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Everyone, including visiting Arizona State, knew that Washington State's Jack Thompson would live up to his Throwin' Samoan nickname. Even so, the Sun Devils could not contain Thompson, who unleashed scoring passes of three, 20 and 80 yards while passing for 271 yards. What no one expected was that Thompson would also do more than a little running. "I thought Jack's running was something ASU wasn't ready for," said Cougar Coach Jim Walden. Obviously the Sun Devils weren't ready, and Thompson ran for three touchdowns, twice going one yard and once scampering 19 as the Cougars romped 51-26.
Gifford Nielsen was Brigham Young's ace passer early last season when he was injured against Oregon State. Sophomore Marc Wilson, who took his place, uncorked seven touchdown passes against Colorado State. Last week the Cougars again faced Colorado State. This time it was Wilson who was sidelined with a slight hamstring injury. Taking his place was sophomore Jim McMahon, who was on target with seven of nine passes for 112 yards and a touchdown and ran 12 times for 80 yards and another six-pointer. McMahon played most of the way as the Cougars prevailed 32-6.
Two touchdown passes by Rich Campbell propelled California to a hard-fought 24-6 win over University of the Pacific. Holy Cross overcame a 10-0 Air Force advantage and went on to win 35-18. A 77-yard pass play from Peter Colombo to Larry Ewald started the Crusader rally. In a Western AC battle, Texas-El Paso bumped off San Diego State 31-24.
1. USC (3-0)
It was appropriate that at halftime of the UCLA-Kansas game, the Jayhawk band performed selections from The Wizard of Oz. UCLA must have felt it was in Oz when Kansas' young players helped build a 28-7 half-time lead.
On the opening kickoff, freshman Buford Johnson of Kansas tackled UCLA's Anthony Lagar so hard that he fumbled, and another first-year man, J. C. Booker, recovered at the Bruin 34. The first offensive play by the Jay-hawks was a 21-yard pass from sophomore Jeff Hines to sophomore Lester Mickens. Three plays later, Hines completed his first collegiate touchdown pass, a three-yarder to Kirby Criswell.
UCLA tied the score at 7-7 when Rick Bashore barged over from one yard out. But the Jayhawks zipped in front to stay by scoring three touchdowns in less than three minutes during the second period. Hines set up the first of those scores with a 51-yard toss to freshman Kevin Murphy. After Kansas went ahead 14-7, Johnson again jarred the ball loose from the UCLA kickoff returner, this time Theotis Brown. Another freshman, Roger Foote, recovered at the UCLA 19. A second Hines-to-Criswell TD pass put Kansas up 21-7. And then, after Jimmy Little ran back a punt 66 yards to the Bruin three-yard line, Hines went in for the touchdown that made it 28-7.
Touchdown runs of one and 20 yards by Brown, who finished with 148 yards in 23 carries, helped UCLA pull to within 28-24. That, however, turned out to be the final score as Bashore's last-second desperation pass was intercepted at the Kansas 42 by Robert Gentry, a—what else—freshman.