Top-ranked Michigan won its opener over Washington State, but just barely. Playing without Quarterback Steve Smith, who bruised his right shoulder in practice two weeks ago, the Wolverines trailed 17-14 in the fourth quarter when Tailback Rick Rogers went 52 yards down the left sideline to the Cougar 10-yard line. Three plays later, second-string Quarterback David Hall swept four yards around left end for the score. The point-after attempt failed, and Michigan led 20-17. Washington State went for the tie with 2:16 remaining, but John Traut's 38-yard field-goal attempt was wide.
Before facing Oregon, Ohio State practiced running against the Ducks' eight-man front. Oregon, however, came out in a four-man defensive line, which befuddled the Buckeye blockers and shut down their rushing attack. The result? Mike Tomczak completed 21 of 25 passes for 273 yards and four touchdowns to give Ohio State a 31-6 victory. Buckeye Coach Earle Bruce had just one word for his six tailbacks, who combined for a mere 89 yards in 27 carries: "Lousy."
Tailback problems didn't plague Nebraska, Iowa and Notre Dame, each of which got four touchdowns from a running back. The Corn-huskers won their 12th game in a row, defeating Wyoming 56-20, as Mike Rozier scored four TDs and had 191 yards rushing. Rozier could have stayed in the game past the third quarter and run for even more yardage, explained Coach Tom Osborne, "but I want to keep him sharp. We weren't trying to pump up his stats."
Anticipating scorching heat in Purdue's Ross-Ade Stadium—the temperature at kick-off was 102°—Notre Dame Coach Gerry Faust decided early last week to alternate defensive lines and entire offensive units. The Boilermakers threw four interceptions and lost three fumbles to the fresh Irish, and Notre Dame Tailback Greg Bell got three touchdowns on short runs and one on a nine-yard pass reception. The final: N.D. 52, Purdue 6. In Iowa's 51-10 rout of Iowa State, Tailback Owen Gill scored four times on rushes ranging from one to 38 yards.
Trailing Duke 10-8 with 7:42 to play, Indiana Coach Sam Wyche shelved his 49er-style passing offense and went to the quarterback option. Starting from their own 16-yard line, the Hoosiers ran eight times in nine plays and scored when Tailback Bobby Howard went eight yards with a pitch. Northwestern Linebacker Mike Guendling assessed the Wildcats' 34-0 loss to Washington as follows: "Our legs weren't moving as fast as theirs."
Florida State Coach Bobby Bowden prepared his team for its game at Louisiana State in part by playing tapes of screams and yells one day during practice. They came in handy as 79,665 vociferous LSU fans showed up at Tiger Stadium. The first quarter belonged to the Tigers, especially to sophomore Tailback Dalton Hilliard, who ran for 89 yards and scored twice in those 15 minutes. The Seminoles, led by Quarterback Kelly Lowrey, then ran off 33 unanswered points. Tailback Greg Allen, who finished with 201 yards, scored once. LSU got three TDs in the final six minutes, but the Seminoles prevailed 40-35. The teams piled up 1,026 yards of offense—536 by Florida State, 490 by Louisiana State.
In Auburn's 24-3 win over Southern Mississippi, senior Lionel James of the Tigers rushed for 172 yards and one touchdown behind blocks from Bo Jackson, who had 73 yards and two TDs himself. "I want Lionel drafted as high as possible," said Jackson, a sophomore. "I plan to do that by blocking my butt off this season. I did that tonight."
North Carolina beat surprisingly tough Memphis State 24-10, and Maryland defeated Vanderbilt 21-14. With the score tied 14-14 and the Commodores threatening with 3:24 left in the fourth quarter, Terp Corner-back Lendell Jones picked off a short sideline pass at the Maryland six-yard line. "He does that to me all the time in practice," said Terp Quarterback Boomer Esiason, who connected with Tight End Bill Rogers on a 43-yard pass-run play for the winning touchdown with 2½ minutes left. South Carolina Punter Chris Norman set an NCAA single-game record in the Gamecocks' 24-3 victory over Miami of Ohio. Norman kicked six times for a 58.3 average to surpass the mark of 57.6 set by Joe Sartiano of Army in 1981.
In Hickory, N.C., Johnson C. Smith trailed Lenoir-Rhyne 13-10 with less than a minute remaining. On fourth and seven on its own 36-yard line, Smith punted, allowing Lenoir-Rhyne to run out the clock. What happened? "I thought we were in the third quarter," said Smith Coach Wylie Harris. "Hey, it was my mistake. I was thinking completely of something else. I lost a quarter. I don't mind admitting it. It was in the heat of battle."
