It was late in fourth period and the capacity crowd of 78,406 at Wisconsin's Camp Randall Stadium may well have felt they'd seen it all. Those fans had seen barefooted Mike Bass of Illinois kick field goals of 19, 21, 30 and 44 yards. They had seen Tony Eason of the Illini pass for more than 400 yards. They had seen Illinois Kicker Chris Sigourney deliberately run from his own 19 into the end Zone, where he ate up time by scooting around before being tackled with 1:54 left. That safety had pared the Badger deficit to 26-22. It also enabled Illinois to get off a free kick from its 20. That strategy backfired when Wisconsin pulled off perhaps the most novel maneuver of the season. The play began on the Illinois 40 with Quarterback Randy Wright of the Badgers pegging the ball to Split End Al Toon, who was some 15 yards to Wright's left and slightly behind him. Wright's throw hit the turf before reaching Toon. "Dead ball," thought the Illini. "Play's over. So what if Toon scooped up the ball on the bounce?" So plenty. The ball was still in play because it was a lateral (not forward) pass. While Illinois defenders relaxed, Tight End Jeff Nault of Wisconsin zipped into the open near the end zone. Toon fired. Nault caught. Touchdown. Wisconsin 28-26 with 52 seconds to go.
Did it really matter that the PAT kick was missed? Yes. Eason took the Illini 51 yards on five quick plays after the ensuing kickoff. That put the ball on the Badger 29. From there the shoeless Bass booted a 46-yard field goal as time ran out, giving Illinois a 29-28 victory. By kicking five field goals, he tied a Big Ten single-game mark. And Bass, who has now made good on 18 of 20 such attempts and on 26 of 26 PAT kicks, broke Red Grange's 1924 Illinois record of 78 points in a season by raising his total to 80 points.
Steve Smith of first-place Michigan played only the first two quarters at Northwestern. During those 30 minutes he hit on 10 of 12 passes for 203 yards, ran nine times for 71 yards and led the Wolverines to touchdowns on all six of their possessions. Anthony Carter latched on to a pair of Smith's passes for TDs that covered 34 and 29 yards. That gave Carter 36 career touchdowns, a Michigan record. Wildcat freshman Sandy Schwab set NCAA single-game marks for completions (45), attempts (71) and tied in plays (76). But neither Schwab's 436 yards passing nor a Big Ten-record 17 catches by Tight End Jon Harvey kept Michigan from romping 49-14.
Ohio State also won in a breeze, 49-25 at Indiana, where the Buckeyes haven't lost since 1904. Even when Ohio State goofed up, things worked out fine—as when Quarterback Mike Tomczak called the wrong play, "Right 86 deep post" instead of "Right 83 deep post." Flanker Cedric Anderson caught Tomczak's pass on that play and turned it into a 73-yard TD. Buckeye Tailback Timmy Spencer ran for 187 yards on 33 carries.
Running Back Eddie Phillips of Iowa also had a big day—36 rushes for 198 yards and the decisive TD—in a 21-16 win at Minnesota. Purdue beat Michigan State 24-21.
For Bruce Mathison, a seldom-used, fifth-year senior quarterback at Nebraska, it started out like so many other Saturdays. There he was on the bench while Turner Gill ran the attack during a Big Eight game against visiting Missouri. I Back Roger Craig joined Mathison on the sideline after injuring an ankle early in the first period. Late in the first half, Gill suffered a concussion. Suddenly, this was no ordinary Saturday for Mathison; he was quarterbacking the Huskers. The Tigers led 7-3 at the half and 13-9 with 9:07 to play. Mathison, who Husker Coach Tom Osborne said had trouble reading the defenses early on, then rallied his team with a 79-yard march. Mike Rozier, who had a hip pointer and wasn't expected to play, took over for Craig and during that drive caught a 10-yard pass from Mathison and also ripped off runs of 17 and 27 yards. In all, Rozier gamely carried 17 times for 139 yards. Fullback Mark Schellen finally put Nebraska ahead by scoring from one yard out with 4:46 to go, and then Mathison ran 16 yards into the end zone with 2:36 left. Missouri scored with 53 seconds remaining, but its subsequent on-sides kick was pounced on by Nebraska, which won 23-19.
