BRUIN FAN CLUB
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."