Southern Mississippi went from the pits on Monday to the peaks on Saturday. On Monday the NCAA slapped the Golden Eagles with a two-year probation for recruiting violations. Five days later Southern Mississippi shocked the bejabbers out of Alabama 38-29. The victory was the Golden Eagles' first over 'Bama since 1954 and broke the Tide's string of 57 wins at Bryant-Denny Stadium in Tuscaloosa. That streak, which began in October 1963, was an NCAA record for at-home triumphs. More than anyone, Quarterback Reggie Collier was responsible for the upset. Collier passed for 68 yards, ran for 81 on 13 carries and scored from 22, eight and five yards out. Tailback Sam Dejarnette tacked on 152 yards on 26 rushes and scored on runs of 11 and three yards. The Golden Eagles scored on their first four possessions, converted 11 of 15 third-down plays and led 28-7 in what they decided would be their "bowl game" because the NCAA's ban will keep them out of postseason encounters.
Alabama trailed 35-21 at the end of the third quarter and narrowed the score to 35-29 in the fourth. The Crimson Tide was kept in contention by Walter Lewis, who passed for 197 yards, and by Ricky Moore, who ran 10 times for 109 yards. But 'Bama couldn't contain Southern Miss runners, who gained 304 yards. The Golden Eagles sealed their sixth win in a row when Steve Clark booted a 23-yard field goal with 5:10 to go.
Adding to the state of euphoria in the state of Mississippi was Mississippi State's 27-24 surprise victory over visiting Louisiana State. Alan Risher of the Tigers, who hit on 25 of 34 passes for 308 yards, began the scoring with a 69-yard strike to Eric Martin in the opening period. At intermission the game was tied 14-14, and going into the final 15 minutes it was 17-all. Two long scoring plays made it 24-24, the Bulldogs going in front on a 64-yard pass from John Bond to Danny Knight and the Tigers pulling even when Mike Montz rambled 35 yards with 4:52 left. Then, with 25 seconds to go, it was Dana Moore's turn. Moore, who grew up within a long field goal of the LSU campus but wasn't recruited by the Tigers, had missed a 41-yard three-pointer with 5:45 remaining in the game. This time, however, Moore split the uprights from 45 yards out for the points that gave LSU its first loss of the season.
Georgia, behind the power running of Herschel Walker, struggled past Auburn to lock up its third straight SEC title with a 19-14 win. The Tigers outgained the 'Dawgs by a margin of 350 yards to 288 yards and led 14-13 when Lionel James broke loose for an 87-yard scoring run early in the fourth quarter. Thus, for the seventh time this season, Georgia trailed in the fourth period. But as always, the Bulldogs rallied. And, as always, the main man was Walker, who finished the scoring by smashing over from three yards out with 8:42 remaining. During that 80-yard drive, Walker carried eight times for 36 yards. For the day, Walker had 177 yards on 31 carries. Following that touchdown. Auburn drove from its 20 to the Georgia 21 with 42 seconds to play. The Bulldogs thwarted that final surge when Cornerback Ronnie Harris broke up an end-zone pass on fourth down. Vanderbilt beat Virginia Tech 45-0, Florida handed Kentucky a 39-13 licking, and Tennessee was a 30-17 winner over Mississippi.
While Clemson took charge of the ACC race by beating Maryland 24-22 (page 36), North Carolina ended its two-game losing streak by defeating Virginia 27-14. The Tar Heels got 192 yards passing from Scott Stankavage and 150 yards rushing from Kelvin Bryant. Despite Ben Bennett's passing—27 of 41 for 313 yards—North Carolina State toppled Duke 21-16. Georgia Tech clobbered Wake Forest 45-7.
Florida State tailbacks Greg Allen and Ricky Williams combined for 313 yards during a 49-14 defeat of Louisville. Allen, who leads the nation in touchdowns (20) and points (120), carried 25 times for 178 yards and scored four times. Williams got the ball only 10 times, but that was enough for him to pick up 140 yards.
Turnovers, almost as many as can be found at the local bakery, were the pivotal factor in Washington and Southern Cal victories. The Huskies took command of the Pac-10 race by coming out on top 17-13 at Arizona State and USC prevailed 48-41 at Arizona.
Washington won despite being outgained by the Sun Devils 360 yards to 230. But the Huskies forced four turnovers and got what turned out to be the winning touchdown after recovering Arizona State's fumble of the second-half kickoff. Tailback Jacque Robinson made that pay off by barging over from the four to give Washington a 17-3 lead. Sun Devil Tailback Darryl Clack retaliated with a 50-yard scoring run and Luis Zendejas kicked a 47-yard field goal to round out the scoring. Washington had gone in front 10-0 on a 20-yard pass from Tim Cowan to Aaron Williams and on a 24-yard field goal by Chuck Nelson. That was Nelson's 23rd three-pointer of the season, tying an NCAA record. Robinson finished with 124 yards on 34 carries. Todd Hons kept Arizona State on the move much of the time by clicking on 19 of 31 passes for a total of 206 yards.
