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College Football


After narrowly escaping with an 8-7 win over Arizona—thanks to a 51-yard field goal attempt by the Wildcats" Steve McLaughlin that sailed just wide on the game's final play—Miami will stagger, not swagger, into its game against Florida State in the Orange Bowl on Saturday. Defensive end Rusty Medearis is out for the season after tearing ligaments in his left knee in the second half against Arizona, and the Hurricanes still haven't been able to develop a running game to complement quarterback Gino Torretta's passing. Miami's three running backs, Donnell Bennett, Larry Jones and Stephen McGuire, gained a meager 21 yards rushing in 17 attempts against the Wildcats. Torretta, who completed 26 of 46 passes for 289 yards, called the ground attack "pitiful."

Miami coach Dennis Erickson had been so disappointed by his team's feeble 97-yard rushing effort in its opening 24-7 victory over Iowa that he shook up his offensive line, moving backup tight end Carlos Etheredge to weak tackle, weak tackle Kipp Vickers to strong guard and strong guard Alan Symonette to second-team center. The Hurricanes showed modest improvement in a 38-0 win over Florida A&M the next week, gaining 164 yards on the ground, but then came up empty against Arizona.

This season, like last, the Wildcats are the only team scheduled to play both Miami and Washington. After last year's 36-9 loss to the Hurricanes, some Arizona players said that Miami wasn't as good as Washington, which had beaten the Wildcats 54-0. The Hurricanes, who last season were voted No. 1 in the Associated Press poll but No. 2 in the USA Today/CNN poll behind the Huskies, felt those remarks may have cost them the undisputed national title. Will history repeat itself? The Wildcats don't play Washington until Nov. 7, but some of them have already formed an opinion. "Sorry, pal," said Arizona quarterback George Malauulu after Saturday's game, "but the Hurricanes aren't the Number One team in the nation. They would have blown us out if they were." Added running back Charles Levy, "They're not Number One caliber. They didn't stop us. We stopped ourselves."


As part of its drive toward gender equity, the Big Ten has come up with a formula by which men, whether on scholarship or not, must account for no more than 60% of all varsity athletes by 1997. You'd think schools would comply by increasing the number of women scholarship athletes. Not a chance. Instead, they're widely expected to try to meet the goal, at least in part, by limiting the number of walk-ons on their football teams.

But coaches are virtually unanimous in arguing that reducing walk-ons would simply create another form of discrimination. Says Duke coach Barry Wilson, it would be a sad state of affairs if a young man wanted to participate but was kept from doing that, even though he was paying his own expenses, just because of some man versus woman balance they are trying to achieve."

Every coach can point to players who came to their teams as walk-ons and went on to distinguished college careers (box, page 70). "I went to college myself as a walk-on," says Baylor coach Grant Teaff. "Later I earned a scholarship, but I wouldn't have had an opportunity to play college football if walk-ons had been banned or unduly restricted. I could give you any number of names of walk-ons who never did win a scholarship but have gone on to become successful in business, and they tell me the experience of being part of the football program meant so much to them."

This isn't just another case of recalcitrant coaches refusing to accept a new idea or lighting to preserve their empires. They are right. Surely there are other ways for schools to meet the 60-40 requirement. Says North Carolina State coach Dick Sheridan, "Really, in one sense, the purest, most noble pursuit of participating in football is with the walk-on." Sheridan says that before schools restrict walk-ons, they should "cut things like the number of coaches or administrators, salaries or recruiting budgets."

And what about reducing the number of football scholarships? That's an unthinkable prospect to many schools. But wouldn't this free up funds that could be used on scholarships for women athletes? And isn't that what the new rule is meant to accomplish?


After San Diego State's 35-7 loss to UCLA, writers and photographers blitzed Marshall Faulk, the Aztecs' sophomore running phenom, to see how he felt after gaining only 118 yards on 23 carries—not bad for mortals but below average for Faulk. To his credit, Faulk didn't whine about his poor blocking, the back injury to quarterback David Lowery that hurt San Diego State's passing game or his team's three turnovers. "I don't have any excuses," Faulk said. "We just played a good team. Let's say I was expecting more to happen."

What did happen is that UCLA continued to prove itself to be much better than anyone expected. The Bruins, now 3-0, rolled up 330 yards on the ground, and redshirt freshman quarterback Rob Walker, making only his second college start, completed 20 of 32 passes for 141 yards, two touchdowns and no interceptions. On defense, UCLA held San Diego State to six first downs and no points through the first three quarters.

"Through the week all we heard was Marshall Faulk this and Marshall Faulk that," said Bruin safety Marvin Goodwin. "Everybody figured that Marshall Faulk was just going to come in here and have his way with us. They even had pools at school to see how many yards he would gain. Some people were saying it wouldn't be under 220 yards or 250. When I heard that, I said there was no way one man was going to run for that many yards against us."

