BAD NEWS BRUINS
Near the end of UCLA's 38-15 loss to Michigan in Ann Arbor, the Bruins' redshirt freshman quarterback, Tommy Maddox, was so manhandled by Wolverine defensive tackle Chris Hutchinson that Maddox spun 180 degrees as he was going down and fired a fourth-down pass in the wrong direction. The play was symbolic of UCLA's slide, now in its second year. After nine consecutive winning seasons under coach Terry Donahue, the Bruins dipped to 3-7-1 in 1989 and are off to a 1-2 start this fall. In its last nine games, UCLA's only nonlosses have been a 10-10 tie with Southern Cal at the end of last year and a last-second 32-31 victory over Stanford two weeks ago.
Maddox, who replaced junior Jim Bonds as the starting quarterback in the second half of the Stanford game, has proved to be a ray of hope. Against Michigan's veteran defense, he completed 26 of 47 passes for 353 yards. Thanks largely to Maddox, UCLA trailed only 28-15 with about nine minutes left in the third quarter and was sitting on the Wolverine eight-yard line. But after the Bruins were penalized 10 yards for holding, Maddox threw a pass into traffic, which Michigan strong safety Tripp Welborne tipped to teammate Lance Dottin, who made an acrobatic interception.
Unfortunately for the Bruins, their offensive line isn't nearly as good on running plays as it is on pass plays. UCLA rushed for a mere 44 net yards against the Wolverines, even with a 47-yard TD jaunt by fullback Kevin Smith. In its opener, against Oklahoma, the Bruins had only 28 yards rushing on 27 attempts. When Donahue was asked after the Michigan loss to describe his team's ground attack, he simply said, "Lousy."
That also sums up UCLA's rushing defense, which allowed Michigan a whopping 456 yards, including 288 by sophomore tailback Jon Vaughn, the best one-man effort ever against the Bruins. The previous record was 219 yards, by USC's Marcus Allen in 1981.
Donahue says Maddox, whom UCLA spirited out of Bedford, Texas, is "still a green player. He hasn't experienced all the blitzes. But he's going to get better. Is he exciting? You better believe it."
Exciting as Maddox is, however, the Bruins won't be back until Donahue finds some linemen who can open holes on offense and slam them shut on defense.
Arkansas has had its way in the troubled, talent-depleted SWC the last two years, but the Razorbacks may be no better than a middle-of-the-pack team in the powerful SEC, which they will join in time for the 1992 season. Look at what happened on Saturday in Little Rock, Ark., where the Hogs met Ole Miss, a team that hasn't won the SEC in 26 years. The Rebels were 13-point underdogs, but on the final play of the game, Mississippi defensive backs Chris Mitchell and Chauncey Godwin combined to bring down Razorback tailback Ron Dickerson just shy of the Rebel goal line to preserve a 21-17 upset.
Although Arkansas dominated virtually every statistical department and controlled the ball for more than 40 minutes, Mississippi made its possessions count. It got two second-quarter TDs within two minutes and 30 seconds from Vincent Brownlee, the second on an 89-yard punt return. The Ole Miss defense stopped four Razorback drives inside the 12-yard line before coming up with the game-saving play on about the two-inch line.
The play started on the Mississippi five. Arkansas quarterback Quinn Grovey rolled out left and pitched to Dickerson, who was slowed just enough by Godwin at the two-yard line to give Mitchell a chance to lay a thunderous hit on Dickerson and keep him from scoring.
Afterward, Mitchell lay on the field, unconscious, sending a chill through Ole Miss fans. Mitchell wears jersey number 38, which was previously worn by Chucky Mullins, who was paralyzed from the shoulders down while making a tackle last year. When Mitchell got up after a few seconds, everyone in attendance was relieved, even though he held his neck as he walked off the field. "It hurt bad," said Mitchell, "but when they woke me up, they said we won."
If the Razorbacks can't handle Ole Miss, their fans can only shudder at the thought of what SEC foes Auburn, Florida and Tennessee might do to their team.
Quarterback Dan Sharley has led Dayton to a 17-0-1 record as a starter since he was promoted for the final regular-season game of 1988. A 14-10 home victory over Butler last Saturday enabled the Flyers to get even with the only team to blemish that run; the Bulldogs played Dayton to a 23-23 tie last year in Indianapolis. The win also boosted the Flyers' 1990 record to 3-0 and tied them with Williams College for the the nation's longest winning streak at 14.
