Early last week Eastern Illinois Coach Al Molde confirmed to his players that to save about $3,000 they would travel five hours on a bus to their game at Western Kentucky instead of taking a plane. The players boycotted practice on Monday, but returned on Tuesday after a private meeting of players and coaches. "We know how he feels and he knows how we feel," said Panther Quarterback John Rafferty. "We are going to try to put it out of our minds." Eastern Illinois, which is headed for the Division I-AA playoffs with a 9-2 record, rode the bus without incident and defeated the Hilltoppers 34-14.
Illinois earned a Rose Bowl berth, its first in 20 years, with a 49-21 defeat of Indiana. Following the game the Illini faithful tore down the goalposts for the fourth time this season. Illinois' nine-game winning streak is the school's longest since 1928.
"I told them no one would let up or they'd have to deal with me when the time came to deal out scholarships." So spoke Wichita State Coach Willie Jeffries, whose Shockers, thus shocked, upset Division I-AA's top-ranked team, hitherto undefeated and untied Southern Illinois, 28-6. While Southern Illinois lost a fumbled punt, dropped two passes in the end zone and was intercepted four times, Wichita State converted eight of 12 third-down plays in the second half on the savvy running and passing of freshman Quarterback Brian McDonald. Tailback Eric Denson ran for 179 yards.
Syracuse's 21-10 upset of Boston College was oh so sweet for the Orange. After BC won 20-13 on a last-minute touchdown last year, more than a few Syracuse supporters maintained that Eagle Linebacker Steve DeOssie had put Tailback Larry Morris out of the game with a rabbit punch. "They used a lot of crap to win that game," Syracuse Coach Dick MacPherson said at the time, "but it'll come back to hurt them in the long run. I'll tell you one thing. It'll be a long time before they beat us again."
MacPherson had another reason to be angry with BC. Before facing the Eagles in '82, Syracuse had snapped a six-game losing streak, after which MacPherson had expressed his relief with the line, "I see a light at the end of the tunnel, and it's not an oncoming train." The week before last season's game, the BC coaches distributed 90 T shirts to their team. They were orange, had a picture of a locomotive and read THE TRAIN. After the game MacPherson found out what the BC coaches had done, and was insulted.
The key to Syracuse's victory this year was its front four, the "4-Wheel Drive" of Jamie Kimmel, Blaise Winter, Bill Pendock and Tim Green. They accomplished what no defense had this season—shackling Quarterback Doug Flutie. They sacked him four times and pressured him into throwing three interceptions. "Maybe I called on Doug too much," said Bicknell. "But he's been getting us the big play all year. Today, he didn't."
Allen Pinkett. Notre Dame's sophomore tailback, rushed for 217 yards and four touchdowns, but the Irish were defeated at Penn State 34-30. "I kept asking what more I could have done to help us win," said Pinkett. "The answer was one more yard." That yard—actually a matter of inches—was the distance not traveled by Notre Dame Quarterback Steve Beuerlein for a TD as the first half ended with the Nittany Lions on top 13-10. The lead changed hands six times after intermission. Trailing 30-27, Penn State went ahead for good with 26 seconds to play by converting a "98" on a third-and-goal at the Notre Dame eight. "The 98 play is a rollout with a pass-run option," said Lion Quarterback Doug Strang. "When I looked at their defense, I knew the run should be open. As I rolled out, I was sure of it." Strang went in for the score, thereby bringing the Lions' record to 7-4 and dropping the Irish to 6-4.
Pinkett wasn't the only back to rush for more than 200 yards. Pitt's Joe McCall got 246 in the Panthers' 38-7 win over Army: Cornell beat Columbia 31-6 as Derrick Harmon of the Big Red ran for 222; and in Colgate's 43-14 victory over Richmond, the Spiders' Jarvis Jennings gained 221, while Rich Erenberg of the Red Raiders picked up 212. Erenberg, who has rushed for 200 yards or more in his last four games, has 1,717 this year with one game to play. He needs just three yards to surpass the Division I-AA single-season record set by Frank Hawkins of Nevada-Reno in 1980.