Maybe now the campus touts can start doping out whether the Bruins will go to the Rose Bowl. UCLA does not play Washington, and if both the Bruins and the Huskies remain unbeaten through the Pac-10 season, they will tie for the championship—but UCLA will go to Pasadena because Washington played there last season. That would leave the Huskies free to accept a bid to the Fiesta Bowl, where they would face the winner of this week's Miami-Florida State game for the national championship. There are suddenly a lot of Bruin fans in Tempe.


Because the Cyclones' offensive line averaged 275 pounds per man to only 223 pounds for Northern Iowa's defensive front three, Iowa State's coaches and players made it clear before the game that they intended to beat the visitors from Cedar Falls by pounding away at them. "I'd have tried to pound us too," said Northern Iowa coach Terry Allen. "But it just didn't work, did it?" No, it didn't. To the shock of the crowd of 40,646, which began leaving Cyclone Stadium in the third quarter, the Panthers put a 27-10 whipping on their overconfident hosts from Division I, their first victory over the Cyclones since 1900. "We thought Northern Iowa would just roll over," said Iowa State middle guard Malcolm Goodwin. "Obviously, it didn't."

The Cyclones should have known better, considering that Northern Iowa came into the game 2-0 and ranked fourth in Division I-AA. Yet Iowa State never snapped out of its lethargy, not even when the Panthers came out swinging—literally. After Northern Iowa flanker Kenny Shedd returned the opening kickoff, a scuffle broke out between some Cyclone and Panther players in front of the Northern Iowa bench. "It was our plan to get the guys going with that brawl," said Shedd of the premeditated fisticuffs. "It seemed to spark the guys and let Iowa State know we're not intimidated." Both teams were penalized for unsportsmanlike conduct, but the gauntlet had been thrown down.

Northern Iowa took a 3-0 lead in the first quarter on the first of Scott Obermeier's four Held goals, this one a 19-yarder, and never trailed. Besides out-gaining the Cyclones 133 yards to 59 on the ground, the Panthers also sacked Iowa State quarterback Bob Utter eight times and intercepted four of his passes. "It makes it even sweeter to know we beat a team that was confident of pounding us," said Shedd.

After embracing Cyclone coach Jim Walden at midfield after the game, Allen led his players to the south end of the stadium so that the 3,000 Northern Iowa fans could join them in the school fight song. "Personally," said Allen, "I think this is the biggest win in school history."


Thank you, Michigan, for your 61-7 whipping of Houston. Now that the Cougars know how it feels to be humiliated, maybe they will show a little compassion the next time they have the chance to run up one of those 73-3 or 84-21 scores....

When Central College of Pella, Iowa, defeated Wartburg 31-21, Ron Schipper, the coach at Central for the past 32 years, moved past Amos Alonzo Stagg into third place in career victories by a coach at one school. It was Schipper's 245th win at Central. Only Grambling's Eddie Robinson (373) and John Gagliardi of Minnesota's St. John's University (289) are ahead of him....

Columbia's 18-9 victory over Fordham was the Lions' first win against a non-Ivy League opponent since their 6-0 victory over Lafayette in 1980....

While at Sheridan (Ind.) High, Brett Law was the football version of Hoosier basketball icon Damon Bailey. In his senior year, in 1988, he scored 66 touchdowns and 453 points, both national records. Now a sophomore at Indiana, Law scored his first college touchdown in the Hoosiers' 20-10 win over Missouri. He rushed for 240 yards, third-highest total in Indiana history, behind only Anthony Thompson's 377 against Wisconsin in 1989 and Vaughn Dunbar's 265 against Missouri last season....

SMU's 21-9 victory over TCU ended the Mustangs' 25-game Southwest Conference losing streak. SMU is now 3-1 in its fourth year back after getting hit with the NCAA's death penalty and sitting out two seasons....

Kansas State free safety Jaime Mendez, a junior, set a school record by intercepting four passes in the Wildcats' 35-14 win over Temple. He returned them for a total of 74 yards and set up three touchdowns....

The award for smallest hero (nonkicker division) of the week goes to Eric Powell, the third-string quarterback at Jacksonville (Ala.) State. In a 20-6 win over Valdosta, Powell ran 20 times for 110 yards. Anybody know a 5'7", 160-pounder who had a better day?





Arizona was the latest to ground Hurricane runners like Bennett.



Obermeier's four field goals helped the upstart Panthers give Iowa State the boot.


North Carolina State senior quarterback Terry Jordan completed 23 of 25 passes for 361 yards and no interceptions in the Wolfpack's 27-20 victory over North Carolina. He was 10 for 10 in the second half.

Memphis State cornerback Ken Irvin, a sophomore, broke an NCAA record with his four blocked punts in the Tigers' 22-6 win over Arkansas. Indiana's Tom Moorhead had three against Kansas State in 1942.

Steve Thompson, a sophomore running back from Montana's Rocky Mountain College, rushed for 405 yards and six touchdowns in the Bears' 42-36 defeat of Carroll College in an NAIA game.