"I've been learning to play the piano," Arkansas Coach Lou Holtz said early in the week. "It's obvious from the way the team is playing that I should've been studying game films." Holtz clearly tended to his duties in preparing the Razorbacks to face TCU. Result: the Arkansas offense, which had been playing at a larghetto pace, struck up an allegro beat in a 44-7 defeat of Texas Christian. "We tried to be a power team out of the I and we can't be," Holtz explained. "So we mixed in the option plays with traps and finesse." The Razorbacks amassed 610 yards in total offense and got four touchdown runs from Darryl Bowles.
Texas A&M, which had suffered deflating defeats at the hands of Georgia and Penn State, also made some offensive changes and, like Arkansas, built a 31-0 lead. The catalyst was Quarterback David Beal, a senior making his first start. Beal passed for 129 yards and scored on runs of 20, nine, 25 and 32 yards during a 41-21 drubbing of Texas Tech. Strong Safety Leandrew Brown also excelled, stealing three passes and recovering a fumble.
Texas continued to roll, taking a 35-7 lead over Rice and coasting to a 41-28 victory. Not even five turnovers and 134 yards in penalties could halt the Longhorns, who got a team-record 306 yards passing and 84 yards rushing from Donnie Little.
Jay Jeffrey of Baylor was another versatile quarterback; he passed for 146 yards and ran for 85 more. Helping Jeffrey out during a 24-12 defeat of Houston was Linebacker Doak Field, who deflected a Cougar field-goal try, intercepted a pass, pounced on a fumble and took part in 17 tackles.
TEXAS (4-0) ARKANSAS (3-1) SMU (4-0)
Since Warren Powers became the Missouri coach in 1977, the Tigers have had the seven largest crowds in their history. Alas, they've lost on each occasion. Last week, before the latest record-breaking crowd, of 75,298, the Tigers seemed poised to end their jinx. But ninth-ranked Mizzou, which led 21-16 at halftime, lost to Penn State 29-21. Herb Menhardt put the Nittany Lions ahead 22-21 with two field goals following interceptions by Defensive Back Paul Lankford. And a 43-yard scoring gallop by Penn State's Todd Black-ledge sent the big crowd home discouraged.
Colorado lost to Oklahoma by the staggering score of 82-42. A passel of NCAA marks were established in the game: 875 yards in total offense and 758 yards rushing by the Sooners, most points by both teams in a game (124) and most touchdowns by both teams (18). Oklahoma's David Overstreet rambled for 258 yards on 18 carries, Sooner George (Buster) Rhymes scored four TDs, and Jerome Ledbetter of OU returned a kickoff 99 yards for a touchdown. Darrell Shepard, a backup quarterback for the Sooners, carried only three times and scored on runs of 64 and 89 yards. The Buffalo diehards took some solace from a 100-yard kickoff return by Walter Stanley that cut Oklahoma's advantage to 14-7. Après Stanley le dèluge.
Another Rocky Mountain team lost by an even wider margin, Colorado State going down 69-0 at Iowa State. The Cyclones, the Big Eight's only team without a setback, ran for a school-record 449 yards.
Irish eyes were smiling after Phil Carter and Harry Oliver rallied Notre Dame from a 9-0 deficit to a 26-21 triumph at Michigan State. Slashing runs by Carter set up one field goal by Oliver, who added another to pare the Spartan lead to 9-6 at the half. Carter then scored on a 12-yard spurt and set up another touchdown with a 53-yard dash, and Oliver added two fourth-period field goals.
Big Ten teams won four other home games against outsiders. "I will not have a passing team," said Michigan Coach Bo Schembechler, having gone that route while losing the past two games. So the Wolverines went back to grind-it-out tactics and slugged their way for 388 yards on the ground in beating winless California 38-13. Lawrence Ricks blasted for 184 of those yards. For naught were the labors of Cal's Rich Campbell, who was on target with all 15 of his second-half passes and finished with 22 of 34 for 249 yards.
Purdue Coach Jim Young was also upset with his team's passing and decided to bench Mark Herrmann after Herrmann was intercepted for the third time in the second period by Miami of Ohio. But when the Boilermakers got the ball back with 2:21 left in the half, Young reversed himself. In went Herrmann, who wound up with three scoring passes and 291 yards as he hit on 21 of 39 attempts. And Purdue wound up on top 28-3.
Wisconsin defeated San Diego State 35-12, and Indiana beat Duke 31-21 as Lonnie Johnson tied a team record by rushing for 211 yards. Big Ten losers were Iowa, which was knocked off by Arizona 5-3, and Illinois, a 28-21 victim of Mississippi State. In the lone conference game, Minnesota drubbed Northwestern 49-21.
NOTRE DAME (3-0) OHIO STATE (3-1) NEBRASKA (3-1)
While Maryland Quarterbacks Mike Tice and Bob Milkovich were being sacked seven times for minus 46 yards by Pitt defenders, Panther Quarterback Dan Marino encountered no such interruptions. He completed 16 of 34 passes for 282 yards and found his wide receivers for three touchdowns. Freshman Dwight Collins teamed up with Marino on scoring plays of 51 and 35 yards, and Willie Collier pulled down a 17-yarder. All of that, plus a Pitt defense that yielded a net of 22 yards rushing, carried the Panthers to a 38-9 victory.
By converting three of Virginia's six second-half turnovers into touchdowns, West Virginia overcame a 21-9 halftime deficit and won 45-21.