Oklahoma State had high hopes of winning at Oklahoma. After all, the Cowboys had the leading rusher in the nation, Ernest Anderson, who was averaging 208.8 yards a game. And they had an offense that was crunching out 450.2 yards a game, the fifth best in Division I-A. Those hopes—and averages—were shattered by the Sooners, who held Anderson to 59 yards on 20 carries and limited Oklahoma State to 241 yards in total offense while winning 27-9. Freshman Tailback Marcus Dupree of the Sooners started the scoring in the first quarter when, on fourth and one, he ran 30 yards for a touchdown. In other conference games it was Iowa State 31-14 over Colorado and Kansas State 36-7 over Kansas.
"No one cares that we had four starters who weren't in this game. No one cares that half our guys were playing hurt and that half our guys had the flu." Maybe not, but Pitt Coach Foge Fazio, who uttered those words after a 14-0 victory at Syracuse, obviously cared so much about the manpower problems facing his undefeated Panthers that he lost count of the wounded. Only two starters didn't play.
More worrisome than injuries or ill health was Pitt's continuing struggle to rack up points—it has an average of 22.0 per game as compared with 32.1 last season. "One thing we have to learn is the importance of getting first-down distance after completing passes," Quarterback Dan Marino said. "Receivers spent too much time zigzagging, looking for the long breakaway instead of going for first-down yardage." Marino, who hit on 24 of 38 throws for 227 yards, equaled an NCAA record by passing for a touchdown in his 18th straight game. That came on a two-yard toss to Julius Dawkins in the opening period. The Orangemen had an apparent tying TD—on a 54-yard run by Tailback Jaime Covington—nullified by a holding penalty in the second quarter. Pitt didn't score again until the closing period, three other drives having ended when Syracuse picked off Marino passes. Once again the Panther defense was better than its offense, limiting the Orange to 140 yards in total offense for the afternoon.
"The one thing that disappoints me is...the feeling of revenge that a lot of people are trying to make out of it. It's just not there.... I'm just going out there to have a good time and play some football against a lot of buddies." That was the essence of a statement that West Virginia Quarterback Jeff Hostetler issued through the school's sports-information office before last week's showdown against Penn State. Hostetler, a former Nittany Lion quarterback who transferred to the Mountaineers, didn't exactly have a terrific time against his old buddies. It didn't help that he went into the game with a badly injured left big toe, or that he hurt his left knee in the first quarter, or that he had two of his passes intercepted, or that he fumbled the ball away once. Thus, despite Hosteller's connecting on 19 of 37 attempts for 250 yards, the Mountaineers came up on the short end of a 24-0 score. A crowd of 60,958, the largest ever to attend a sporting event in West Virginia, saw the Mountaineers outgain the Nittany Lions 382-343 in total offense. Mountaineer rooters could only wish that Penn State's Curt Warner, who was born and reared in West Virginia, still played there. Warner, who gained 82 yards on 13 carries, spearheaded a Nittany Lion ground attack that gained 225 yards. Penn State, which led 10-0 at the half, tucked the game away when Linebacker Scott Radecic returned an interception 85 yards for a fourth-period TD.
Army led visiting Boston College 14-12 after two quarters, but lost 32-17. Doug Flutie of the Eagles atoned for a poor first half—three completions in 11 tries for 36 yards—with a strong second-half performance in which he connected on eight of 15 for 137 yards, including scoring passes of 40 and 23 yards to Split End Paul Zdanek. Unlike Army, Navy made its halftime advantage—21-3—stand up. But the Midshipmen, who defeated The Citadel 28-3, lost Quarterback Marco Pagnanelli, who suffered a broken leg. Colgate was toppled from the unbeaten ranks, losing 34-17 at Rutgers.
Penn, gunning for its first Ivy championship since 1959, remained alone at the top of the league by knocking off Yale 27-14. Quaker fans were so ecstatic about their team's first triumph over the Elis since 1972 that the Penn players had to return to the Franklin Field gridiron to acknowledge their postgame cheers. Second-place Harvard was a 27-15 victor at Princeton. Cornell's quest for its initial victory was foiled when a two-point conversion attempt failed during the closing seconds against visiting Dartmouth, which won 14-13. Brown was beaten 17-6 by Holy Cross and Columbia lost 42-25 to Bucknell.
