When it counted, Stanford didn't err. "Denny had his team more ready than we did," said Oregon coach Rich Brooks. "They had more emotion. We were flat."
The 40-year-old Green, who spent the last three seasons as an assistant coach for the 49ers and was the coach at Northwestern from 1981 through '85, basked in the comeback. "I'm here to do more than win," he said. "I'm here to bring a certain resolve, a can-do feeling, a spirit of success. A win like this can go a long way toward doing that."
PITT AND THE PENDULUM
Pittsburgh can claim supremacy in the East by following up its 30-23 victory over Syracuse with a win over West Virginia (page 38) on Saturday in Morgantown. The Panthers are 3-0 for the first time since 1982, when they finished 9-3 and went to the Cotton Bowl.
Syracuse coach Dick MacPherson took a few digs at the Panthers before Saturday's game, apparently because he thinks his program doesn't get as much attention or respect as Pitt's and Penn State's. He said Panther cornerback Alonzo Hampton is "not only outstanding, he knows it." MacPherson needled Pitt coach Mike Gottfried and his staff for letting Syracuse come into Scranton, Pa., to get noseguard Fred DeRiggi. And he told reporters to encourage Pitt fans to attend the game because "I know they need the money to pay Mike that big salary."
What MacPherson didn't say, but could have, was that Syracuse had beaten Pitt five straight times, despite the fact that Pitt's recruiting classes usually were ranked above those of Syracuse. This time, however, the Panthers played up to their potential. "The kids have been together awhile," said Gottfried after the game, "and they expect good things to happen now."
Some of the good things were 306 yards passing from quarterback Alex Van Pelt, 100 yards rushing from tailback Curvin Richards and three touchdowns from fullback Derrick Lewis. On defense the good things included eight sacks, two interceptions, two fumble recoveries and a partially blocked punt. Nevertheless—and no doubt because he already was thinking about West Virginia—Gottfried said, "I still don't think we're a good football team."
Good enough, though, to answer MacPherson in the best way possible.
HOLD THOSE TIGERS
Auburn appears to be a cut above the other teams in the SEC, but Alabama and Georgia might become good enough to make a run for the conference title, too. In Tuscaloosa, the Crimson Tide beat Kentucky 15-3 for its 13th consecutive win over the Wildcats. The loss was also Kentucky's 13th in a row on the road. Taking advantage of the Wildcats' injury-depleted offensive line, the Tide sacked Kentucky quarterback Freddie Maggard seven times for minus 20 yards and held the Wildcats to only 14 yards on the ground. Kentucky tailback Alfred Rawls, who was averaging 118 yards per game, had only 30 yards on 13 carries. "Today was as good as our defense has been since I've been here," said Alabama coach Bill Curry.