With ace runner Joe Morris out with a shoulder injury, Syracuse knew it would have to be extra careful against Kansas. Nonetheless, the Orangemen coughed up two fumbles and had four passes picked off, enabling the Jayhawks to win for the first time, 23-8. Kansas apparently was helped, too, by Coach Don Fambrough's decision to "strip the offense of all the frills and cut out more than half the plays." Freshman Kerwin Bell responded with 143 yards rushing.
Boston College tarnished its reputation by losing 21-0 to Navy, but the Ivy League gained prestige by defeating the other two service academies. Harvard capitalized on six turnovers to beat Army 15-10 in the first meeting between the teams since 1951. And Yale, playing a team from west of the Mississippi for the first time since 1922, held off Air Force 17-16 as Rich Diana ran for 136 yards. Two Ivies lost non-league games, Cornell being ripped by Rutgers 44-3 and Dartmouth falling to Holy Cross 17-6. In conference play, Penn defeated Columbia 24-13 and Brown beat Princeton 28-11.
PITT (4-0) PENN STATE (3-1) RUTGERS (4-0)
The most significant stat at the end of the Kentucky-Alabama game was not 409, the yards the Tide ran for; or 21, the points it scored in a two-minute-and-20-second fourth-quarter spree; or 45, Alabama's total points against the Wildcats, who were shut out. No, the big number was 300, as in victories for 'Bama's Bear Bryant, now in his 36th season of coaching. Only two men have done better: Glenn (Pop) Warner, with 313, and Amos Alonzo Stagg, with 314. Bryant said, "There's no way to compare me or anybody else to Stagg. He was the Huck Finn of football. He didn't have a staff and he didn't recruit. He went on picnics and sang with his players. That's great. His wife even helped him coach."
Tennessee State's John Merritt was exactly 100 victories behind Bryant following a 35-18 triumph over Long Beach State.
Louisiana State dropped the opening kick-off, messed up its first three snaps and fumbled a not-so-grand total of 12 times. That should have made it a cinch for Florida to remain undefeated. The Tigers, however, pulled off a 24-7 SEC shocker by recovering seven of their own bobbles and getting 148 yards rushing from Jesse Myles.
Auburn clobbered Richmond 55-16, as its James Brooks, who had been hampered by a sprained ankle in earlier outings, ripped off 204 yards.
Three teams from South Carolina came out on top. Clemson fans took to heart complaints by Coach Danny Ford about their lack of èlan. Most of the 62,500 fans at the game against Virginia Tech wore something orange, and they raised such a din that visiting Quarterback Steve Casey had to request quiet 13 times. Those raucous rooters may well have deserved some credit for the Tigers' 13-10 triumph. That's because on Casey's last plea for quiet, which came on fourth down inside the Clemson one, a Tech lineman moved and the Hokies were penalized five yards. As a result, they canceled the play from scrimmage they had called and settled for a field goal.
University of South Carolina runners gained 322 yards during a 30-10 victory over North Carolina State, which had given up an average of 67.7 yards on the ground in three previous contests. George Rogers of the Gamecocks had his 15th consecutive 100-yard performance, grinding out 193 yards. South Carolina State, ranked third in Division I-AA, beat Alcorn State 33-0.
The Ramblin' Wreck from Georgia Tech did little ramblin' (29 yards on the ground and 87 through the air) and was left a 33-0 wreck by North Carolina. When Kelvin Bryant wasn't tearing through Tech defenders for 112 yards, Amos Lawrence was picking up 102 and Rod Elkins was passing for 201.
On Tulane's first play against Southern Methodist, Nickie Hall and Marcus Anderson collaborated on a school-record 84-yard scoring pass. And Hall kept bombing away, hitting on 22 of 42 for 347 yards. It wasn't enough. Five times the lead changed hands, with the Mustangs winning 31-21 as Mike Ford passed for two TDs and ran for another.
ALABAMA (4-0) MIAMI (4-0) NORTH CAROLINA (4-0)
"That kid didn't snow much sympathy for his daddy," said San Jose State Coach Jack Elway of his son John, who quarterbacked Stanford to a 35-21 win. But Jack Elway smiled as he spoke, unable to conceal pride in his offspring's 19-for-25 passing that was good for 164 yards.
Arizona State nearly overcame a big deficit at Southern Cal. After trailing 20-7 at the intermission, the Sun Devils trimmed the margin to 23-21 as Willie Gittens broke loose for a 59-yard scoring run and Mike Pagel passed 14 yards to Ron Wetzel for a touchdown on fourth-and-two. That, however, was as close as they got, Scott Lewis' try for a 72-yard field goal falling far short as the final gun sounded. The Trojans, whose last loss was in 1978 to Arizona State, extended their unbeaten string to 24 games. USC was led by the passing of Gordon Adams (20 of 29 for 226 yards), the running of Marcus Allen (132 yards) and three field goals by Eric Hipp.
One team whose rally didn't fall short was Pacific, a 24-22 surprise winner at Washington State. With 1:09 left and the Cougars leading 22-21, the Tigers got the ball on their own 19. With the aid of a 20-yard Grayson Rogers-to-Rainey Meszaros pass on fourth-and-13, Pacific swept downfield and pulled the game out on Jeff Council's 29-yard goal in the final three seconds.
USC (4-0) UCLA (4-0) STANFORD (4-1)
PLAYERS OF THE WEEK
OFFENSE: Phil Carter, a 5'10", 193-pound sophomore halfback, came within one yard of the Notre Dame single-game rushing record as he gained 254 yards on 40 carries to help the Irish whip Michigan State 26-21.
DEFENSE: Paul Piurowski, Florida State's 6'3", 222-pound senior linebacker, was in on 22 tackles and sacked Nebraska Quarterback Jeff Quinn on the game's final play as the Seminoles pulled off a stunning 18-14 upset.