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Jaime Diaz
October 10, 1988
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October 10, 1988

College Football

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Perhaps a recent poem from the. Miami Herald got Florida riled: "We don't play Miami's Hurricanes/ We'd rather seek fame far away./Won"t it be a gasser/When we defeat Vassar." The chief victim of the Gators' wrath was Tiger quarterback Tommy Hodson, who completed just seven of 19 passes for 72 yards and threw his first three interceptions of the season. Florida cornerback Richard Fain picked off two of Hodson's passes in the opening period, taking the second 32 yards for a touchdown. So relentless was the Gator rush that in the second quarter Hodson was spelled briefly by Mickey Guidry while he threw on the sidelines in an attempt to regain his rhythm and his composure.

Meanwhile, Florida's Emmitt Smith rushed for 132 yards in 27 carries, giving him his eighth consecutive 100-yard game and 2,003 career rushing yards. Only Georgia's Herschel Walker reached the 2,000-yard plateau sooner. ( Tony Dorsett of Pitt also reached 2,000 yards in the fifth game of his second year.) Florida is 5-0 for the first time since 1969, and the defense has allowed only 21 points.


For its homecoming game. South Carolina was host to Appalachian State Saturday. The Gamecocks won their fifth in a row. 35-9, and I-AA Appalachian State took more than $100,000 home to Boone, N.C. for the privilege of knocking heads with the big guys in front of 71,380 people. Nothing new in all of this, of course; scheduling a lower-division school to insure a homecoming victory makes good business sense for all concerned. Happy alumni tend to make more generous contributions, and the losers cry all the way to the bank.

But of all the interdivisional mismatches this season, there was a certain poignancy about this one. The Mountaineers entered the game 3-0, were ranked No. 2 in Div. I-AA (behind North Texas) and had a decent shot at an undefeated regular season had they not played South Carolina.

Appalachian State coach Sparky Woods, for one, doubts that the money and the heady experience were worth the risk of injury to the health and confidence of his team. "I wish that we hadn't had to play them this year," says Woods. "Scheduling these games are administrative decisions. The bottom line is, we take the game for the money. That's just a reality of small college sports." The 1 in the Mountaineers' loss column doesn't come with an asterisk.


Reggie Ho had his first subpar day for Notre Dame in the team's 42-14 rout of Stanford, botching a conversion and missing a 21-yard field goal. But another walk-on placekicker, Dat Ly, had a wonderful afternoon for New Mexico State. Ly, 5'7" and 149 pounds, established a school record with five field goals in as many attempts—all in the first half—as the Aggies beat Kansas 42-29 for their first victory since last Oct. 24. Ly also tied an NCAA record for most three-pointers in a half.

Ly is from Vietnam, and he escaped from Saigon with most of his family in April 1975 as the city was being overrun by the North Vietnamese. "I looked at the sky, and it looked like balloons were coming down, but they were bombs," he remembers. "When we took off, the plane behind us got knocked down."

After escaping, the Ly family settled in Morris. Minn., then moved to Wichita, Kans., where Ly played four years of soccer and one season of football at Wichita East High. After graduating he scrimmaged a few times with the Wichita Wings of the MISL before deciding to walk on at Wichita State, then migrated to Las Cruces when the Shockers dropped football.

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