THE QUALITY OF MERCY
Yes, we noticed the way Houston rebounded from its loss to Texas A & M, and frankly, the Cougars' 95-21 rout of defenseless (and offenseless) Southern Methodist disgusts us. Never mind that the Mustangs, beginning the long haul back from the NCAA's death penalty, had no business being on Houston's schedule. They deserved compassion, not humiliation. And please spare us coach Jack Pardee's lame excuse that his Cougars had to "stay in tune" for this week's game against Arkansas.
It's one thing to stay in tune, another to keep sending receivers on deep routes long after the outcome has been determined. Sure, Houston set NCAA records for total offense (1,021 yards) and yards passing (771) and tied the mark for most TD throws in a game (10), but so what? Those numbers are so meaningless that the Cougars should be embarrassed to have them entered in the record books. Said an obviously angry Forrest Gregg, the SMU coach, "For someone to try to build up their stats and their reputation against a bunch of freshmen.... I hope they feel proud."
Houston quarterback Andre Ware had the audacity to blame the score on the Mustangs' defense. "They took the short ball away," he said, "and forced us to go deep." Come on, Andre. Give us a break. There is such a thing as sportsmanship, which seems to be sadly missing from the run-and-shoot playbook.
Obviously, nobody at SMU will be unhappy if Arkansas knocks off Houston in Little Rock, but that prospect looked unlikely in the wake of the Razorbacks' 24-20 loss to Texas. The Razorbacks made too many mistakes and couldn't stop Peter Gardere, the freshman quarterback who had guided the Longhorns to wins over Rice and Oklahoma the two previous weeks. Gardere's biggest play against Arkansas was a 61-yard touchdown pass to 5'7" wideout Tony Jones, who thus became the Longhorns' alltime leading pass catcher.
THE THOMPSON TWINS
Indiana's Anthony Thompson and Minnesota's Darrell Thompson went at it for the fourth and final time in Blooming-ton, Ind., where the Hoosiers beat the Golden Gophers 28-18. But the tailbacks, who are not related, fought to a draw of sorts. Said Minnesota defensive tackle Bob Coughlin, "DT and Anthony probably will be taken one-two in the draft, and I don't know in which order."
First, there's the business of the Heisman Trophy. Anthony's prospects are brighter, mainly because he has played on better teams at Indiana, but Darrell will get some votes. In his career, Anthony has gained 4,471 yards on 985 carries; Darrell has 3,922 on 811. In their four games against each other, AT has outgained DT 522 yards to 455 and out-scored him six touchdowns to three, but he has carried 24 more times.
In last Saturday's game, the Hoosiers' third win over the Gophers in as many years, Anthony scored three TDs, giving him 58 for his career and leaving him only one short of the NCAA record held jointly by Glenn Davis of Army and Tony Dorsett of Pitt. He also gained a career-high 216 yards on 43 carries. For the benefit of any Heisman voters who might not have been paying attention, Hoosier coach Bill Mallory got on his soapbox and said, " Anthony Thompson is the best player I've ever been around. A 42nd, 43rd carry, and the great ones are still running."
Even at that, Anthony was no more gritty than Darrell, who was coming back after having missed a game because of a sprained right knee. DT rushed for 117 yards on 28 attempts.