"What's money when it comes to beating Alabama?" So said a Neyland Stadium official after Tennessee fans had torn down both goalposts (estimated cost: $1,700 apiece) after a 35-28 upset of the Crimson Tide.
Vol rooters had plenty to cheer about right from the start, Tackle Mike Casteel recovering an Alabama fumble at the Tide 11 on the first play from scrimmage. Minutes later Fuad Reveiz, a sophomore from Bogotà, Colombia, who resides in Miami and hopes to become a U.S. citizen soon, kicked the first of four field goals, a 22-yarder. But two interceptions by Cornerback Jeremiah Castille set up TDs, to give 'Bama a 21-13 lead at the half.
After another Reveiz field goal, Alan Cockrell put Tennessee ahead 24-21 with a 39-yard scoring pass to Wingback Mike Miller and a two-point throw to Tight End Kenny Jones. Altogether, Cockrell hit on 18 of 29 attempts for 192 yards, including a 52-yard bomb to Wide Receiver Willie Gault, the world-class hurdler.
The Vols are not a running team, yet they stayed on the ground all the way during a nine-play, 80-yard march early in the fourth period. Tailback Chuck Coleman wrapped up that lengthy drive with a 34-yard scoring burst that, coupled with another Cockrell-to-Jones PAT pass, put Tennessee in front by a score of 35-21.
Then Alabama geared up. There was 5:04 left when Halfback Linnie Patrick raced 14 yards for a score that pulled the Tide to within seven points. On its next possession 'Bama made it to the Vol 17 with 0:30 left on the clock. On second down, Defensive Back Lee Jenkins deflected a pass an instant before Tide Split End Jesse Bendross could grab it in the end zone. On the next play, Quarterback Walter Lewis fired the ball to Split End Darryl White in the end zone. White leaped and got a hand on the ball, but it bounced into the air when he was hit by Jenkins and Safety Bill Bates. Defensive End Mike Terry sealed Tennessee's triumph by picking off the ball 17 seconds before time ran out. And then the goalposts came down.
Auburn's Lionel (Little Train) James returned four punts for 104 yards, rushed for 75 yards, caught one pass and scored once during a 24-0 defeat of Georgia Tech. That left the Tigers in a tie for the Southeastern Conference lead with Georgia, which beat Vanderbilt 27-13. The Bulldog offense was lackadaisical most of the day and the scrappy Commodores held the Dawgs to a 13-13 standoff through three periods before being done in during the final 15 minutes. Georgia's Herschel Walker powered his way to 172 yards and one touchdown in 38 carries.
Kentucky trailed only 17-10 at halftime against Louisiana State before being wrecked by fumbles. In all, the Wildcats lost four of eight fumbles en route to a 34-10 setback.
SEC teams took two games from Texas squads, Mississippi beating TCU 27-9 and Florida defeating West Texas State 77-14. Wayne Peace of the Gators hit on 15 of 17 passes for 289 yards.
Mississippi State led 7-3 at intermission in Miami. The Hurricanes then scuttled their ineffective passing game, ran for 185 yards in the final two quarters and finished on top 31-14. Fullback Speedy Neal scored three touchdowns as Miami wound up with 281 yards on the ground, its highest rushing total in two years.
A crowd of 52,300, the largest ever to see a sporting event in Virginia, was on hand in Blacksburg. Those fans didn't get to see Tailback Cyrus Lawrence, Virginia Tech's alltime leading rusher; he had knee surgery on Friday and probably will miss the rest of the season. What those folks saw was a 16-6 victory by West Virginia, which got three field goals from Paul Woodside.
Florida State overwhelmed East Carolina 56-17. Along the way, the Seminoles racked up 706 yards in total offense, 456 of them through the air. Sophomore Tailback Greg Allen scored four touchdowns for Florida State, three on short runs and another when he caught a 24-yard pass.
