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COLLEGE REPORT
William F. Reed
September 18, 1989
THE LEADER OF THE PAC
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September 18, 1989

College Report

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TOP 20
The Irish meet the Wolverines this week, and the winner could end the season No. 1.

THIS WEEK

 

PRESEASON PICK

1

NOTRE DAME (1-0)

1

2

MICHIGAN (0-0)

2

3

NEBRASKA (1-0)

5

4

MIAMI (1-0)

6

5

AUBURN (1-0)

9

6

COLORADO (2-0)

11

7

CLEMSON (2-0)

14

8

ARKANSAS (0-0)

10

9

OKLAHOMA (2-0)

15

10

N.C. STATE (2-0)

13

11

ILLINOIS (1-0)

12

W. VIRGINIA (2-0)

12

13

SYRACUSE (1-0)

19

14

USC (0-1)

4

15

TENNESSEE (2-0)

16

ALABAMA (0-0)

16

17

OHIO STATE (0-0)

17

18

HOUSTON (1-0)

18

19

WASHINGTON (1-0)

20

MISS. STATE (2-0)

THE LEADER OF THE PAC

The Southern Cal-UCLA game, scheduled for Nov. 18 in the Los Angeles Coliseum, was expected to decide the usual crucial matters: the Pac-10 championship, the Rose Bowl berth, maybe even the No. 1 ranking in the polls. Judging by the shocking early returns, it may be only a consolation game—the L.A. (Lost Aspirations) Bowl, if you will.

In USC's 14-13 loss to Illinois on Labor Day, the Trojans were unable to generate any offense behind redshirt freshman quarterback Todd Marinovich. So they tried to win with defense, but the Fighting Illini pulled out the win with two touchdown passes by quarterback Jeff George in the last six minutes.

UCLA was no better against Tennessee last Saturday. The Vols' strong running game exposed weaknesses in the Bruin defense on the way to a 24-6 win. "We've got big-time problems," said UCLA coach Terry Donahue. "The defense has been a major concern since fall practice began, but it was surprising that we were manhandled physically the way we were. They gave us a real beating."

Tennessee, which alternated tailbacks Reggie Cobb and Chuck Webb, rushed for 247 yards while winning its first game ever in the Los Angeles area. (The Vols were 0-5 going in.) Neither Cobb nor Webb was a certainty to play for Tennessee this season. Cobb was suspended from the team before spring practice, reportedly for failing a drug test in January. He was reinstated in July. Webb was arrested in May and charged with forging and cashing a teammate's check; he was sentenced to 100 hours of community service.

Against the Bruins, Cobb gained 78 yards and Webb rushed for 134 yards and two touchdowns. Said Vol coach Johnny Majors, who with seven straight wins is out of the doghouse he found himself in after an 0-6 start last season, "We certainly felt that to beat UCLA we'd have to run, but we did better than I could have imagined."

Meanwhile, UCLA had just 104 yards rushing. Only a meaningless touchdown in the fourth-quarter enabled the Bruins to avert a shutout and increase their NCAA record of consecutive games in which they have scored to 206.

Washington appears to be the main beneficiary of the Los Angeles losses. The Huskies were impressive 19-6 victors over Texas A & M, which had opened its season with an upset of LSU. Using a one-back, short-passing attack for the first time, Washington scored only one touchdown, on a 22-yard pass from quarterback Cary Conklin to split end Mario Bailey in the first quarter, but got field goals of 35, 36, 36 and 37 yards from kicker John McCallum. In addition, Washington's defense, last in the league a year ago against the run, held the Aggies' highly regarded Darren Lewis to 52 yards on 15 carries.

One nettlesome fact for the Huskies: They will play both UCLA and Southern Cal on the road.

THE BEST REVENGE

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