The Miami Hurricanes were trailing Florida 20-18 and facing a fourth-and-14 at the Gators' 38-yard line. So, with 45 seconds left in the game, Miami Coach Howard Schnellenberger called time to set up a pass play. Schnellenberger doesn't much care for the Gators; last year at Gainesville, after being pelted with fruit and ice throughout the game, he ordered a field goal with one second left in Miami's 31-7 victory. Last Saturday in the Orange Bowl, however, Schnellenberger was just looking for a way out of a jam, when he was approached on the sideline by Placekicker Danny Miller. As a boy in Clewiston, Fla., Miller practiced kicking through two banana trees in a neighbor's yard, and he had already drilled a 42-yarder earlier in the day. So Schnellenberger was naturally receptive to any suggestion he might have. "I told the coach I could make it if he'd just let me try," Miller said later. Miller was sent in and proceeded to deliver a 55-yard banana split, propelling the Hurricanes to a 21-20 victory before a crowd of 73,817, Miami's largest at home since 1955. Come Mister Tallyman, tally Miami's bananas.
Tulane Kicker Vince Manalla beat Ole Miss a year ago on the last play of the game and had a chance to do the same thing again this year, but failed. With the Green Wave trailing by a point and eight seconds to play, Manalla's 47-yard attempt was blocked and Mississippi pulled out a 19-18 squeaker. Mississippi State's wingbone cracked slightly, but the Bulldogs were bailed out by Strong Safety Rob Fesmire en route to a 20-3 defeat of Memphis State. Fesmire had seven unassisted tackles, four assists, an interception and a 37-yard punt return that set up a score. Alabama crushed LSU 24-7 in a game that marked the renewal of Bear Bryant's quest to break Amos Alonzo Stagg's career coaching record of 314 wins. Bryant has 307 victories. Kentucky defeated North Texas State 28-6. North Texas State is the alma mater of Phyllis George Brown, who is the wife of Kentucky's governor, who once tried to fire Fran Curci, who is the coach at Kentucky, which last week beat North Texas State, which, oh, never mind.
Underdog Lamar held Baylor Tailback Walter Abercrombie, last year's Southwest Conference rushing leader, to 50 yards and All-SWC Quarterback Jay Jeffrey to four completions for 16 yards in an 18-17 upset.
California got off to a promising start with its newfangled "run & shoot" offense—brought to Berkeley by former Portland State Coach Mouse Davis, now a Cal assistant—running up a 28-16 first-half lead against Texas A&M. Fabulous Floyd Eddings caught touchdown passes of 30, 11 and 62 yards. But midway through the first period Cal Quarterback Gale Gilbert tore up his knee (he'll be out for the season) and was replaced by J. Torchio, who led Cal to three scores. In the third quarter, however, Cal gained only two yards rushing and Torchio threw eight incompletions. "You don't win football games that way," said Cornerback Greg Williams, whose Aggies kept nibbling away until two fourth-period field goals won it, 29-28. Fresno State upset Oregon 23-16, with Strong Safety Steve Cordle's three interceptions leading the way. Brigham Young Quarterback Jim McMahon had a routine day, completing 28 of 45 passes for 403 yards in a 31-8 win over Cal State-Long Beach.
Pitt Coach Jackie Sherrill was so nervous about the Panthers' game against Illinois that he threw up in the locker room before the opening kickoff. So when Quarterback Dan Marino completed only two of 14 passes in the first half, it didn't exactly settle Sherrill's stomach. But Marino came back from halftime throwing strikes, completing 12 of 19 attempts for 177 yards and a touchdown, and Pitt cruised to a 26-6 win over the Illini. Rutgers Quarterback Ralph Leek keyed the Scarlet Knights' 29-27 victory over Syracuse, scoring the decisive touchdown on a one-yard sneak. Grambling beat Florida A&M 21-10 in Yankee Stadium, giving Grambling Coach Eddie Robinson his 292nd victory—he's second on the active list to Bryant.
PLAYERS OF THE WEEK
OFFENSE: Miami Placekicker Danny Miller converted a PAT and kicked field goals of 42 and 55 yards, the latter coming with just 40 seconds to play, to give the Hurricanes a 21-20 win over cross-state rival Florida.
DEFENSE: Fresno State Safety Steve Cordle, 5'10" and 180 pounds, helped upset Oregon by making two of his three interceptions and recovering a fumble in the final 3½ minutes as the Bulldogs surprised the Ducks 23-16.