Three years ago Tom Wilson was fired as coach at Texas A & M and Jackie Sherrill was hired. On Saturday, Wilson, now an assistant with Texas Tech, returned to College Station for the first time since getting canned. "Anyone who knows the situation knows I'd be lying if I said this wasn't an important game to me," said Wilson, and he came away happy. The Red Raiders upset the Aggies 30-12 behind freshman quarterback Aaron Keesee, who threw for three touchdowns and scored a fourth one himself on a 23-yard draw.
Stormy weather doesn't bother Horned Frogs. Or at least it didn't last week, when the weather bureau issued a severe weather watch during the last quarter of the TCU-Arkansas game in Fayetteville. Trailing 31-17, Frog quarterback Anthony Sciaraffa directed two 80-yard TD drives in swirling 15-25 mph winds—completing five of nine passes for 92 of the 160 yards—and alternate quarterback Anthony Gulley found receiver James Maness for a two-point conversion to edge the Hogs 32-31. TCU running back Kenneth Davis, the top-ranked rusher in the country going into the game, was held to 73 yards and one touchdown on 15 carries.
Confusion destroyed Maryland. Trailing Penn State 25-24 in University Park, the Terps had a first down on the Nittany Lion 35 with four seconds to go. "All we had to do was snap on the whistle and throw the ball out of bounds," said quarterback Stan Gelbaugh. But someone on the bench—not coach Bobby Ross—yelled "field goal!" and the kicking unit started onto the field. "Half the guys were in and half the guys were out," said Ross. "It was total bedlam out there." As the seconds ticked away, holder Dan Henning took the snap and threw the ball out of bounds with one second on the clock. However, several Terps had moved before the snap, and after the five-yard penalty was walked off, time ran out before Jess Atkinson had a chance to kick. "It's idiotic for me to sit here and guarantee that I could have made a 57-yarder," said Atkinson. "But I tell you what. I'd rather kick and miss than have what happened."
Pittsburgh finally won a game, defeating East Carolina 17-10 with some new blood in the lineup—freshman running backs Charles Gladman and Craig (Iron-head) Heyward, who ran for 69 and 110 yards, respectively. This game also featured a field-goal faux pas. With the Panthers leading 14-0, the Pirates were on the Pitt 16, within field-goal range, with no time-outs left in the first half. By mistake, coach Ed Emory sent in a running play, which went for five yards as time ran out.
After moving to the 'bone last spring, Army is at 3-0-1 and off to its best start since 1958. The Cadets' latest victim: Harvard, which fell 33-11. Army quarterback Nate Sassaman rushed for 127 yards before coming out toward the end of the third quarter with the Cadets up 23-3. Army sacked the Crimson quarterback Brian White four times and intercepted him twice. With a 353.5-yards-per-game average, Army is the No. 1 rushing team in the country.
Penn defensive halfback Tim Chambers has a way of making things happen. In the Quakers' 35-7 rout of Columbia at Franklin Field, he forced a fumble early in the game, stuffed a sweep for a five-yard loss on the next Lion possession and returned the ensuing punt 42 yards to set up Penn's first touchdown. In his three-year career he has 11 interceptions and so far this season is averaging 19.5 yards on 12 punt returns.
In Purdue's big 28-23 upset of Ohio State in West Lafayette, quarterback Jim Everett shredded the Buckeyes' young secondary (three freshmen, one sophomore) with 17 completions in 23 attempts for 257 yards and three touchdowns. His performance overshadowed another banner day for Ohio State tailback Keith Byars, who gained 191 yards on the ground and another 102 catching passes. The key play of the game was safety Rod Woodson's 55-yard return of an interception in the fourth quarter that made the score 28-17. "They're a better football team than us," said Boilermaker coach Leon Burntett. "If we played them 10 times they'd probably beat us nine."
The night before the game, police tried to break up a block party at State and Salisbury Streets in West Lafayette, and some of the 2,000 Purdue students gathered there threw rocks and bottles. Twenty-four were arrested.
"I don't listen [to the boos] and I don't care," said Notre Dame outside linebacker Mike Golic. "If they want to boo they can boo." The fans in South Bend had razzed the Irish after their 31-13 loss to Miami, and what hurt was that the team deserved it. Though playing in heavy rain, the Hurricanes, who trailed 10-7 at halftime, moved the ball almost at will in the second half. After Miami running back Alonzo Highsmith scored his fourth TD, with 1:13 left to play, some Notre Dame students chanted, "Go for two." "This is the lowest I've ever felt after a game," said Irish defensive tackle Mike Gann.
Michigan State coach George Perles revved up his offense before its game at Michigan by quoting from newspaper articles that called the Spartans dull. "The media did a great job of coaching today," said Perles after the Spartans' 19-7 upset. "I know we're not good copy, but we're not where we want to be yet. We're building a foundation." State forced four turnovers, and fullback Bobby Morse caught six passes for 57 yards and returned a punt 87 yards for a touchdown. "Once I got the kickout block, all I saw was sideline," said Morse, whose dad, Jim, played in the same Notre Dame backfield with Paul Hornung. "I wasn't going to let anybody catch me."
Oklahoma State once again gave Nebraska all it could handle. Last year the Cowboys led 10-7 at halftime before losing 14-10. This time they were ahead 3-0 through three quarters in Lincoln before the Cornhuskers came up with a field goal, a 49-yard punt return by Shane (Cowboy) Swanson and a 64-yard pass play to win 17-3. Said Oklahoma State quarterback Rusty Hilger, a devotee of positive-thinking tapes, "All day long I had this feeling of anxiety. I was wondering what was going to happen."
