With Los Angeles in the midst of its worst heat-wave/smog siege in nearly 25 years, Purdue Coach Jim Young delayed for a day his team's arrival in L.A. to play UCLA. In the end, Young wished he hadn't shown up at all. His Boilermakers fell behind 21-0 en route to being upset 31-21. On offense, the Bruins were paced by Tailback Freeman McNeil, who ran for 176 yards, and Quarterback Rick Bashore, who threw for two touchdowns and twice plunged a yard for scores. Purdue's Mark Herrmann, who was sacked three times and had three of his throws intercepted, connected on 14 of 24 passes for 191 yards and two TDs.
Three other Pac 10 teams defeated non-conference opponents. Washington flattened Utah 41-7 with the aid of a 95-yard kickoff return for a TD by Kyle Stevens. Washington State beat Montana 34-14, and Stanford overcame a 29-24 deficit to beat San Jose State 45-29 as Tailback Mike Dotterer set a school mark for a freshman by scoring three times.
Southern Cal and California won conference games. "We're not No. 1," insisted USC Coach John Robinson. "We're just struggling." Some struggle. Even without Heisman Trophy aspirant Charles White (injured shoulder) and Offensive Tackle Anthony Munoz (out for the season with torn ligaments in his left knee), the Trojans creamed Oregon State 42-5. USC scored on its first five possessions and got 126 yards rushing and two touchdowns from freshman Tailback Mike Harper, who filled in for White. Cal won 10-7 at Arizona, where Joe Cooper booted a wobbly, partially blocked 31-yard field goal with two seconds left.
1. USC (2-0)
2. WASHINGTON (2-0)
3. UCLA (1-1)
Pittsburgh and Perm State displayed new offensive talents as they won easily. Fullback Randy McMillan, who led North Hartford (Md.) JC to a 20-0 record the past two seasons, rumbled for 141 yards in the Panthers' 24-0 rout of Kansas. And freshman Quarterback Dan Marino flicked a 23-yard scoring pass to senior Ralph Still, who also scored twice on passes from first-string signal caller Rick Trocano. Penn State's new quarterback, Dayle Tate, passed for two touchdowns, and freshman Tailback Curt Warner scored on runs of seven and 18 yards and on a 62-yard pass play in the second period. Warner ended up with 100 yards rushing, 109 on four kickoff returns and 71 more on two pass catches. That gave him a total of 280 yards gained, a record for a Nittany Lion freshman. Final score: Penn State 45, Rutgers 10.
Syracuse beat West Virginia 24-14. Joe Morris rushed for 166 yards for the Orange, and David Warner tossed a 38-yard TD pass.
Both Army and Navy scored 26 points and both won. The Cadets' new coach, Lou Saban, came up with a 26-10 victory over Connecticut in his debut. The Middies stormed The Citadel 26-7.
1. PENN STATE (1-0)
2. PITTSBURGH (1-0)
3. SYRACUSE (1-1)