AT has a chance to boost his Heisman stock this Saturday against Michigan, in Ann Arbor, on national TV. What better stage to break the touchdown record and maybe even lead the Hoosiers (4-2 overall, 2-1 in the Big Ten) back into the thick of the Rose Bowl race? " Michigan is beatable," says Anthony. "There's no question in my mind."
THE WOLFPACK IS SACKED
Although North Carolina State had won its last three games against Clemson, the Tigers have won the last three ACC championships, leading Wolfpack coach Dick Sheridan to say, "We've been winning the battle, but losing the war." This year the reverse could happen. N.C. State lost the battle 30-10 but still has a share of the ACC lead. It can win the title by beating Virginia at home on Nov. 4 and Duke on the road on Nov. 11. "This game did not put us out of the driver's seat," said Wolfpack quarterback Shane Montgomery.
No, but it did ruin N.C. State's hope for an unbeaten season and, in all likelihood, its chances of receiving a major bowl bid. The game also should squelch claims by the Wolfpack faithful that Sheridan's program has surpassed the Tigers'. Said Sheridan, "They hit another gear in intensity. The game was important to them, and they got it."
That might be as good an explanation as any for why the Tigers are 6-2 instead of 8-0. Clemson's motivation might have slipped in losses to Duke and Georgia Tech. Against N.C. State, though, the Tigers were their old nasty selves, converting five turnovers into four scores. As Clemson coach Danny Ford saw it, the difference could have been that all the pressure was on N.C. State for a change. Said Ford, somewhat forlornly, "We didn't have much to lose today besides a football game."
THE CATS' MEOW
Arizona improved its chances for making a first-ever trip to the Rose Bowl, with a 23-21 victory over Washington State. The Wildcats, who with a 4-1 Pac-10 record are second in the conference to USC (3-0), had all sorts of heroes. Several of them were members of the blitzing defense that intercepted Cougar quarterback Aaron Garcia four times and sacked him six times. All told, the Arizona defenders stopped ballcarriers behind the line on 14 plays.
That was the way Washington State's defense, ranked sixth nationally against the rush going into the game, was supposed to handle Arizona's attack. Instead, the Wildcats, who were inspired by the Cougars' boasts earlier in the week that nobody could run against them, rushed for 261 yards.
"They had pretty much challenged us by saying we couldn't run the ball," said Arizona coach Dick Tomey. "We needed to check that out. We're a running team, and we weren't going to let them talk us out of it."
The winning points came in the fourth quarter on Doug Pfaff's 28-yard field goal, his third three-pointer of the game. But the outcome still was in doubt with less than two minutes to go, Washington State trailing only 23-19 and driving for a first down at the Arizona 27. The Wildcats' defense rallied one last time as Darryl Lewis made his second interception of the day to seal the victory for Arizona, which will be hard-pressed to keep from looking ahead to its Nov. 11 showdown with Southern Cal in Tucson.