In the third period the defenses dominated, which was doubly surprising: Army stopped the vaunted Falcon attack, and Air Force stopped...somebody. The Falcon defense, wracked by injuries, has allowed more than 30 points a game this season. The Cadet D hasn't been that bad, but it didn't figure to shut down the Falcons' Dee. Dowis, who hails from Ty Cobb's hometown of Royston, Ga., is quick-footed and quick-witted, able to flip the ball to a trailing halfback at the last split second. Last year, as a sophomore, he ran for 1,315 yards, establishing an NCAA season rushing record for quarterbacks. Air Force has four other horsemen for opposing defenses to contend with; before the season ends, the Falcons will almost surely have five active players with more than 1,000 career rushing yards apiece.
Nevertheless, against Army, Dowis gained only 31 yards in 10 carries, and Air Force rushed for a mere 176 yards. The Cadets also came up with a big turnover. On the first play of the final period, Dowis fumbled at his own 20, and Army linebacker Greg Gadson pounced on the ball. The Cadets scored three plays later—on a run, of course, by McWilliams—and went ahead 21-7. Then Mayweather took over: On Army's next possession—a 16-play, 77-yard drive—he carried eight times for three first downs and the touchdown. His 192 yards marked a career high and his fourth straight 100-yard game.
Mayweather, a 5'8", 180 pounder from St. Louis, is an atypical West Pointer. "We were impoverished." he says. "My mother raised 10 children on her own. We were in a rough neighborhood, and I went to an all-black grade school. I liked to be with the in crowd but knew when to go and study.
" St. Louis Country Day, which is very exclusive, came to my middle school looking for black students who could do well there. I got in. There were two blacks in my class, out of 69 kids. It was hard, but I was a B-plus student, and I was three times all-state in football."
Mayweather was recruited by Missouri, Stanford, Notre Dame and Michigan, but he realized that his size might be a handicap. "I was worried I might not make it in football," he said. "I decided on West Point because if the football didn't work out, I'd still have the education and I'd be an officer."
Mayweather, an unlikely star on an unlikely 7-1 team, added, "Maybe when I'm done with my Army commitment, I'll take a shot at pro ball. I've learned recently that dreams can come true."
TYING ONE ON
After its 19-18 defeat of Alabama last Saturday, LSU would seem to have the SEC's Sugar Bowl berth within its grasp, a fact that's not exactly leading the bowl officials down in the French Quarter to whoop it up. Nothing against the Tigers, understand, but the Sugar would be sweeter with either of the two other bowl berth possibilities, Auburn and Georgia, which play this Saturday.
For one thing, most of LSU's fans live near New Orleans, so they're unlikely to spend as much time or money in the city's hotels and nightspots as the Dawg or Auburn Tiger faithful would. But more important, the Tigers, who put together back-to-back losses against Ohio State and Florida earlier in the season, won't be ranked high enough to draw an attractive opponent to the Sugar Bowl.
Yet all LSU has to do to win a share of the SEC title is beat 1-7 Mississippi State in Starkville on Saturday. If Georgia defeats Auburn, the Bulldogs would wrap up a tie with LSU (the two teams don't meet this season). If Auburn wins, it would also have to beat Alabama on Nov. 25 to tie the Bayou Bengals.