"I don't know if I've ever seen a player have a game quite like he had," Washington Coach Don James said of Gabriel Rivera, a defensive tackle for Texas Tech. Rivera, a 6'3", 280-pound senior, hounded the Huskies all day and was the main reason they had only 268 yards in total offense as compared with their season average of 415.4. The Red Raiders broke up a scoreless struggle when Ricky Gann drilled a 39-yard field goal with 13:19 to go. Jacque Robinson, who ran 35 times for 203 yards, enabled Washington to pull out a 10-3 win by gaining 104 yards in the final period. It was a 19-yard burst by Robinson that finally put the Huskies ahead 7-3. A 29-yard field goal by Chuck Nelson wrapped up the scoring.
During a week in which there wasn't a single major upset, the biggest surprise was that Notre Dame needed a 35-yard field goal from Mike Johnston with 11 seconds left to salvage a 13-13 stalemate with winless Oregon. The Irish, who had held five previous foes to an average of 42 yards rushing, the best figure in the land, gave up 111 yards on the ground. The Ducks had gone in front 13-10 with 10:27 remaining, when Terrance Jones banged over from one yard out. Arizona, which had stunned the Irish 16-13 the week before, walloped Pacific 55-7.
California appeared to be out of it when Quarterback Gale Gilbert went down with a knee injury in the second quarter against visiting UCLA, which led at that point 31-14. But J Torchio rallied the Golden Bears to a 31-31 tie after three periods. As good as Torchio was—he hit on 14 of 25 passes for 197 yards—he couldn't stop the Bruins from scoring 16 points in the final period to pull out a 47-31 Pac-10 triumph. UCLA set a team record by passing for 397 yards, 322 by Tom Ramsey, who found his receivers with 17 of 23 throws.
It was more than 100° on the playing field when Oregon State took on Southern Cal at L.A.'s Memorial Coliseum. The heat didn't bother the Trojans, who ran for 267 yards and passed for 222 while romping 38-0. Although John Elway completed only 10 of 26 passes for 85 yards, Stanford beat Washington State 31-26. Cardinal Mike Dotterer scored three TDs, the last with 22 seconds left.
New Mexico (6-1) set a school rushing record by gaining 585 yards while drubbing New Mexico State 66-14. Leading the way was Mike Carter, who gained 174 yards.
"Houston had two receivers on my side, and the tight end cut back inside. We had worked on that situation in practice. I just stepped in and Wilson threw it right to me." That was Arkansas Cornerback Danny Walters' description of how he intercepted a pass from Houston's Lionel Wilson and ran it back 93 yards for a TD. By so doing, Walters, who moved in front of Tight End Carl Hilton to make that grab, put the Razorbacks ahead 7-3 midway through the first period.
In the second period, Quarterback Brad Taylor of the Hogs scored twice on one-yard runs and teamed up with Derek Holloway on a 56-yard scoring pass. Arkansas' 38-3 win in this Southwest Conference matchup was its first over the Cougars since 1977. The Razor-backs, who intercepted four passes, have allowed an average of only 5.8 points a game. That's the stingiest average in Division 1-A.
Texas Christian ended a "Dry" spell by beating Baylor for the first time since 1973, 38-14. It was the third triumph for the Horned Frogs, marking the first time they have had more than two during any of the six years that Coach F.A. Dry has been in charge. TCU broke the game open with 17 points in the final two minutes of the first half.
Coach Jackie Sherrill knew that Texas A&M backers would let out a howl if he lost to 0-7 Rice. No sweat. The Aggies, who until Saturday hadn't been overly impressive during the first year of Sherrill's lavish long-term contract, thrashed the Owls 49-7. When A&M defenders weren't busy picking off six Rice passes, Gary Kubiak of the Aggies was completing 24 of 37 tries for 306 yards and five touchdowns. Three of those scoring throws were hauled in by Don Jones.
When Herschel Walker was a freshman at Georgia, he consented to having a horse named in his honor. Herschelwalker, a thoroughbred son of Bold Hour who never ran as well as his namesake, suffered a knee injury and was prematurely retired to stud this year. However, Walker himself last week took his powerhouse running to horse country and propelled the Bulldogs past Kentucky 27-14. The winless Wildcats led 14-3 after scoring on a 56-yard pass from Quarterback Doug Martin to Fullback Shawn Donigan and on a 13-yard run by Tailback Lawrence (Choo Choo) Lee. Then Walker began galloping, hauling in a screen pass from Quarterback John Lastinger and turning it into a 64-yard scoring play that cut the Wildcats' lead to 14-10 shortly before halftime. That touchdown, the 43rd of Walker's career, broke the SEC record that he had shared with former LSU star Charles Alexander. Two more scoring passes by Lastinger and Kevin Butler's field goal enabled Georgia to pull away in the second half. In addition to rushing for 152 yards on 34 carries, Walker picked up 79 yards on three catches.