USC players committed five turnovers, Arizona players six. But the biggest boner may have been a decision by Wildcat Coach Larry Smith. With his team ahead 20-17, Smith decided that instead of running out the final five seconds of the first half, he would have Tom Tunnicliffe throw a bomb. Tunnicliffe did, but Trojan Safety Joey Browner grabbed it and returned it 53 yards for a touchdown. Tunnicliffe passed for 303 yards and Scott Tinsley of USC for 209.
In another rousing game, UCLA outlasted Stanford 38-35. It was a rematch of two quarterbacks—Tom Ramsey of the Bruins and John Elway of the Cardinal—who had grown up playing for rival high schools in Granada Hills, Calif. Ramsey passed 27 times, hit on 19 and accounted for 314 yards and two touchdowns. Elway completed 29 of 39 tries for 352 yards and a pair of TDs. Other notables: Danny Andrews of UCLA rushed for 148 yards, and Vincent White of Stanford caught 14 passes for 124 yards. The points that settled the outcome came when Ramsey ran five yards for a score that put the Bruins on top 38-27 in the fourth period. California defeated Washington State 34-14.
Brigham Young clung to first place in the WAC by beating San Diego State 58-8. And Idaho remained atop the Big Sky by defeating Northern Arizona 55-37.
Army may have lost the war to visiting Pitt 24-6, but the Cadets were happy about having won the second half 6-0. "This is the best I've ever felt after losing." Army Strong Safety Joe Hampton said. Army defenders took pride in having limited Dan Marino of the Panthers to 10 completions in 19 tries for 71 yards and in having intercepted three of his passes. It was incidental to the Cadets that three of Marino's tosses went for touchdowns. It also didn't faze them that Pitt rushed for 297 yards. 129 of them by Fullback Joe McCall on 24 carries. Although Halfback Gerald Walker. Army's third-leading career rusher, was out with a shoulder injury, the Cadets managed to score a touchdown. That proud moment came when Bill Turner passed six yards to Billy Noble in the fourth period.
Because the Turner Broadcasting System was willing to pay each team $125,000 to televise the game, West Virginia and Rutgers moved up their meeting from Saturday to Thursday. Wide Receiver Rich Hollins caught scoring passes of 54 and 43 yards from Jeff Hostetler as the Mountaineers pulled away from a slim 13-10 halftime lead and won 44-17. Willie Drewrey of West Virginia started the scoring with a 75-yard punt return in the first period.
Doug Flutie's 29-yard pass to Flanker Gerard Phelan with 58 seconds left gave Boston College a 20-13 victory over Syracuse in the rain. Defensive Back Vic Crawford of the Eagles excelled, making 11 tackles, assisting on eight others, batting down a pass and recovering a fumble.
Swarthmore's hopes for an unbeaten season were snuffed by Widener 24-7. The victorious Pioneers won in the fourth quarter by rushing for two touchdowns, which were as many as the Little Quakers had allowed on the ground in all 35 previous periods this year. Widener, the Division III champion last season, thus advanced to the first round of this year's playoffs. The Pioneers' first opponent will be West Georgia, which defeated Maryville 45-13. West Georgia leads Division III in total offense and scoring and is third in total defense. Wagner also moved into those playoffs by beating Kean College of New Jersey 42-0 as Tailback Alonzo Patterson ran for 134 yards and two touchdowns. Patterson, a senior, has gained 4,213 yards and is third in total rushing yardage among all active players at all levels of NCAA competition, trailing only Herschel Walker of Georgia and Eric Dickerson of SMU.
While Penn pulled out its remarkable victory over Harvard, Dartmouth beat Brown 22-16, Cornell defeated Columbia 35-26 and Yale routed Princeton 37-19.
"Todd was kind of fuzzy," said Penn State Tailback Curt Warner of Quarterback Todd Blackledge, his roommate, who sat out briefly after having had his bell rung by a jarring tackle in the second quarter at Notre Dame. "We helped him out in the huddle when he forgot the plays." Blackledge was alert enough to check off a play at the Irish 48 and fire a pass to the 25, where Warner grabbed it and took it in for the touchdown that put the Nittany Lions in front 19-14 early in the fourth quarter.
