It was homecoming at Tailback U, so Peete marked the occasion with a celebration of the forward pass. Against the Ducks, he completed 17 of 33 passes for 270 yards and two TDs, including a 59-yarder to John Jackson.
Across town, Aikman was having a rougher time with the Beavers. On a day when he became only the fifth quarterback in Bruin history to throw for four TDs in a game (while completing 24 of 36 passes for 288 yards), Aikman also was intercepted twice and coughed up two fumbles. Said Oregon State coach Dave Kragthorpe, "I don't think they [ UCLA] felt comfortable until the last touchdown."
That last score, courtesy of a one-yard Aikman TD pass, came with less than 20 seconds to go and the Bruins sitting on a 10-point lead. Afterward, UCLA coach Terry Donahue acted surprised when someone suggested that the Bruins might be guilty of running up the score: "Frankly, I thought it was a compliment to them. We had to go the full 60 minutes to knock them out."
So who won the hometown Heisman duel? Call it a toss-up, but in the p.r. race, Peete and the Trojans were headlined above Aikman and the Bruins in the sports section of The Los Angeles Times.
DOWN IN DIXIE
The big news in the proud Southeastern Conference wasn't Ole Miss, which held Alabama to zero yards passing in a 22-12 upset of the Tide in Tuscaloosa, but Ole Myth. In other words, the SEC may not be as tough as its devotees would have us believe. After Florida's shocking 17-11 loss to independent Memphis State (which did the same sort of thing to Alabama a year ago), the SEC is only 12-9 this season against nonconference opposition.
Even in league play, no team has shown the true grits—ah, grit—necessary to win the champion's automatic berth in the Sugar Bowl. The preseason favorite, Auburn, visited LSU—which had lost to Florida 19-6 the week before—and left Baton Rouge with a 7-6 loss. Only Georgia, a 41-22 winner over Vanderbilt behind Tim Worley's 161 yards rushing and three TDs, is still unbeaten in the conference. But the Dawgs face Florida and Auburn back-to-back on the road in November.
And how do you figure Tennessee?
Regarded as one of the SEC's best teams before the season, the Volunteers will take an 0-5 record, their worst start ever, against Alabama on Saturday in Knoxville. At least the Vols defense won't have to stop Tide tailback Bobby Humphrey, whose broken foot may sideline him for the rest of the season.
Going into the season, the SEC's best runners figured to be Humphrey and Florida sophomore Emmitt Smith. Against the Tigers, Smith had to leave the game in the third quarter with a sprained left knee. He'll be out for at least four weeks. "Emmitt left here depressed, like it's the end of the world," said Florida trainer Chris Patrick. "It's not that, I assure you."