Washington was feeling at home in the Dome after a 29-12 whipping of Houston for the Huskies' first victory in three starts. Freshman tailback Vince Weathersby gained 99 yards, and Jeff Jaeger kicked a school-record five field goals. The Huskies strode over to the stands after the game to shake the hands of 500 supporters who had made the trip from Seattle. The Northwesterners had actually tried to muster up a wave when the win was clinched. Houston's followers apparently would also like, a wave—as in bye-bye to indoor football. Attendance has slipped steadily for the past seven years at the Dome, which costs Houston about. $100,000 more per game than Robertson Stadium on campus would. "The fans at Houston put you under a fine glass before they embrace you," says Elvin Hayes, an assistant to the athletic director. Under the acrylic a crowd of only 20,522 showed for the Cougars' home opener. The Dome holds 55,155 for football.
Villanova extended its undefeated streak to five years with a 27-7 win over Iona before a full house (13,400) at Villanova Stadium. After 87 years the Wildcats dropped football for financial reasons in the spring of '81. But enraged alumni, who trotted out Bob Hope for one fund-raiser, pledged to put up $100,000 and to buy 3,000 season tickets annually to have the sport resurrected. (In 1988, the school will join the I-AA Yankee Conference.) "The concept of not having a football team was foreign to everyone—everyone—we talked to," says Charlie Johnson, '62, a Villanova All-America lineman and current point man on the Wildcat Club. "Football opens communication. One of our alums wakes up in Utah and reads that we beat Iona and he feels a part of his school." Villanova linebacker Kevin Kelley, one of just four non-freshman starters, had five sacks against the Gaels, who were 59-0 losers to Division III Hofstra in their opener.
Temple, which Villanova defeated in its season finale in 1980, has suffered 28-25, 27-25 and 26-24 defeats so far this year against Top 20 teams. The Owls' latest lamentable loss—the 26-24 one—came at home against BYU, despite the thick-skinned play of standout guard John (Rhino) Rienstra. Rhino, who played both ways in the second half, got Temple's only sack of Cougar quarterback Robbie Bosco. "I know there's a lot of holding going on out there," said the 280-pound Rienstra, a record-setting powerlifter. "My shirt never comes out of my pants, but when I came out on defense it was hanging out." BYU overcame a 17-13 fourth-quarter deficit on two of Bosco's four touchdown tosses. He wound up completing 24 of 36 passes for 321 yards.
Penn State's 17-10 squeaker over East Carolina seemed never-ending. There were seven penalties on the last 12 plays, and it took 15 minutes to play the last 58 seconds. Three interference calls against the Nittany Lions helped the Pirates drive to the Penn State 34 as time expired. Said Lion safety Ray Isom, who fretted over the flag dropped on the final play, "If they called that last one on me, I was going to ask them to let me officiate."
Quarterbacks from Maryland and Boston College, inconsistent in earlier starts, righted their arms in wins over West Virginia and Pittsburgh, respectively. Stan Gelbaugh, who had completed just 39.6% of his passes for a total of 241 yards in two games, converted 15 of 23 throws for 263 yards in the Terps' 28-0 defeat of the Mountaineers. Shawn Halloran had struggled in BC's two losses, and the bench beckoned. But in a 29-22 upset of Pitt, Halloran connected on 25 of 33 throws for 400 yards. The Eagles' Kelvin Martin had seven catches for 173 yards, including a dazzling 51-yarder with 81 seconds to go for the game-winning touchdown.
"Defense is like a dog," said Florida State coach Bobby Bowden. "It will mind you. Offense is fickle—like a cat. It won't listen to you. An ol' cat that you tell to go out the door will just sit there, scratching at you." A 19-10 victory over tough Memphis State underlined Bowden's pet theory. The Seminoles' offense was most unmindful, particularly after quarterback Danny McManus was knocked unconscious for the second straight game. But their defensive line, combat trained by a black-belt karate instructor, dutifully treed Tiger quarterback Danny Sparkman. He completed just 8 of 21 passes for 70 yards after having connected on his first five throws for 68 yards on an opening TD drive. FSU's kicking game tended toward the canine as Derek Schmidt booted field goals of 51, 51, 46 and 24 yards and Louis Berry averaged 45 yards a punt.