Tulsa's only defeat last season came at Arkansas, by a score of 38-0. This year, with the Golden Hurricane trailing the Razorbacks 17-14 and time running out, Tulsa's Jason Staurovsky tried a 43-yard field goal into a wind that was anything but golden. The kick failed and Arkansas escaped.
In Miami's 29-7 victory at Houston, Hurricane freshman Bernie Kosar completed 15 of 26 passes for 197 yards and two touchdowns, while Houston's Lionel Wilson threw four interceptions and lost a fumble. Minnesota beat Rice 21-17 to end its losing streak at eight and extend the Owls' to 14.
"We stunk today. S-T-U-N-K," said Penn State Linebacker Scott Radecic after the Lions lost 14-3 to Cincinnati. The game marked the debut of Watson Brown, formerly the offensive coordinator at Vanderbilt, as coach of the Bearcats, and was Cincinnati's biggest win ever. "I'm not on the ground," said Brown afterward. "I don't think I'll need a plane to fly home." Bearcat Quarterback Troy Bodine, a transfer from Fuller-ton (Calif.) J.C., hit 25 of 36 passes for 261 yards, while Penn State's three quarterbacks completed only seven of 25 attempts.
Boston College trailed Clemson 16-3 early in the third quarter but rallied for four unanswered touchdowns behind the running of 5'8" Tailback Troy Stradford, who got 136 of his 179 yards in the second half, and the passing of 5'9" Doug Flutie, who ended up completing 20 of 36 throws for 223 yards after missing his receivers for most of the first half. "There's one lesson you learn in a game like this," said Eagle Coach Jack Bicknell. "Never give up on Doug Flutie."
Pitt found itself a quarterback, which is bigger news than its 35-0 victory over Temple. After John Cummings was hurt in the Panthers' win over Tennessee the week before. Coach Foge Fazio tapped sophomore John Congemi to start against the Owls. Congemi connected on 15 of 23 passes for 171 yards. West Virginia routed Pacific 48-7 as Jeff Hostetler completed 15 of 24 passes for 213 yards, while Kent State extended its losing streak, the longest in Division I-A, to 15 by suffering a 22-10 defeat at Syracuse.
Colgate couldn't score any touchdowns against Army's stunting defense but won 15-13 on five field goals—the last from 32 yards with 17 seconds to go—by freshman Mike Powers. Delaware was upset 35-27 by West Chester (Pa.). Three interceptions by senior Cornerback Joe Maida and TD runs of 70 and 20 yards by junior Mike Irving lifted the Golden Rams to their first victory over the Blue Hens since 1956.
With seven seconds to play, USC, which trailed Florida 19-13, was on the Gator 40-yard line. In what appeared to be the final play of the game, Sean Salisbury's pass into the end zone fell incomplete. But Florida was penalized 15 yards for using 12 men on the play. With no time on the clock, Salisbury completed a 25-yard pass to Flanker Timmie Ware to tie the score and leave the Trojans an extra point away from victory. "The snap was low," said holder Tim Green. "It hopped and darted away. By the time I stood up, two guys were right in my face." Final score: 19-19.
Oklahoma beat Stanford 27-14, as Sooner Tailback Marcus Dupree gained 138 yards on 24 carries. The good news for the Cardinal was the debut of its highly touted freshman quarterback, John Paye. Entering the game in the fourth quarter, Paye completed five of six passes for 88 yards and a touchdown.
To stop Air Force's "flexbone" option offense, Texas Tech brought seven defenders up to the line with the secondary close behind. Said Falcon Guard Mark Melcher, "I just said, 'My God!' It was as if they were blitzing everybody. I knew if we could punch a hole in them, we could go." They could and they did. Air Force Quarterback Marty Louthan ran for three scores en route to a 28-13 win.
In Idaho's 43-28 defeat of Southern Colorado, Vandal Quarterback Ken Hobart completed 37 of 59 passes for six touchdowns and set I-AA single-game records for passing yardage (527) and total offense (543). Said Hobart, who also threw four interceptions, "I'd rate my performance a C."
PLAYERS OF THE WEEK
OFFENSE: Florida State Quarterback Kelly Lowrey, a 6'1", 225-pound senior, rushed for three touchdowns, passed for two more and hit on 19 of 31 passes for 233 yards in a 40-35 win over LSU.
DEFENSE: Florida Free Safety Tony Lilly, a 6'1", 208-pound senior, made seven unassisted tackles, forced three fumbles, had one sack and broke up a pass in the Gators' 19-19 tie with Southern Cal.