Vanderbilt scored twice in the fourth period to upend Mississippi 19-10, and Auburn swept past Mississippi State 35-17. Alabama and Louisiana State were at-home winners in non-conference games. The Crimson Tide led Cincinnati only 7-3 at the half. Despite 513 yards in total offense, 'Bama labored before finishing off the Bearcats 21-3. No one knew better than Tide Quarterback Walter Lewis how tough Cincinnati was; he was sacked four times for 32 yards in losses. Nonetheless, Lewis kept bouncing back. Before leaving the game with a bruised left shoulder suffered on the final play of the third period, he had carried 21 times for 156 yards and had completed six of seven passes for another 61. Not until Linnie Patrick scored the final TD on a 45-yard run midway through the fourth quarter could Alabama breathe easy.
With Linebacker James Seawright making 16 tackles, 10 unassisted, South Carolina shut down LSU's outside running and kept the Tigers from converting a third-down play until the final period, on their 12th attempt. Despite all that and despite outrushing LSU 145 yards to 129, the Gamecocks lost. What made the Tigers 14-6 winners was that they didn't commit a turnover and scored twice in the first half after recovering a South Carolina fumble and stealing a pass. Quarterback Alan Risher turned both turnovers into TDs by rifling passes of six and 25 yards to Eric Martin. LSU might have lost, though, had it not been for Linebacker Al Richardson's 18 tackles, which tied a team record.
"When we win, we get the least credit. When we lose, we take the most blame," said Offensive Guard Kenny Howell of Georgia Tech, whose offensive line had been taking considerable abuse, particularly after the previous week's 24-0 loss to Auburn. On Saturday, however, those linemen received heaps of praise after a 31-21 defeat of visiting Tennessee, which the week before had upset Alabama 35-28. Sophomore Tailback Robert Lavette of the Yellow Jackets scored three TDs in a game for the second time this season as he rushed for 139 yards. Jim Bob Taylor added variety to the offense by passing for 202 yards in a 12-for-19 performance.
When Clemson won the national championship last season, three starters missed a total of only eight games because of injuries. Already this year seven starters have missed 16 games. Quarterback Homer Jordan, who was hurt in practice on Oct. 12, underwent exploratory arthroscopic knee surgery last week and will be out indefinitely. Mike Eppley, who's also the starting point guard for the Tiger basketball team, continued to fill in for Jordan against North Carolina State. Eppley did lots of handing off to Tailbacks Chuck McSwain (129 yards on 14 carries) and Cliff Austin (109 yards on 25 carries). Tol Avery kept the Wolfpack in contention in this ACC battle by hitting on 22 of 33 passes for 246 yards and two touchdowns. So did Tailback Joe McIntosh, who rambled for 113 yards and two TDs. That, though, wasn't enough to prevent a 38-29 loss.
Virginia ended an eight-game losing streak by piling up 643 yards in total offense while defeating Wake Forest 34-27. A Cavalier record of 320 yards passing was set by Wayne Schuchts, who connected on 15 of 30 attempts. Boomer Esiason of Maryland also struck through the air, completing 19 of 33 throws for 253 yards and three touchdowns during the Terps' 49-22 defeat of Duke.
Ohio Valley Conference leader Eastern Kentucky won 35-21 at Western Kentucky. That brought the Colonels' record to 6-0.
PLAYERS OF THE WEEK
OFFENSE: Senior Quarterback Tony Eason of Illinois was on target with 37 of his 51 pass attempts (72.5%) for 479 yards and one touchdown in a come-from-behind 29-28 Big Ten win over Wisconsin.
DEFENSE: Tackle Gabriel (Se√±or Sack) Rivera of Texas Tech made 10 tackles, had one sack and batted away four passes—one was grabbed by a teammate—as Tech scared Washington, before losing 10-3.