He couldn't say the same for the offense, which produced only three Phillip Doyle field goals (22, 35 and 23 yards), until quarterback Jeff Dunn left the game in the third quarter with a torn ligament in his left knee. His replacement, senior Gary Hollingsworth, directed a 69-yard touchdown drive on 13 plays in the final quarter—a good omen for Tide fans because Dunn is expected to be out for at least six weeks.
The story was much the same in Georgia's Sanford Stadium, where the home Bulldogs used stingy defense and three John Kasay field goals (36, 49 and 48 yards) to hand Mississippi State's visiting Bulldogs their first defeat, 23-6. Georgia held State to only two yards per attempt on 42 rushes and converted a couple of turnovers into 10 third-quarter points. Afterward, Georgia defensive tackle Bill Goldberg said, "We knew they had five plays: run, run, run, run and run."
The big news in the Big Ten wasn't Michigan State's gallant effort in a 21-13 loss to top-ranked Notre Dame. Nor was it Michigan's 24-23 escape against UCLA in the Rose Bowl. These two games were overshadowed by Ohio State's 42-3 loss to Southern Cal in the Los Angeles Coliseum. The defeat was the Buckeyes' worst since a 58-6 humiliation by Michigan in 1946, and it raised the question of whether poor ol' Earle Bruce was really that hard to love. Since he was fired in 1987 with an 81-26-1 record, Ohio State has been staggering. Last year, under his replacement, John Cooper, the Buckeyes were 4-6-1, their worst record since 1959.
Either the Trojans have improved remarkably since their season-opening loss to Illinois or Ohio State is in much worse shape than anyone suspected. For example, the Buckeyes' pass rush was so ineffective that the Trojans' redshirt freshman quarterback, Todd Marinovich, completed 14 of 22 passes for 246 yards and four TDs. A second-quarter pratfall by Ohio State defensive back Vince Clark enabled Marinovich to hook up with John Jackson on an 87-yard touchdown throw, the longest pass play in Southern Cal history.
"It's easy to feel relaxed and comfortable when nobody's around you," said Marinovich. "Sometimes I had to decide which [open] receiver to throw to. That's a good problem to have."
HOW HE GETS HIS KICKS
Arizona placekicker Doug Pfaff visits Arizona Stadium the night before home games to practice imaginary kicks in the dark. His coach, Dick Tomey, thinks such behavior is perfectly rational. "If you can't imagine something," says Tomey, "you can't do it." Besides, it works. Two weeks ago Pfaff kicked a 40-yarder with :02 on the clock to give the Wildcats a 6-3 upset of Oklahoma.
Sometimes Pfaff brings along holder John Nies, but he was alone last Friday night when he arrived at the stadium, in street clothes, at about nine o'clock. As he went through his ritual, Pfaff was watched by a University of Washington entourage that was attending a reception in a room above the field. If the visitors were amused by the Pfaff phantom opera, their smiles vanished the next night when Pfaff booted a 19-yarder to tie the game 17-17 and added a 35-yarder with 1:01 remaining to give the Wildcats a 20-17 win over the Huskies.