- TOP PLAYERSOffensePABLO S. TORRE | August 20, 2012
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UCLA beat Arizona impressively, 37-9, but the first half, at least, was not that one-sided. With seconds to go the Wildcats led 3-0 and were lined up for a field goal at the Bruins' 28. Instead they tried a fake. UCLA Cornerback Levi Armstrong intercepted holder Bill Baechler's pass and raced 75 yards to give the Bruins a 7-3 halftime lead. "That play did the damage," said Arizona Coach Jim Young. "Then I lost my poise, and it carried over to my team in the second half. I got mad. I thought it was a relatively safe situation at that particular time. But it turned out to be the worst call I could have made." Theotis Brown ran 31 yards for a score on UCLA's first play from scrimmage in the second half, and the Bruins coasted from there.
Colorado, victimized by its own mistakes in its opening loss to Texas Tech, played an errorless game to defeat Washington 21-7. The Huskies, in contrast, coughed up the ball on the opening kickoff (leading to a Colorado touchdown), lost it again on the Buffalo two-yard line and had a pass intercepted.
San Diego State Tailback David (Deacon) Turner completed a 16-yard pass to the Fresno State 19-yard line on a crucial fourth and five, then covered the remaining yards to the end zone on four consecutive line blasts to give the Aztecs a 7-3 win over the Bulldogs. In two games, San Diego State, which led the nation in passing last year, has thrown for only 222 yards. Turner, however, has rushed for 324.
When Missouri upset USC 46-25 in its opener, the citizens of Columbia began dreaming of a national championship and looking ahead to the third week of the season, when the Tigers would play Ohio State at home. Last Saturday 63,486 jammed 55,000-seat Faurot Field to watch hometown Missouri tune up against Illinois. The P.A. announcer continually reminded the crowd that the following week's contest would be shown on closed circuit television in a nearby arena. Unfortunately, Illinois spoiled the build-up by shellacking the Tigers 31-6.
Illinois Coach Bob Blackman had a little extra help preparing for Missouri. He spent a long time on the phone with John Jackson, one of his aides last year and now a USC assistant. As a result the Illini kept Curtis Brown, the Missouri tailback who led the nation the first week of the season in all-purpose offense with 245 yards, from getting outside and clamped down on the passing attack of Quarterback Steve Pisarkiewicz. Brown gained only 61 yards on 17 carries, and Pisarkiewicz passed for just 64 before retiring at the end of the third quarter with a sore right shoulder. Tailback James Coleman led Illinois' attack with 152 yards and two touchdowns.
The way Oklahoma started last Saturday one might have thought they would be upset. In the opening quarter the Sooners fumbled the ball away to California the first three times they had possession and also had a 30-yard TD run nullified by a penalty. Nevertheless, after just 22 minutes Oklahoma had rushed for 354 yards and led 21-0. The Sooners' biggest plays in their 28-17 win came from 5'8", 157-pound Wide Receiver Lee Hover, who caught a 65-yard TD pass from Dean Blevins and ran 58 yards for another score after retrieving a Blevins' fumble.