Tailback Cliff Austin broke a 30-year-old Clemson record by gaining 260 yards on 27 carries in a 49-14 drubbing of Duke. The Tigers won without Quarterback Homer Jordan, who had an injured knee. Blue Devil Quarterback Ben Bennett, who had thrown 102 passes without having one picked off, was intercepted twice by Clemson Linebacker Johnny Rembert, who ran one grab 43 yards for a touchdown.
North Carolina and Maryland were tied with Clemson for the top spot in the Atlantic Coast Conference. The Tar Heels had an easy time of it in romping past North Carolina State 41-9 as Scott Stankavage passed for 203 yards. Stankavage, who connected on 11 of 18 throws, equaled a North Carolina record by firing four touchdown passes. Maryland defeated Wake Forest 52-31, John Nash running for three touchdowns for the Terps and Boomer Esiason adding three more touchdowns with his passing.
Notre Dame led Arizona 10-0 at the half and went in front 13-6 early in the fourth quarter when Mike Johnston kicked a 43-yard field goal. Not a big lead for the Irish, but seemingly a fairly secure one. After all, they had given up yardage grudgingly all season and had a defense that was first in Division 1-A against the rush (34.5 yards a game) and third in total defense (218.5 yards a game). But Quarterback Tom Tunnicliffe of the Wildcats found a few weaknesses in that defense. During a 79-yard drive, Tunnicliffe was on the mark with seven of nine aerials for 78 yards. The 79th yard? That was picked up by Running Back Phil Freeman, who banged into the end zone for the first rushing touchdown scored against Notre Dame this year. With 8:40 to go, the score was 13-13. Tunnicliffe helped unknot it with a 19-yard pass to Wide Receiver Brad Anderson that put the ball on the Irish 32 with six seconds remaining. That gave Tunnicliffe 19 completions in 38 attempts for 199 yards. Then it was Max Zendejas' turn. Zendejas, who had already scored on field goals of 38 and 32 yards, kicked one of 48 yards as time ran out. Thus, Notre Dame, which had won three games on field goals, lost one on a three-pointer, 16-13.
By putting its Rogers and Hammerstein combo to use and by having a Body in the right place at the right time, Michigan beat Iowa 29-7 and took over sole possession of first place in the Big Ten. One of the pivotal turnarounds started when Defensive Tackle Mike Hammerstein pounced on a Hawkeye fumble at the Iowa five. Running Back Rick Rogers promptly covered those five yards for a Wolverine touchdown. As for Body—Defensive Back Marion Body—he thwarted a Hawkeye drive by recovering a loose ball inches from the Michigan goal line. The Wolverines' small but quick defensive line—the heaviest starter weighed 247 pounds—did a job on the Iowa offensive line, which had no one below 240 pounds. Utilizing its speed, Michigan had eight quarterback sacks.
Wisconsin trailed Michigan State 10-0, but came back for a 24-23 win. The Badgers won their fourth game in a row as Randy Wright passed nine yards to Al Toon for a third-period touchdown and then hit him again with a two-point pass that ended the scoring. Indiana was a 40-21 victor at Minnesota, and Purdue was a 34-21 winner at home against Northwestern. The Boilermakers won despite a conference-record 15 receptions by Wildcat Split End Todd Jenkins, who gained 189 yards. Doing the throwing was freshman Sandy Schwab, who passed for 360 yards as he hit on 31 of 49 attempts. More than anyone, it was Mel Gray who enabled Purdue to end a nine-game losing streak, scoring twice and picking up 197 yards on 25 carries.
Productive runners also helped Nebraska and Oklahoma to remain tied for first place in the Big Eight. Husker Coach Tom Osborne had banked on passing about 25 times against Kansas State, but after three of his receivers fumbled completions, he decided to stick mainly to the ground. I Back Mike Rozier didn't mind the switch; he stormed through the Wildcats for 204 yards on 21 carries and scored on runs of 27 and 46 yards in a 42-13 Cornhusker victory. Although he carried the ball only nine times, freshman Halfback Marcus Dupree was Oklahoma's main man in a 38-14 drubbing of Kansas. Dupree accounted for 158 yards and had TD runs of 75, 13 and seven yards. Frank Seurer of Kansas, the conference's leading passer in yards, suffered a separation of the left shoulder, which will sideline him for at least two weeks. Missouri, which hadn't been involved in a tie for 15 years until two weeks ago, played its second in a row—17-17 against Iowa State.
