Nebraska and Michigan, unpleasantly surprised in openers last season against Iowa and Wisconsin, respectively, each got revenge. The Cornhuskers did it with a new formation that allows Mike Rozier and Roger Craig, who split the I-back duties in 1981, to play at the same time. They combined for 184 yards rushing in a 42-7 rout of the Hawkeyes. In the Wolverines' 20-9 defeat of Wisconsin before 104,932 in Ann Arbor Tailback Lawrence Ricks ran for a touchdown and 153 yards on 24 carries. The Badgers were assessed eight penalties, including four for late hits, one for face-masking and one for roughing the passer. "The penalties played a major factor in this game, because the fans just intimidated the officials out there," said Wisconsin Coach Dave McClain.
Indiana had revenge on its mind, too, against Northwestern because the Wildcats' 21-20 loss to Indiana in '81 was as close as Northwestern had come to not losing in 32 games. This time Indiana rolled 30-0 as sophomore Tailback Orlando Brown ran for 110 yards and two TDs.
Early in the second quarter of Michigan State's game at Illinois, Big Ten official Richard McVay, 55, who had recently shed 17 pounds and passed a conference physical, collapsed of a massive heart attack. He was rushed to Champaign's Burnham City Hospital, where he was pronounced dead a short time later. The Illini won the game 23-16 behind Quarterback Tony Eason, who completed 25 of 41 passes for 301 yards and one TD.
"John Elway told me last night before he went to bed, 'Relax, Coach, everything's O.K.,' " Stanford's Paul Wiggin said after a 35-14 victory over Purdue. El way's four TD passes shattered Jim Plunkett's and Jack Thompson's Pac-10 career mark—Elway now has 57—and he connected on 29 of 36 for 333 yards. "It was a little easier getting back this year," said Elway, who spent six weeks during the summer as an outfielder for the Yankees' Oneonta, N.Y. farm team, for which he hit .318. "My arm was in shape."
Ohio State Coach Earle Bruce wanted junior Fullback Vaughn Broadnax to know that there are several Buckeye freshmen who can hit a hole as hard as he can. So Bruce stuck Broadnax on defense—at middle guard—for half of spring practice. Thus enlightened, the 6'3" 258-pounder became the first Ohio State fullback since Ricardo Volley in 1979 to rush for more than 100 yards—101, in fact—in a game as the Buckeyes beat Baylor 21-14.
At USC games in Los Angeles, taking laps around the field is usually reserved for Traveler III, the Trojan horse. But after Florida had beaten Southern Cal 17-9 for its second win over a Top 20 team in as many weeks—Miami had been the earlier victim—Gator Coach Charley Pell couldn't resist leading his players and assorted followers, including Florida alumnus and pro golfer Andy Bean, in a jog around Florida Field. "It was a salute to the fans," he explained. "They haven't seen a Florida team reach this high in a long time." For his part, Gator Quarterback Wayne Peace hit 12 of 19 passes, including a fourth-and-goal TD pass to Wide Receiver Spencer Jackson from the USC one late in the first half. Jackson made an over-the-shoulder catch. Soon thereafter Peace directed a six-play, 97-yard TD drive, finding Wide Receiver Dwayne Dixon for 47 yards on a look-in, and handing off to 235-pound Fullback James Jones on a draw for the final 22 and a 14-0 halftime lead. Linebacker Wilber Marshall led a Gator defense that forced five turnovers. USC Coach John Robinson later told Marshall, "You are the greatest."
"I decided to be the best decoy I could be," Herschel Walker said after Georgia's 13-7 defeat of Clemson on Labor Day night. Fitted with a special rubber cast over his broken right thumb, he gained only 20 yards but drew enough attention from the Clemson defense so his teammates could knock off the defending national champs on Kevin Butler's two field goals. On Saturday Walker was fitted with the football, too, running for 124 yards on 31 carries and a TD as Georgia rallied from seven down to beat Brigham Young 17-14. Butler hit from 44 yards with 1:11 left for the game winner. Cougar Quarterback Steve Young proved to be Brigham's not-so-great great-great-great-great-grandson, throwing six interceptions, which included one in the last minute at the Georgia 27.
Playing Alabama in your opener is bad enough. Playing 'Bama on Coach Bear Bryant's birthday—his 69th—is worse. But playing the Tide when you'd upset them the previous season...well, to get an idea of how vengefully wide open the Alabama offense was in its 45-7 rout of Georgia Tech and how lonely it was being a Tech defender, consider this: The Yellow Jackets had 72 unassisted tackles. "They offensed us to perfection," Tech Linebacker Robert Jaracz said. 'Bama scored on its first five possessions en route to a 31-0 halftime lead.
"You don't have to be too smart to look at our backs last year and our backs this year and see a difference," Auburn Coach Pat Dye said after the Tigers had beaten Wake Forest 28-10 with 508 yards rushing. This year's backs are Bo Jackson, the 6'1", 224-pound locomotive, and the 5'7", 176-pound HO model, Lionel (Little Train) James. Against Wake each highballed past the local stops, averaging more than 11 yards a carry. Jackson scored twice, once on a 44-yard run, and James once, from 67 yards out.