Notre Dame's first-string signal-caller, Blair Kiel, didn't fare as well as Blackledge. Tendinitis in his right shoulder forced him to the sideline only a few plays into the game. Seldom-used Ken Karcher replaced Kiel and concluded a game-opening 76-yard drive with an eight-yard pass into the end zone to Tailback Chris Smith on a fourth-and-inches gamble. Penn State built a 13-7 advantage in the second quarter on a one-yard dive by Blackledge and field goals of 41 and 29 yards by Nick Gancitano. Both field goals were set up by the recovery of Irish fumbles. The first came when Karcher pitched the ball back to freshman Tailback Allen Pinkett, who hadn't heard a Karcher audible and was heading toward the line while the ball was sailing the other way. Mixup No. 2 came when Pinkett and Karcher collided on what was supposed to have been a hand-off. Pinkett atoned for his gaffes by gathering in a kickoff, cutting to his right and racing 93 yards for a touchdown and a 14-13 Notre Dame lead shortly before the half came to an end.
That's the way it stayed until Blackledge and Warner combined on their 48-yard scoring play. A safety and Gancitano's third field goal wrapped up a 24-14 triumph for the Nittany Lions. Warner ran for 143 yards on 25 carries; Blackledge passed for 189 yards as he completed 11 of 27 throws; and Penn State Flanker Kenny Jackson caught six passes for 114 yards. It was the third consecutive game in which Jackson gained more than 100 yards with his receptions.
Missouri had good reason for believing it could pull off a Big Eight upset at Oklahoma. After all, the Mizzou defense had given opposing runners a hard time all season, yielding only three gains of more than 30 yards and giving up 158 yards rushing per game. And a ground attack, the Tigers knew, was about the only offensive threat that the Sooners had. Of the 97 teams in Division I-A, there was only one that had not completed at least one touchdown pass so far this year: Oklahoma.
Well, so much for pregame stats. What happened was that the Sooners got scoring runs of 38 and 70 yards by Quarterback Kelly Phelps and Tailback Marcus Dupree, respectively, while winning 41-14. That was only part of it. Oklahoma rolled up 483 yards on the ground, 166 of them on 19 carries by Dupree. And the Sooners even struck through the air, Phelps passing 11 yards for a TD in the third period to Tight End Johnny Fontenette, who made the first catch of his three-year career. Until then Missouri had trailed by only 21-14. Dupree's long scoring run and his seven-yard touchdown burst both came in the fourth quarter and broke the game open.
When the Nebraska-at-Iowa State game began, the temperature was 22° and the wind-chill factor ranged between 0° and 6°. About the only person who was warm, at least briefly, was a member of the Cyclone band who reportedly backed into a portable heater and set his trousers ablaze. Iowa State gained 157 yards rushing and 116 passing, but the Corn-huskers ruled the game with 363 yards on the ground. By scoring two touchdowns in each of the last three periods, Nebraska wound up winning 48-10. Before leaving the game late in the third quarter with a sprained ankle, Mike Rozier of the Huskers carried 19 times for 103 yards. Nebraska Quarterback Turner Gill ran 22 yards for one score and passed 49 yards to Todd Brown for another. Colorado defeated Kansas 28-3, and Oklahoma State won 24-16 at Kansas State.
Michigan runners tore up the home turf for 315 yards against Purdue, Lawrence Ricks picking up 196 of them on 31 carries. Ricks scored twice from in close and set up his first touchdown with a 52-yard run. Steve Smith's nine-for-13 passing added 184 yards to the Wolverine offense. Flanker Anthony Carter (page 44) grabbed three passes for 123 yards and scored on plays that covered 48 and 62 yards. The result: a 52-21 victory that gave Michigan the Big Ten title and a trip to the Rose Bowl. Scott Campbell of the Boilermakers hit on 29 of 49 passes for 331 yards and two touchdowns.
Northwestern's Sandy Schwab also did some impressive throwing in a losing cause. Schwab, who completed 27 of 43 tries for 393 yards and three touchdowns, broke former Purdue Quarterback Mark Herrmann's NCAA freshman records for the most yards gained passing in a season (2,735) and most yards gained in a season (2,555). Still, the Wildcats were 40-28 losers to visiting Ohio State. The Buckeyes had a record setter, too. Senior Wide Receiver Gary Williams, who was a defensive back as a freshman, established an NCAA mark by catching a pass (he caught four in all) in his 43rd straight game. After Northwestern had cut its deficit to 34-28 in the fourth period, Ohio State Tailback Tim Spencer topped off his 26-carry, 190-yard performance with a workhorse effort. During a 78-yard scoring march, Spencer ran for 67 yards on six cracks, the last good for 16 yards and a touchdown.