Wichita State clung to its lead in the Missouri Valley Conference by holding off New Mexico State 28-26. Miami of Ohio, however, was bumped out of the top spot in the MidAmerican when it lost 10-0 at Western Michigan. Bowling Green took over first place by beating Northern Illinois 20-18.
After being tied up for most of the first half by Houston, Southern Methodist broke loose during the last half. SMU led only 10-7 at halftime but then clamped down on defense and held the Cougars to just 75 yards in total offense. Meanwhile, Tailback Eric Dickerson, who had gained only 35 yards in nine carries in the first half, was running wild. He lugged the ball 18 more times and churned out 206 yards. Dickerson's biggest gainer was a 62-yard burst around right end for a third-period touchdown. That left him with 1,001 yards on 134 carries this year, an average of 7.4 yards. It all added up to a 20-14 SMU win that put the Mustangs alone at the top of the Southwest Conference, half a game up on idle Arkansas. It also stretched SMU's victory streak to 10 games, the longest in the nation.
Unlike SMU, Baylor couldn't recover from a slow start. Five lost fumbles in the opening half hurt the Bears, who were defeated by Texas A&M 28-23. Texas Tech kept Rice winless, squeezing past the Owls 23-21.
Big numbers. That's what players need to win the Heisman Trophy. But Pitt's Dan Marino and Penn State's Curt Warner, who were among the preseason favorites for the award, didn't come up with any big numbers until last week. Marino, who wasn't even ranked among the NCAA's top 25 passers last week, put together his first impressive statistics of the year during a 38-17 defeat of Temple. With Marino connecting on 26 of 36 passes for 344 yards and three touchdowns, the Panthers started fast and finished with a flurry. In between, though, the Owls pared a 17-0 deficit to 17-14 in the third period. What fanned Temple's hopes for a major upset were three interceptions of Marino passes plus the 18 for 29 passing of Tim Riordan, who netted 241 yards through the air. Two of Riordan's passes were scoring tosses of 58 and 33 yards.
Amid hail, snow, sun and rain at University Park, Warner broke loose for touchdown runs of four and 34 yards and gained 148 yards on 25 carries as Penn State beat Syracuse 28-7. Going into the game, Warner had run for only 261 yards all season, having been hampered by both frequent leg cramps and the Nittany Lions' new emphasis on passing. Warner's roommate, Quarterback Todd Blackledge, did less passing than usual, however, completing 10 of 15 throws for 120 yards. Blackledge also twice slammed over from one yard out for his first rushing touchdowns of the season. Syracuse Tailback Jaime Covington ripped off 129 yards in 24 runs, but the Nittany Lions put the squeeze on the Orange passing attack by stealing five of Todd Morley's passes.
There was only 1:18 left on the clock when Boston College got the ball at its own 13 against visiting Rutgers, which led 13-6. What made the situation even more hairy for the Eagles was that they didn't have any timeouts left. Clearly, Boston College needed a long pass or a break. The Eagles got both: A pass by Quarterback Doug Flutie glanced off the hands of Wide Receiver Paul Zdanek and into the arms of Wide Receiver Gerard Phelan for a 27-yard gain to the Scarlet Knight 47. On the next play, the fifth of a 10-play drive, Flutie went around left end for 12 yards. A 15-yard penalty for a late hit moved the ball to the Scarlet Knight 20. Flutie then ran for 15 yards, missed a pass, ran for three more yards and then fired the ball into the end zone. Freshman Running Back Troy Stradford, who had run for 132 yards on 17 carries, made a diving catch with 12 seconds left. That still left the Eagles trailing by a point, 13-12. Flutie reversed that margin with a two-point conversion pass to Tight End Scott Nizolek that made the Eagles 14-13 winners. For the day, Flutie was on target with only 15 of 40 passes and was intercepted four times, but his completions were good for 239 yards.
