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"When we got the ball on our 10," said West Virginia Quarterback Jeff Hostetler, "our players had a determined look in their eyes. So I said, 'Let's do it.' " And they did. Trailing Pittsburgh 21-17 with 12½ minutes left, the Mountaineers marched 90 yards in 14 plays—the last, Hostetler's six-yard bootleg with 6:27 remaining—for the deciding touchdown in a 24-21 victory, their first over the Panthers since 1975. In the first half, the Pitt defense, which hadn't allowed a TD in any of its three previous games, sacked Hostetler five times, scored one touchdown—on a 75-yard run after a fumble recovery by Defensive Tackle Tim Quense—and set up another on a controversial punt return by Safety Tom Flynn. On that play, as the ball was bouncing near the sideline at the Pitt 38, a West Virginia defender touched it while he was out of bounds. Thinking the ball had been blown dead—which it should have been but hadn't—many of the Mountaineers headed for the bench. Flynn merely picked up the ball and ran 49 yards to the West Virginia 13 before he was tackled. In the second half, the Mountaineers allowed Pitt only 61 offensive yards and no points.
West Virginia's fifth victory produced its best start since 1962 and its highest national ranking (No. 5 in SI's poll) ever. As the Mountaineers were killing the final minute of the game, their fans on the opposite side of the field were already at work tearing down the goalposts. The celebrants then carted one of the posts three miles to the old Mountaineer stadium, where it was propped up—"like a false god," according to one observer—and admired by crowds all night long.
Boston College beat Temple 18-15, despite missing four field-goal tries—from 33, 39, 26, 38 yards—and having one blocked. The Eagles were trailing 15-10 in the fourth quarter when Quarterback Doug Flutie began a drive from the Owl 47. On one third-down play Flutie scrambled 19 yards for a first down; on another he passed 18 yards, again for a first down. The winning TD was a trademark Flutie improvisation with 3:08 left. On a keeper around right end, Flutie saw he was trapped and pitched to Running Back Steve Strachan. "That play isn't designed to be a pitch at all." explained Flutie, "because there's a man playing him." Strachan took the pitch—"a two-handed chest shot," in the words of BC Coach Jack Bicknell—and went four yards for the touchdown.
Rutgers was hanging in against Penn State as long as Quarterback Rusty Hochberg was able to play. But Hochberg, whose father, Jim, is a former Nittany Lion quarterback and now coordinates Penn State's sports medicine services, was knocked out of the game in the fourth quarter with torn ligaments in his knee after he threw a 76-yard touchdown pass that made it Nittany Lions 29, Scarlet Knights 25. Hochberg left with 19 completions in 34 attempts, for 367 yards. Penn State freshman D.J. Dozier then put the game out of reach with a 50-yard TD run. Dozier finished with 196 yards for his third 100-yard performance in a row. Final score: Lions 36, Knights 25.
"They say a tie is like kissing your sister," said Cal Coach Joe Kapp. "Well, I have three beautiful sisters, and I kiss them all the time." Kapp's Golden Bears had trailed Arizona 26-3 in the third quarter before an 80-yard bomb, a 67-yard punt return by last year's five-lateral-play hero Dwight Garner, a 61-yard TD pass, a three-yard run and an Arizona fumble helped them tie the score 33-33 with 49 seconds to go. Cal even had a shot at winning—but Randy Pratt's 61-yard field-goal attempt fell short as time ran out. "We kept coming," explained Kapp. "We kept breathing on them. We took the Mo [momentum]." Ten of Bear Quarterback Gale Gilbert's 24 completions were caught by Tight End Dave Lewis, including the 80-yarder that sparked the rally.
Steve Bono of UCLA, a first-time starter, won the statistical battle with BYU Quarterback Steve Young; Bono completed 25 of 34 passes for 399 yards, three touchdowns and no interceptions, while Young went 25 for 36 for 270 yards, two TDs and three interceptions. Nevertheless, the Cougars won the game 37-35, and Young drew most of the accolades from the pro scouts. "His overall skills—passing, running, scrambling and his coolness," said one, "are far better than anyone I have seen in the West in the past 10 years, and that includes John Elway."
Two weeks ago the cheerleaders at Nevada-Reno went on strike to protest their lack of financial aid. which was discontinued in 1980. While they sat out the Wolf Pack's 38-20 victory over Boise State on Sept. 24, two secretaries from the athletic department and a local real estate/insurance man worked as scabs. Then last Wednesday the cheerleaders met with Reno President Joseph Crowley. He promised to look into arranging some form of financial support for them in 1984, and the cheerleaders were back on the job for Reno's 37-16 triumph over Idaho State, in which the Wolf Pack defense picked off six of the Bengals' 74 passes. As for the strike, "We regretted doing it," said Janice Edgemon, a junior French major, "but you've got to do what you've got to do."