Iowa, which had allowed an average of only 73.3 yards rushing during six previous conference games, was stunned when Wisconsin's Troy King raced 80 yards for a TD on the first play from scrimmage. After that, the Hawkeye defense got tough, pouncing on two fumbles and picking off six passes during a 28-14 triumph. Iowa sophomore Tailback Owen Gill ran 28 times for 157 yards and two touchdowns. Tony Eason passed for 200 yards and three TDs as Illinois romped 48-7 at Indiana. And in a battle to see who could avoid last place, Michigan State was a 26-7 winner at Minnesota. The next day, Coach Frank (Muddy) Waters, who had a 10-24 record for three seasons, was fired.
Bowling Green won its first Mid-American Conference Championship in 17 years by beating Eastern Michigan 24-7. Central Michigan's 24-13 defeat of Ball State and Western Michigan's 16-7 triumph over Ohio left the winners deadlocked for second place.
In what is billed as "the oldest continuous rivalry west of the Alleghenies," Wabash knocked off DePauw 31-6. Quarterback Dave Broecker of the Little Giants hit on 24 of 29 passes for 269 yards and two touchdowns and carried 16 times for another 75 yards and a third score. In another game between Indiana schools, Franklin defeated Valparaiso 55-20 as Steve Wray connected on 29 of 57 throws for 425 yards and seven touchdowns. Missouri Valley leader Tulsa ran its overall record to 9-1 by drubbing Indiana State 48-14.
"It was a real miracle. I believe in God." That's what Blane Smith of Southern Methodist said after his chicanery helped keep the Mustangs' perfect record intact. Smith did not gain a yard on his big play—ploy, actually—which came on the kickoff after a 28-yard field goal by Ricky Gann that had given Texas Tech a 27-27 tie with 17 seconds to go. After fielding the kick-off at the SMU 10, Smith began his well-rehearsed routine by deliberately bobbling the ball. Lured on, Tech players zeroed in to smear Smith. Before they could nail him, though, he faked a hand-off and then passed the ball crossfield and slightly behind him to Bobby Leach, who was all alone near the opposite sideline. Leach then gamboled 91 yards for a touchdown with four seconds left to give the Ponies a dramatic 34-27 Southwest Conference victory that kept them in first place.
Eric Dickerson, who gained 115 yards on 21 carries, put the Mustangs in front 7-0 with a 28-yard scamper in the first period and gave them a 17-7 halftime lead by scooping up his own fumble and running nine yards for a TD in the second quarter. A 16-yard dash by Craig James in the third period widened SMU's advantage to a seemingly safe 24-10. But the Red Raiders, who outgained the Mustangs 421 yards to 349 in total offense, knotted the score at 24-all as Jim Hart passed 16 yards to Buzz Tatom in the third quarter and Anthony Hutchison dashed 71 yards in the fourth. Altogether, Hutchison carried the ball 39 times for 206 yards, more than twice what any runner had gained against SMU in almost two years. Jeff Harrell's second field goal of the day, a 25-yarder, put the Mustangs ahead 27-24 with 4:05 to play. Though Tech punished SMU's defense, the Red Raiders had trouble harnessing Mustang Linebacker Gary Moten, who made 14 unassisted tackles, gave his considerable support on two others and intercepted a pass.
Arkansas had no such problems with its defense during a 35-0 rout of Texas A&M. By the time the score was 28-0 early in the third period, the Aggies had netted a scant 36 yards on 26 plays. On the way to their third shutout of the season, the Razorbacks intercepted three passes and recovered two A&M fumbles. Fifth-year Quarterback Tom Jones, who had played only one series of downs during the previous week's loss to Baylor, was back in the groove as he engineered all five Razorback scoring drives.
It looked like another one of those old-fashioned romps, what with Texas ahead 17-3 early in the second period at Texas Christian. The Longhorns, who had won their last two games by a combined score of 77-0, were then jolted by the Horned Frogs during the last 10 minutes of the first half. Sandwiched between field goals of 37 yards and 52 yards by TCU's Ken Ozee were two Eddie Clark touchdown passes. Clark, making his first start at quarterback this season, teamed up with James Maness on a 70-yard scoring play and then hit Dwayne May with a 12-yard touchdown toss. That display gave the Horned Frogs 18 quick points—they failed on a pair of two-point pass attempts—and a 21-17 halftime advantage. Another Clark—Tailback Darryl of Texas—scored on short runs in each of the final two periods. And John Walker wrapped up a 38-21 Longhorn triumph with a 61-yard sprint. Baylor was a 35-13 winner at Rice.
PLAYERS OF THE WEEK
OFFENSE: Henry Ellard, a senior wide receiver for Fresno State, caught seven passes—all of them in the first half—for 222 yards and scored 80-and 72-yard TDs during a 45-14 win over Montana State.
DEFENSE: Johnny Jackson, a sophomore linebacker, paced New Mexico's 29-24 defeat of Colorado State by making 10 tackles (two sacks), tipping a pass that was run back for a TD and causing a fumble.