Two short touchdown runs and 217 yards passing by Quarterback Marco Pagnanelli led Navy to a 39-3 rout of William & Mary. Pagnanelli attempted 25 passes and hit on 17.
Despite setting a team record of 28 completions (in 44 tries), Gary Vura and Penn came up on the short end of a 35-20 score at Lafayette. Vura aerials went for 291 yards, but Frank Novak passed for 195 yards and three touchdowns as the Leopards handed the Quakers their first loss of the season. Princeton also lost a non-league game, squandering a 14-0 lead against Army and going down to a 20-14 defeat. Both the Quakers and Tigers, however, improved their Ivy League positions, thanks to Harvard's 14-12 setback at Dartmouth. That left Penn as the only team without a loss in Ivy competition and moved Princeton into a tie for second with the Crimson. Brown doubled up Cornell 38-19, and Yale took advantage of eight Columbia turnovers to win 36-10.
Washington won by 17 points, Southern Cal by 20 and UCLA by 25. None of those games, though, was a blowout. Winless Oregon State gave the unbeaten Washington Huskies fits and was behind only 27-17 late in the fourth quarter at Corvallis. That was when the Beavers stopped Washington inside its own 25. In all the excitement of the moment, Beaver Assistant Coach Craig Boiler ran onto the field to urge the team on, but instead helped his team to a 15-yard penalty as he drew a personal foul. That gave the Huskies a first down, and 12 plays later Jacque Robinson concluded the possession with a nine-yard TD run. Robinson also raced over from eight yards out after Oregon State had cut its deficit to 20-17.
Stanford led 7-0 and 14-7 before USC broke the game open. Anthony Gibson, a senior who had never scored for the Trojans, took over at tailback after Todd Spencer was put out of commission in the second quarter at Stanford Stadium with an injured left knee. Gibson carried 19 times, gained 120 yards and scored on runs of two, one and 10 yards as USC won 41-21. Sean Salisbury of the Trojans had two short touchdown runs and passed for 201 yards as he completed 17 of 30. John Elway of the Cardinals was 27 of 41 for 239 yards but was sacked six times and had three passes picked off.
Washington State, playing at the Rose Bowl in Pasadena for the first time since 1932, went ahead of UCLA 17-14 early in the third period. From there on it was all Bruins as they scored three touchdowns in the third and another in the fourth to win 42-17. Jojo Townsell started the comeback by scoring on a 53-yard flanker reverse. UCLA's next score came when Split End Cormac Carney, after getting his fingertips on a pass and deflecting it over the cornerback's head, made a diving catch of the ball in the end zone. That 27-yard scoring pass was the second of three thrown by Tom Ramsey, who connected on 17 of 27 throws for 238 yards.
California was a narrow (10-7) winner over Oregon, but Arizona State had no trouble with Texas-El Paso, romping 37-6. The Miners, who are 1-6 this season and who have won only nine times since 1974, caught the Sun Devils off guard at the outset of the game. What UTEP did was start off with a hurry-up offense that brought an early 3-0 lead on a field goal. The unfazed Sun Devils regrouped and scored on five of their first six possessions. Freshman Tailback Darryl Clack carried 17 times for 157 yards and two TDs for Arizona State, which retained its share of first place in the Pac-10 with Washington.
Brigham Young bumped Hawaii from the top spot in the Western AC, pulling away from a 25-25 tie to win 39-25. The Cougars had 503 yards in total offense, 317 of them by Steve Young, who hit on 22 of 32 passes. New Mexico tied BYU for first by winning 22-17 at San Diego State.
PLAYERS OF THE WEEK
OFFENSE: Long Beach State Quarterback Todd Dillon passed for 453 yards and two TDs while tying a Pacific Coast AA mark with 33 completions in 47 attempts during a 22-21 upset of San Jose State.
DEFENSE: Terry Hoage of Georgia, a 6'3", 196-pound junior roverback, stole three passes, broke up three others, forced one fumble and was in on eight tackles during a 27-13 victory over Vanderbilt.