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(NOT SO) BIG TEN
This week Ohio State and Michigan go to Los Angeles to play USC and UCLA, respectively. At stake in these mini-Rose Bowls—at least that's how they looked when they were scheduled—will be the honor of the Big Ten. True, Illinois knocked off Southern Cal on Sept. 4, but in light of the Illini's performance last Saturday against Colorado, that result appears to have been more a matter of Trojan ineptitude than Illini power.
In two Big Ten-Pac-10 matchups last week, Oregon rolled over Iowa 44-6 in Iowa City, and Washington walloped Purdue 38-9 in Seattle. The Hawkeyes fell even though they had an extra incentive to win: The night before the game, an Iowa TV station broadcast an interview with Ducks fullback Latin Berry, who blithely said, "I guess we'll just have to go out there and clobber Iowa."
Which is exactly what Oregon did. While quarterback Bill Musgrave was leading the Ducks by completing 20 of 27 passses for 263 yards and three touchdowns, his Iowa counterpart, Tom Poholsky, was so off-target that he was booed by the sellout crowd of 67,700. "I just couldn't get any zip on the ball," said Poholsky, who completed eight of 19 passes for 70 yards. The Hawkeye ground game was equally inept; it gained 26 yards on 28 attempts.
In its loss to Washington, Purdue gave up a 78-yard run by Greg Lewis and a 76-yard pass from Cary Conklin to Andre Riley. The win was the Huskies' ninth straight over Big Ten teams.
So now it's up to Michigan and Ohio State. Last Saturday the Wolverines lost 24-19 to Notre Dame (page 32), and the Buckeyes beat Oklahoma State 37-13. Ohio State quarterback Greg Frey threw for a career-high 285 yards against the Cowboys behind an offensive line that is so big—it averages 295 pounds—that center Dan Beatty, who's a mere 6'4" and 278 pounds, is known as Pee Wee.
BACK FROM THE DEAD
After catching a TD pass with no time left to give SMU a 31-30 victory over Connecticut in Dallas, wide receiver Michael Bowen was nearly suffocated by a mob of hysterical teammates. "I had thousands of pounds of football players on me," said Bowen after he came out from under the pile. "I was down to my last breath."
The Mustangs, who had lost to Rice in their opener, were understandably excited. The defeat of Connecticut gave them their first win since 1986, when they were hit with the so-called death penalty and forced to drop football for two years because of repeated NCAA violations.
The game also marked the first appearance west of the Mississippi for Division I-AA Connecticut. Huskie coach Tom Jackson may be in no hurry to go back to Dallas, though. "The officiating was definitely stacked against us," said Jackson, who thought that the refs overlooked a number of clipping and holding infractions by SMU.