The school was known as Louisiana Negro Normal and Industrial Institute in 1941 when 22-year-old Eddie Robinson accepted the job as its head coach for $63.75 a month. Now it's called Grambling State University, and Robinson, the son of a sharecropper, has given it a national reputation. On Saturday, after Grambling had defeated Oregon State 23-6, most of the 13,396 fans at Independence Stadium in Shreveport, La. roared onto the field as the team held its mentor aloft. "If you win a ball game, you win a ball game," Robinson has said. "Don't judge me as a black coach or a I-AA coach, but as an American football coach." By that standard, Robinson had just won his 323rd game to tie the record Bear Bryant had set for career victories. Robinson will almost certainly break the mark this week, when his 3-0 Tigers take on Prairie View (1-4) in Dallas.
Tailback Lynn Williams and linebacker Dane Griffin, ruled academically ineligible by Kansas, went to court, claimed their right to due process had been violated and got an injunction forcing the school to let them suit up against Florida State. "I'm ready to play, but I feel like John DeLorean with all the legal pads and pencils and everything," said Griffin, who was held out of the 24-20 loss to the Seminoles. Williams, though, rushed for 68 yards on 11 carries. Florida State, trailing 20-10 entering the fourth quarter, rallied behind third-string quarterback Chip Ferguson, who hooked up with fellow freshman Phillip Bryant on a 68-yard scoring bomb. Ferguson then moved the Seminoles 62 yards on four plays for the winning TD.
For the first time in four games, Penn State scored more than three points in the second half. The Nittany Lions got 10 and needed them dearly in a 17-10 defeat of Rutgers. With his unbeaten Lions leading just 7-3 at halftime, coach Joe Paterno switched to a two-tight end power formation and inserted three ailing starters into the offensive line. The breakthrough came around left end with 3:15 to play, when fullback Steve Smith bolted 63 yards for a TD. Penn State's defense, which has given up just 63 points this season, was again impressive, particularly in holding Rutgers to a field goal after the Knights had first-and-goal on the five just before the half. "We thought we could jump on some people and make them think a little," said Lion safety Ray Isom. "I think we knocked them around.... I know we knocked them around."
Inflammatory banners were few, fights were nil and an air of polite apology hung over Amon Carter Stadium as two neighboring Southwest Conference schools—SMU and TCU—battled for the edge in next year's recruiting wars. Of course, it was recruiting that had sedated the normally charged, 70-year-old rivalry: Paying for players had put SMU on probation and forced TCU to suspend seven Horned Frogs. About the only thing bent out of shape was the sign in the booster parking lot marking space No. 121. That belongs to Richard Lowe, one of the bagmen who admitted paying off the TCU players.
En route to a 56-21 win, the Mustangs piled up a school-record 636 yards. The Pony Express backfield of Reggie Dupard and Jeff Atkins accounted for 321 of them, along with five TDs. The Frogs were forced to play 14 freshmen on defense. "The sun is going to come up tomorrow," said TCU coach Jim Wacker. "Nobody died or anything like that."
Gerry Faust has a new condo in South Bend. Soon he may need to retain a real estate agent to unload it. Purdue toppled the Irish 35-17, handing them their second loss in three starts. Boilermaker quarterback Jim Everett riddled the nation's second-ranked secondary for 368 yards and three TDs on 27 of 49 passing. Notre Dame's Steve Beuerlein could only muster 88 yards in the air, and Irish tailback Allen Pinkett gained a mere 45 yards on the ground. "We thought we could run against them," said Faust, who may want to consult Virginia coach George Welsh about what color carpet Welsh might want in the rumpus room.
Michigan had its work cut out for it. Following a disappointing 6-6 finish in 1984, the Wolverines opened the season with three games against Top 20 teams. "I felt if we could win two of three it would have been a good start," said coach Bo Schembechler. But powered by a defense that has yet to yield a touchdown, Michigan is 3-0 and playing perhaps the most solid football in the country. In a 20-0 victory over No. 10 Maryland, quarterback Jim Harbaugh completed 16 of 20 throws for 196 yards.