Ankles played a big part in Miami's 31-12 defeat of Houston. One sprain kept the Cougars' starting quarterback, Lionel Wilson, on the sidelines, and another had Miami Linebacker Jay Brophy on crutches all week. But Brophy was sent in during the second quarter and promptly forced a fumble by Audrey McMillian, Wilson's stand-in, that led to a Hurricane field goal. Miami's Jim Kelly completed 16 of 27 passes for 208 yards and a TD, Tailback Mark Rush scored three TDs and Defensive Tackle Fred Robinson had two sacks and a fumble recovery.
Quarterback Kent Austin threw for two TDs and ran for another as Mississippi upset No. 14 Southern Mississippi 28-19. Ole Miss only scored in the first half and held on despite Golden Eagle Quarterback Reggie Collier's 344 yards of total offense.
"Our tackling was sloppy," said Coach Joe Paterno after Penn State's 39-31 win over Maryland, "and I'm being charitable by saying sloppy." But for the second straight week Paterno's quarterback, Todd Blackledge, tied the school record for TD passes in a game with four. And, again, the Lions didn't score on the ground. Even Tailback Curt Warner, who had complained about the aerial orientation in Penn State's earlier 31-14 defeat of Temple, caught four passes. "I overreacted and let my emotions go," he said last Saturday. "I have no beefs about the new offense." The Terps went ahead 24-23 early in the third quarter after Quarterback Boomer Esiason (18 of 36 for 276 yards) hit Split End Russell Davis (a school-record 188 yards on seven catches) for 50- and 60-yard TDs. But Blackledge then took the Lions 78 yards, throwing to Gregg Garrity from the 22 for the game-winner. Freshman Massimo Manca added four field goals for Penn State.
"The kids won it despite myself," Temple Coach Wayne Hardin said after his Owls beat Syracuse 23-18. "I made two terrible calls." One was for an onsides kick after Temple had gone up 10-0—it resulted in a field goal for the Orangemen; the other was for a pass with 1½ minutes to play. It fell incomplete, stopping the clock and thereby giving Syracuse more time on its last possession. But the Owl offense, called the Smorgasbord by Hardin, stuffed the Orangemen. Junior Quarterback Tim Riordan completed 16 of 23 passes for 220 yards. His two scoring strikes included a 44-yard quick fly to Tight End Scott Andrien with 9:52 left.
"I would never have thought we'd play a game in which we didn't lose a fumble and wind up losing," an exasperated Oklahoma Coach Barry Switzer said after the Sooners, who averaged 4.33 fumbles a game last season, lost 41-27 to visiting West Virginia, a 15-point underdog. The Mountaineers triumphed largely because Quarterback Jeff Hostetler threw for four touchdowns and 321 yards in his first start. "I don't have the right words to describe his performance," gushed Hostetler's coach, Don Nehlen. "Jeff just has to go down in history." Down 14-0 midway through the second quarter, Hostetler led one drive that concluded in a TD and two others that ended in Paul Woodside field goals. With :13 left in the half, the Mountaineers recovered a squib kick and scored on Hostetler's 33-yard strike to Darrell Miller. Tailback Curlin Beck ran 43 yards on a draw with less than three minutes left to play for his second TD to close out the scoring for West Virginia, whose 41 points were the most by any visitor to Norman since 1928.
"The players are more optimistic than I am," Arkansas Coach Lou Holtz said early last week. "Heck, the people on the Titanic were optimistic." But on Friday he felt so good about the Razorbacks' chances in their opener with Tulsa that he played golf—and shot his best round ever, a 71. In the Hogs' 38-0 thumping of the Golden Hurricane, Flanker Derek Holloway took a 67-yard pass from Brad Taylor midway through the second quarter for one score and set up another TD and a field goal with a 24-yard punt return and a diving catch, respectively.
So, Coach, will you use your two terrific tailbacks, Eric Dickerson and Craig James, at the same time? "Yes," SMU's Bobby Collins says. Will you tell us when? "No," Collins says. "We're going to let the opponent figure that out each week." Trailing the Mustangs 24-0 at halftime, Tulane had an answer of sorts. New Coach Collins had alternated Dickerson (183 yards on 19 carries and two TDs) and James (110 yards on 16 carries and one TD) in the back of the I, and the 51-7 rout of the Green Wave was on. The Mustangs' 519 yards rushing were a school record.
Joe Kapp won his first game as Cal's coach, defeating Colorado 31-17 and spoiling Buff Coach Bill McCartney's debut.
"When I started playing football at Washington, I posted all of the school kicking records on one wall of my room," senior Kicker Chuck Nelson says. "My goal was to break as many as I could." His field goals of 32, 31, 33 and 24 yards in the Huskies' 55-0 defeat of Texas-El Paso gave him a school-record 38 in his career. UCLA senior Flanker Jojo Townsell also scored four times. His points came on TD passes of 23, 48, 32 and 18 yards from Quarterback Tom Ramsey, and all were in the first half of the Bruins' 41-10 defeat of Long Beach State.
Arizona State unveiled a new offensive star in a 23-10 win over Utah: He's Strong Safety Paul Moyer, who recovered two fumbles and intercepted two passes for a defense that set up all the Sun Devils' points.
PLAYERS OF THE WEEK
OFFENSE: West Virginia Quarterback Jeff Hostetler, a 6'3", 212-pound junior transfer from Penn State, completed 17 of 37 passes for 321 yards and four TDs as the Mountaineers upset Oklahoma 41-27.
DEFENSE: Florida Linebacker Wilber Marshall, a 6'1", 230-pound junior, led a defense that held USC to 84 yards rushing in a 17-9 victory. He had 12 tackles, including nine solos and four sacks.