"This is the flattest I've ever seen us," said SMU coach Bobby Collins, who claimed his team had been distracted by the publicity surrounding the NCAA sanctions imposed on SMU last month.
Since arriving at Louisville last winter, coach Howard Schnellenberger has taped spots for charity, peddled Cadillacs on the local airwaves and made more than 100 speeches. Last week he appeared on his two weekly TV shows and did his radio call-in program. But his toughest appearance was the press conference that followed the Cardinals' 52-13 loss—their 11th straight—to West Virginia in Morgantown.
"Certainly today was no beginning of a new season or of a new climb to national football prominence," said Schnellenberger, who had won the national championship in his last coaching appearance, with Miami in the Jan. 2, 1984 Orange Bowl. Of West Virginia, Schnellenberger said, "I'm not sure they executed quite as well as it appeared. I'm sure we helped make them look good." The best-looking Mountaineer was John Holifield, who rushed for 177 yards on 19 carries and scored three TDs.
Boston College is still winning nail-biters. This time the Eagles turned a safe 28-10 lead over Temple into a touch-and-go 28-25 win. "I ended up talking to myself," said coach Jack Bicknell, who forgot to go conservative with a big lead in the closing minutes. Quarterback Shawn Halloran completed 20 of 30 passes for 250 yards and two TDs. Halloran said he was more nervous before the game with the Owls than he had been before the season-opening loss to BYU. "And I don't know why," he said. It may well have been the midweek speculation in the Boston papers that if Halloran stumbled, he would be replaced early by Steve Peach, the BC punter and reserve signal caller.
Two years ago as a freshman, Tulsa quarterback Steve Gage was named Missouri Valley Conference Newcomer of the Year. But last season he broke his jaw in the fourth game and was ably replaced by sophomore Richie Stephenson.
Gage led the Golden Hurricane on two first-quarter scoring drives in Tulsa's opener with Houston and then sat on the bench in the second quarter and watched his team go scoreless behind Stephenson. With the game tied 10-10 at the half, coach Don Morton decided to go with Gage for the entire second half. It was a good audible as the Hurricane went on to upend the Cougars 31-24. Despite running for three of Tulsa's touchdowns and passing for the other, Gage will once again platoon with Stephenson this week against Texas Tech.
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