Dayton is a member of Division III, whose schools cannot award athletic scholarships, and Sharley, a senior from Memphis, is like many other Division III players in that football is not his only—or even primary—interest. He has a 3.51 GPA in journalism and has made the dean's list for five consecutive semesters. He plans to attend law school. In his spare time, Sharley plays the guitar and does watercolors. His favorite subjects for the paintings are his teammates, particularly members of the offensive line. "I'm real generous to the linemen," says Sharley. "I give them big arms."
In turn, the linemen give Sharley the protection necessary to run an option offense that emphasizes the run but still has allowed him to complete more than 60% of his passes. In the Flyers' season-opening 45-28 win over John Carroll, Sharley completed 18 of 22 throws for 306 yards. Against Butler, however, he was only five of 14, so coach Mike Kelly replaced him in the third quarter with senior Jack Dybis. Dybis broke loose for a 48-yard touchdown scamper, which sparked Dayton's comeback from a 10-7 deficit.
As pleased as Dybis was with his performance, he didn't need Sharley or anyone else to paint him a picture concerning his future. "I'm sure Dan will start next week," said Dybis. "It's the coaches' decision, and it's been the right decision."
Southern Cal's 31-0 drubbing at the hands of Washington was the Trojans' worst Pac-10 defeat since a 34-0 loss to the Huskies in 1960. It was also coach Don James's 150th career win, 125 of which have come at Washington. The Huskies were led by quarterback Mark Brunell, who's still being teased about the play against Purdue two weeks ago in which he lined up for the snap behind his strong guard instead of his center. "I'm not the first guy to do that," said Brunell. "John Elway did it. All those butts look alike."...Billy Payne, the former Georgia defensive end who headed Atlanta's successful effort to land the '96 Olympics, was given a standing ovation in Athens before the Bulldogs' 17-16 victory over Alabama, which is now 0-3. Also on hand was former Clemson coach Danny Ford, who's already being mentioned as the man who could be coaching Alabama sooner rather than later if Gene Stallings doesn't stop the current Tide slide....
Eastern Kentucky's 42-34 win over Georgia Southern ended the Eagles' 38-game home winning streak, a Division I-AA record. Georgia Southern is 42-2 at Paulson Stadium....
Miami coach Dennis Erickson, responding to criticism of the Hurricanes' penchant for unseemly on-the-field celebrating, has told his squad that henceforth anyone who gets too demonstrative will be benched....
Notre Dame assistant Vinny Cerrato got a lot of attention during last season's Orange Bowl game by using a cellular telephone to call recruits from the sideline, a tactic used by a number of schools to impress potential players. The NCAA has since banned the practice of calling recruits during games, but Cerrato is profiting from it: Cellular One of South Bend is featuring him in its magazine ads....
The best news of the week may be that Nebraska's contract with Minnesota has expired. The Huskers followed last year's 48-0 blowout with a 56-0 romp last Saturday, even though their first-team quarterback, Mike Grant, and top two I-backs, Leodis Flowers and Scott Baldwin, didn't play because of injuries. Please, Nebraska, replace the Gophers with somebody—anybody—who can give you a decent, competitive game.
Donahue (above) liked little in Ann Arbor except Maddox, who excelled in spite of a fierce pass rush.
[See caption above.]
Dybis came off the bench in the third quarter to spark Dayton to its 14th consecutive win.
PLAYERS OF THE WEEK
Illinois fullback Howard Griffith set an NCAA record for most TDs in a game by scoring eight in the mini's 56-21 rout of Southern Illinois. The old mark of seven was established by Arnold (Showboat) Boykin in 1951.
Chris Mitchell, Mississippi's senior strong safety, made a career-high 21 tackles, including a game-saving stop on the Rebel goal line as time expired, to lead Ole Miss to a 21-17 upset of Arkansas.
Edward Fletcher, a sophomore at Fort Scott (Kans.) Community College, passed for 496 yards and four touchdowns in a 70-27 romp over Hutchinson (Kans.) C.C. that raised the Greyhounds' record to 4-0.