Colorado State running back Steve Bartalo was looking forward to the game at LSU. A walk-on three years ago, the 5'9" junior has led the WAC in rushing each of the past two years. "I love to play the nationally ranked teams," he says. "It gives you a chance to showcase your ability." But with the Rams trailing 17-3 early in the fourth quarter, Bartalo was stopped short of the goal line on a fourth-and-one. Replays showed he had probably gotten in, but so much for showcasing on the road. The LSU defense held Bartalo to 68 yards on 26 carries, while the Tigers' Dalton Hilliard gained 151 on 25 attempts in the 17-3 win.
When Jeff Johnson was six years old, the front half of his right foot was sheared off by an oil-field pump jack in Chanute, Kans. As Jeff lay in a hospital bed a few weeks later, his father flipped on the Lions-Saints game. "Dad turned on the TV just as the teams were lining up for a field-goal try," recalls Johnson. "And suddenly the camera zoomed in on the kicker's foot. I was amazed. I remember thinking to myself, 'His foot is just like mine.' " The kicker, Tom Dempsey, booted an NFL-record 63-yarder that won the game for New Orleans. Last Saturday, in unbeaten Kansas's 37-10 win over Indiana State, walk-on Johnson's right foot launched field goals of 34, 52 and 53 yards, the last of which tied the school record for distance.
Iowa State's passing game had gone to seed. Last year's top wideouts, Tracy Henderson and Robbie Minor, were suspended during the winter after a series of run-ins that culminated with Minor mouthing off to a grad assistant during a 6:30 a.m. workout. Henderson then skipped his senior year, tried out for the Giants and was cut. Minor was reinstated, but he missed a few team functions (he said he wasn't told about them) and was caught drinking after curfew in a local pub. The Cyclones booted him. Against Vanderbilt last week, the Henderson/Minor replacements dropped seven passes, and quarterback Alex Espinoza was 1 for 16 at one point in the game. "Aw, it was partly my fault," said Espinoza, who pleaded guilty to charges of serious and simple assault stemming from two brawls. But on the Cyclones' final drive, Espinoza threw a 40-yard completion to set up Rick Frank's 34-yard field goal with three seconds remaining. That gave Iowa State a 20-17 victory.
While roadies set up for the Farm Aid extravaganza in Champaign, Ill., Nebraska's farm boys had the Illini seeking succor. "Right now, our program is looking real bad," Illinois coach Mike White said after being drubbed 52-25. "They kicked the tar out of us." Doug DuBose led the Huskers with 191 yards on 26 carries. Split end Robb Schnitzler (a nine-yard TD catch) and kicker Craig Schnitzler (one field goal, seven extra points) became the first brothers to score points in the same game for Nebraska.
Vanquished in Athens a week earlier by Georgia, Baylor conquered Troy 20-13 in an epic embarrassment for USC. The Bears beat the second-ranked Trojans with their horses—tackles and guards who brutalized both of USC's mighty lines. Baylor picked up 203 yards on the ground while holding Southern Cal to 153. "Our ability to run surprised, even shocked me," said Bears coach Grant Teaff. Added Trojan coach Ted Tollner, "It came down to what we think is our strength: Play physical, stop the run, and run the ball when you have to. They won that war, so they won the football game."
With 3:16 to play, USC had the ball on the Baylor six-yard line. Sean Salisbury, who began the game as the nation's No. 1 passer, ran once and handed off thrice for a grand total of two yards. Helen may not have been at stake, but Baylor did spruce up its own image by playing two-turnover, two-penalty football in its first trip to the West Coast in 21 years. The setback was the second in as many weeks for USC, which had earlier revealed recruiting violations that forced assistant coach Russ Purnell to resign.
Ron Sency scored two TDs in Villanova's first game in five years.
PLAYERS OF THE WEEK
OFFENSE: Chicago senior tailback Bruce Montella rushed 40 times for a school-record 305 yards, including a game-winning 65-yard touchdown, as the unbeaten Maroons defeated Knox College 38-33.
DEFENSE: Ray Berry, a strong-side linebacker, made 15 tackles (13 unassisted, one for a loss) and intercepted a third-quarter pass on the Baylor goal line in the Bears' 20-13 upset of No. 2 Southern Cal.