- TOP PLAYERSOffensePABLO S. TORRE | August 20, 2012
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With four defensive starters injured, Oregon coach Rich Brooks added an extra down lineman, Tony Grossi, to challenge USC's running game. Grossi made eight tackles, and the Ducks held the Trojans to 11 first downs, but Fred Crutcher's 135 yards rushing ensured a 19-9 Southern Cal victory.
Stanford outgained Washington 425 yards to 306. But by throwing five interceptions, losing a fumble near its own goal line and punting for a meager 29.3 average, the Cardinal did itself in. Washington won 37-15. Said Stanford QB Fred Buckley, making his second start in place of the injured John Paye, "The fans were gracious to me by not booing."
Cal State-Fullerton defeated San Jose State 21-12 to become the winningest team in Division I-A, with a 7-0 record. The leading rusher is Burness Scott, a transfer from UCLA. The quarterback, Damon Allen, wasn't bothered that his brother Marcus was watching. "There wasn't any added pressure from Marcus being at the game," said Allen, who threw for 207 yards and three touchdowns. "I go to his games, and I don't think it bothers him to have me there."
As Ohio State tailback Keith Byars made a quick cut back to the middle of the field, his size-14 left shoe flew off into the air. Undaunted, Byars sped on for a 67-yard touchdown that put the Buckeyes ahead of Illinois 35-27 in the third quarter. "I wasn't going to go back and get the shoe," said Byars, who led Ohio State back from a 24-0 deficit to a 45-38 win.
Before traveling to Purdue, Iowa coach Hayden Fry noticed something in game films about the Boilermaker defense: It could be beaten long. "They've been getting away with it all season," said Fry after the Hawkeyes rolled to a 40-3 rout. Chuck Long completed 17 of 21 pass attempts for 369 yards, including TDs of 31, 38, 51 and 56 yards.
The Nebraska offense hadn't scored a touchdown in eight quarters going into the Huskers' 33-23 win over Missouri. The drought ended in the first quarter when Jeff Smith ran 21 yards to tie the game at 7-7. But the game's turning point came in the third quarter, when Nebraska middle guard Ken Graeber dumped Tiger quarterback Marlon Adler for a safety to make the score 9-7. On the first play after Missouri's free kick, Husker I-back Doug DuBose ran 48 yards for a TD.
"There are a lot of guys here who wanted to go to Notre Dame," said Air Force tailback Jody Simmons. "But most of them were too small to get Notre Dame's attention." Last week one of those guys, Simmons, who weighed about 170 pounds as a high school senior, got plenty of attention as he danced through the Irish for 141 yards to lead the Falcons to a 21-7 upset. It was Air Force's third victory over Notre Dame in three seasons. The crowd at Notre Dame Stadium was ominously silent during the closing minutes, but then a pocket of students broke into "Goodby, Gerry" as the 3-3 Irish left the field. "We've got to be concerned," said coach Gerry Faust. "There's no ifs, ands or buts."
A word about Mississippi Valley State, now 5-0 in Division I-AA on the strength of a supersonic aerial game that makes Brigham Young's look like something the Wright brothers put together: In a 48-36 victory over Grambling, quarterback Willie (Satellite) Totten passed for 558 yards for his fourth straight 500-plus game. Receiver Jerry Rice is making 14 catches a game, and the Delta Devils are averaging 65 points. Their output of 651.6 yards a game is 120 more than that of any other college team. "When I was an assistant coach," says coach Archie (Gunslinger) Cooley, "I took down films of the best five offensive plays of every team we ever played and studied them five minutes every night. That might not seem like much, but it added up." His offensive line is known as the Tons of Fun. "Nobody wanted them because they were too fat and slow," says Cooley. "But look what they're doing for me."