"He doesn't think he knows it all," Craig says. "He likes advice. That's refreshing to see in a kid coming out of college with his head screwed on right." After watching the Iowa-Illinois game on TV, Craig said, "That 30-yard run was the best I've ever seen by any college back. Cut, cut, cut and explode."
This season Craig calls Banks every weekend. "He told me, 'Every time you touch the ball, you've got to be explosive,' " Banks says. On the Saturday that Banks rang up Tulsa for 314 yards, Craig saw the numbers on TV and ran to call Merrikay. "I want to scream," Craig said, "but I have to contain myself." Which is more than anyone has done to Tavian.
Wake Forest trailed North Carolina State 18-16 in the waning minutes last Thursday night when Demon Deacons wide receiver Desmond Clark broke into the clear inside the Wolfpack 10. Brian Kuklick floated a pass to him. "The corner grabbed my right arm," Clark says. "I only got one hand on it. I still should have grabbed it. I had it."
Clark dropped the ball, and Wake Forest, which had led in each of its previous two games before losing both by a total of three points, appeared to be in similar trouble. But Kuklick completed a third-and-eight pass to Jammie Deese for a first down, and four plays later kicker Matt Burdick lined up to win the game with a 37-yard field goal. The Demon Deacons' holder is Clark. "I was thinking about [the dropped pass] when I came into the huddle," Clark said. "I told the offensive line to give Matt time. I was hoping he could bail me out."
Burdick kicked the field goal, and Wake Forest, with its 19-18 win, is 2-2. Now the Demon Deacons' last three games have seen decided by a total of four points. The record for most games decided by two points or fewer in a season is six.
Twenty-four teams have had two 1,000-yard rushers in a season, but none has had three—so far. Rice coach Ken Hatfield remains committed to the option offense, and all three of his primary ballcarriers, running back Michael Perry (488 yards), quarterback Chad Nelson (417) and fullback Benji Wood (401), rank among the nation's top 30 rushers. That trio is the main reason the Owls (2-2) have averaged 36 points, 441.3 rushing yards and 39:30 in time of possession the last three games. The last stat shows how the option can keep a suspect defense off the field.
Out with the Old, In with the New
The nation's second-oldest Division I foot-ball stadium, Tennessee-Chattanooga's Chamberlain Field, will host its last game on Saturday when the Moccasins play Wofford College. Chamberlain, which opened in 1908, five years after Harvard Stadium, can boast a proud history. Frank Thomas coached Chattanooga from '25 to '28 before eventually going to Alabama. Bob Neyland won there during his first two tours as Tennessee's coach, as did a young Bobby Bowden, as coach of Howard in '62. Two future Heisman winners performed at Chamberlain—Frank Sinkwich of Georgia and Steve Spurrier, who played there with Science Hill High of Johnson City, Tenn., before he went to Florida—as well as future NFL players like Terry Bradshaw of Louisiana Tech, Too Tall Jones of Tennessee State and Steve McNair of Alcorn State.
The Mocs' first game in the new 20,000-seat Finley Stadium will be on Oct. 18, against Tennessee State. No one is too choked up about losing Chamberlain, which has seen better days. When the Atlanta Falcons and the Tennessee Oilers scrimmaged there in July, Oilers punter Reggie Roby walked onto the field, looked at the rundown surroundings and said to an onlooker, "So where do we play the game?"