candidate for the Heisman Trophy, Indiana tailback Anthony Thompson, who was
third in the nation in rushing last season, opened his senior year with a
bittersweet start against Kentucky in Lexington. Thompson gained a game-high
117 yards on 24 carries and scored two touchdowns, but he was stopped cold on
the biggest play of the game as the Wildcats won 17-14.
Trailing by three
in the fourth quarter, the Hoosiers got the break they needed with 8:26 left
when they recovered a fumble at the Kentucky 20. Indiana quickly moved to a
fourth-and-goal situation at the six-inch line, and everybody in the crowd of
58,216 knew what Hoosier coach Bill Mallory would call: a handoff to Thompson,
who would attempt to vault over the middle of the Wildcats' line. "You go
with your best back behind your best blockers," said Kentucky coach Jerry
Claiborne after the game.
after a timeout, that was what Indiana tried. For a moment it looked as if
Thompson would make it. But into the fray came Wildcat linebacker Craig
Benzinger, who slammed Thompson in a midair collision that stopped him cold.
"I just got lucky," said Benzinger. The weary Thompson could only say,
"We've never been stopped on that, not once, since I've been at
Indeed, a year
ago Thompson had scored on an identical vault in the final seconds of a game
against Kentucky in Bloomington to put the finishing touch on a 36-15 Hoosier
victory. Many Wildcat players and fans felt that had been a bit of overkill,
and Kentucky was out for revenge. "They were gunning for us," said
Mallory afterward. Though he refused to second-guess himself for calling
Thompson's number instead of settling for a tying field goal, he seemed shocked
by the result. "I can't believe we didn't score," he said.
A LOOK TO THE
When Penn State
failed to snap out of last season's slump and lost 14-6 to Virginia (page 48),
fellow independents Syracuse, West Virginia and Pittsburgh—all of whom are on
Penn State's schedule—became the leading contenders for the Nittany Lions'
accustomed role as the Beast of the East.
newsworthy aspect of Syracuse's 43-3 rout of Temple wasn't the passing of
quarterback Bill Scharr, who completed 14 of 20 attempts for 154 yards, but an
errant extra-point attempt by redshirt freshman John Biskup. It was Syracuse's
first blown regular-season PAT kick after 111 games and 262 attempts without a
miss. In case you were wondering, the last Syracuse miss was by Dave Jacobs
against Boston College on Nov. 18, 1978.
beat Maryland 14-10 for its second win of the season, but the Mountaineers have
yet to convince anybody they'll be as good as last year's 11-1 Fiesta Bowl
team. They trailed 10-0 at halftime on the way to an indifferent win.
Pitt could give
West Virginia fits in their Sept. 30 meeting, judging by the way the Panthers'
defense dominated Boston College in a 29-10 victory in Boston. Pitt Coach Mike
Gottfried has so many dependable defensive players that he was able to platoon
against BC, giving the starters a rest on every third series unless the Eagles
had gone past midfield.
One further note
on a future Penn State foe: Rutgers stayed on course for a 0-0-11 season by
tying Ball State 31-31. In their opener the Scarlet Knights finished in a 17-17
tie with Cincinnati.