Syracuse's Huskerbusters went to Gainesville boasting a defense ranked No. 1 in the nation against the pass and No. 2 overall, but it was Florida that had the D this day, shutting out the Orange 16-0. The main damage was done by 222-pound outside linebacker Alonzo Johnson, who broke up a pass and had nine tackles, including three sacks. Johnson's performance didn't surprise Florida quarterback Kerwin Bell. "When I was playing on the sixth and seventh teams, he did that to me all the time," said Bell. "I remember one scrimmage when he sacked me 10 times." Said Syracuse coach Dick MacPherson, "He leaped over our people a few times, he ran over people a few times, and he went underneath them a few times."
A week after beating Clemson, Georgia Tech lost 27-22 to North Carolina State. The Yellow Jackets turned the ball over four times, their defense yielded 333 yards—Wolfpack tailback Joe McIntosh got 138 of them—and Robert Lavette was held to 76 yards. "They had defenses we hadn't seen before," said Lavette. "They were flexing their tackles. We never could figure that out."
"They took us lightly," said State coach Tom Reed. "In fact, they took us as kind of a joke. I think the joke's on them."
Florida State came up with a 17-17 draw at Memphis State on a 42-yard field goal on the last play of the game by freshman kicker Derek Schmidt. "I've never been so happy with a tie game in my life," said Seminole coach Bobby Bowden.
Outside Vanderbilt Stadium vendors were selling black-and-gold WELCOME TO THE TOP 20 bumper stickers before the Commodores met winless Tulane. The outcome was to be Welcome To The Win Column for the Green Wave as quarterback Ken Kar√ßher burned the Vandy secondary, completing 24 of 39 passes for 316 yards to lead Tulane to a 27-23 victory. "We've been close in other games," said Tulane coach Wally English. "Somebody said it was like selling encyclopedias—we've been in the house several times, but in this one we stuck around and closed the deal."
The story in Kentucky's 27-14 victory over Rutgers was Mark Higgs, a freshman tailback who rushed for 116 yards on just four carries, two of which were TD runs of 76 and 29 yards. "I'd say we've got to get him the ball more, wouldn't you?" said Wildcat coach Jerry Claiborne. "That youngster can run with the football." Higgs has an Achilles heel—asthma. "My chest really got tight after that 29-yard run," he said. "And I just about passed out on that long one. I've got an inhaler, but I was too damn lazy to refill the thing."
Southern Cal had plenty of material for its locker-room bulletin board before its trip to Pullman. Last August, Washington State coach Jim Walden took the USC athletic department to task for wriggling out of its TV ban in the confusion following the Supreme Court decision nullifying the NCAA's jurisdiction over college football telecasts. Last week Walden was at it again, saying in The Seattle Times, "In a lineup of greed and glut, the administration at USC stands head and shoulders above everyone else. I don't think you should benefit from being a crook.... Instead of setting a shining example, USC said let's get the money while the getting's good. They embarrassed themselves, I think."
"Crook is a pretty harsh word," said Trojan linebacker Duane Bickett before last Saturday's game. "By putting down the university he's putting down me and every one of the players." Thus aroused, USC jumped to a 17-0 lead as Cougar quarterback Mark Rypien lost one fumble and threw three interceptions. In the second half Rypien passed for 247 yards and four touchdowns to bring State within two points—27-29—but his attempt at a two-point conversion was batted away. Said Bickett, "Last year's USC team would've folded today."
Fred Buckley threw for 4,719 yards and 44 TDs at Cardinal Gibbons High in Fort Lauderdale and, naturally, was besieged by recruiters. On his visit to USC he "just happened" to run into Muhammad Ali. The Notre Dame p.r. machine told Buckley the Irish were planning a Heisman campaign, assigning him the handle Buckshot Buckley, and Governor Robert Graham of Florida wrote two letters asking him to stay in-state. Buckley chose Stanford and promptly contracted mononucleosis. He lost 30 pounds and plummeted on the depth charts behind the Cardinal's gifted passers.
Last Saturday, with first-string quarterback John Paye out with a broken knuckle, Buckley, a fourth-year junior making his first start, led Stanford to a 23-21 upset of UCLA in the Rose Bowl. He threw only 21 passes (completing nine for 83 yards), but Stanford came up with 130 yards rushing—82 by freshman fullback Brad Muster—and three interceptions and held the Bruins to 66 yards on the ground.
Brigham Young's 16th consecutive win, a 52-9 triumph at Colorado State, wasn't as close as the score indicates. Robbie Bosco left the game after the first drive of the second half, having completed 16 of 21 passes for 246 yards and two touchdowns and having run for another score. In all, the Cougars racked up 616 yards to the Rams' 231. "That's as good as we've looked all year," said BYU coach LaVell Edwards.
PLAYERS OF THE WEEK
OFFENSE: Ken Karcher completed 24 of 39 passes for 316 yards and one touchdown and threw only one interception as he led Tulane, which hadn't won a game, to a 27-23 victory over Vanderbilt.
DEFENSE: Cornerback Dave Burke made seven tackles, deflected a field-goal try, recovered a fumble, threw a key block on a punt return and intercepted a pass in Nebraska's 17-3 defeat of Oklahoma State.