Washington State, trailing 17-13, drove to the UCLA one-yard line in the fourth quarter. Four cracks at the middle failed, and the Bruins then ran out the clock. It was on the three-yard line that California stopped Oregon State to preserve a 17-14 win. In another Pacific Eight game Stanford doubled up on Washington 34-17.
Down 16-6 to Navy in the fourth period, Air Force seemed on the way to its fifth loss in a row. Then the Falcons scored 13 points in the last 8� minutes to prevail 19-16.
Two freshman quarterbacks—Dennis Sproul and Bruce Hardy—led Arizona State past Utah 32-0. Sproul tossed two touchdown passes and built up a 20-0 margin before Hardy (SI, April 29, 1973) made his varsity debut. Earlier in the day, in a freshman game in Albuquerque, Hardy had completed 14 of 25 for 198 yards and two touchdowns as the Sun Devils beat New Mexico 54-27. After flying back to Tempe for a night contest against the Utes, he was on target with five of six attempts for 73 yards and added 28 yards on six runs.
In other Western AC competition, New Mexico rallied from a 21-3 deficit, got a 100-yard scoring run on an interception by Bob Johnson and shocked Wyoming 32-21, and Gary Sheide passed for 388 yards and five TDs as BYU initialed UTEP 45-21.
San Diego State trounced San Jose State 40-14 in a matchup of Pacific Coast AC favorites, shredding the Spartan defense for 472 yards, 230 of them on the 17-for-24 passing of Craig Penrose.
1. USC (4-1)
2. Arizona (5-1)
3. Arizona State (4-1)
Aided by a controversial ruling and a successful fourth-down gamble, Miami nipped West Virginia 21-20. Late in the fourth period the Mountaineers argued that their punt to midfield had struck a Hurricane player's foot, and that they had recovered the ball. Ernie Jones, the player in question, admitted after the game that the ball had hit him, but what counted was the officials' verdict that it had not. Then, at fourth-and-16, Miami went for it. Kary Baker passed. Split End Steve Marcantonio hurtled through the air, caught the ball one-handed, and the Hurricanes were on the Mountaineer 22. A 12-yard pass from Baker to Larry Bates tied the score and Chris Dennis kicked the decisive PAT.
Tony Dorsett of Pitt scampered 191 yards in 14 carries against Boston College. Included in his three-touchdown performance were gallops of 61 and 74 yards as the Panthers frolicked 35-11.
Penn State, frequently suffering from shoddy play at the outset of its games this season, was again caught off guard. This time it was Syracuse that threw the scare, a 77-yard scoring pass from Jim Donoghue to Split End Lonnie Allgood on the first play from scrimmage. The Orangemen built their lead to 14-3 before the Nittany Lions wore them down, amassing 530 yards in a 30-14 victory.