKLAHOMA STATE (5-0)