Southern Cal did a couple of wondrous things with the ball at Oregon. One of them was the diving, juggling, end-zone catch of a 38-yard Gordon Adams pass by Jeff Simmons. Nifty, too, was Reggie Brown's five-yard run into the end zone for the Ducks, which was a non-touchdown because Trojan Outside Linebacker Chip Banks had stripped him of the ball before he got to pay dirt. Thus, USC clung to a 7-0 lead until late in the third period. That's when Quarterback Kevin Lusk and Wide Receiver Greg Moser set up Oregon's touchdown with a 68-yard pass-run play, which is all the Ducks needed for a surprising 7-7 deadlock. Although the Trojans were disappointed by the tie, it nevertheless stretched their unbeaten streak to 26 games.
"We wanted to restore his confidence, so we devised some reasonably surefire short passes to start the game," Washington Coach Don James said of his plan to help boost Quarterback Tom Flick, whose passing had been barely passable of late. Flick responded by completing five of his first six tries in a pivotal Pac-10 game at Stanford. Two of those "surefire short passes" turned out to be big gainers—41-and 28-yard scoring tosses to Aaron Williams. Undeterred. John Elway cut the Cardinals' deficit to 24-21 by passing for two touchdowns and running two yards for another. Ken Naber then tied the score by kicking a 26-yard field goal with 1:27 left after Stanford had eschewed going for it on fourth-and-two at the Huskie nine. Back came Flick, clearly brimming with confidence, for one last effort. He hit on six passes during a 72-yard drive to the Stanford eight. Overall, Flick was 21 for 33 for 278 yards, but it took a 25-yard field goal by Chuck Nelson as time ran out to give the Huskies a 27-24 triumph and the inside track on a trip to the Rose Bowl.
California kept its hopes alive, too. With Rich Campbell running for one touchdown and passing for another, the Golden Bears wiped out Oregon State 27-6.
Arizona, which had given up only 69 points in four games, lost to Washington State 38-14 for its worst home loss since 1967. Samoa (Here We Go Again) Samoa kept the Wildcats offstride with his 15-for-23 passing, good for 272 yards, and by running for two TDs.
A 26-7 victory at San Diego State put Colorado State atop the WAC. Wyoming knocked Utah out of a share of the lead by defeating the Utes 24-21. Brigham Young remained one game off the pace with a 70-46 triumph at Utah State in which the Cougars had 710 yards of total offense. For the most part, this was aerial warfare, Bob Gagliano of the Aggies connecting for five touchdowns as he completed 29 of 49 for 358 yards, a figure that BYU's Jim McMahon exceeded by 127 yards.
Last season Weber State upset Northern Arizona 34-10. This time around, the Lumberjacks, playing in their domed stadium, returned the favor by handing the Wildcats their first Big Sky loss, 32-7.
UCLA (5-0) USC (5-0-1) WASHINGTON (5-1)
There were 24 seconds left to be played when Texas A&M Quarterback Gary Kubiak ran into the Baylor end zone from three yards out. Did that pull out a dramatic come-from-behind victory for the Aggies? Hardly. All it accomplished was to finally get them on the scoreboard. As Kubiak had sensed even before the opening kickoff—"You could see when they came out they knew they were going to win," he said—the Bears were ready for the Aggies. By halftime, Kubiak's worst fears had been realized: Baylor led 25-0 in points, 15-1 in first downs and 241-34 in total yardage. When it was over, A&M was saddled with a 46-7 loss, its worst defeat in the Southwest Conference since 1970. The Bears, 4-0 in the conference for the first time since 1922, took a two-game lead over idle Texas as Jay Jeffrey passed for three touchdowns and Walter Abercrombie rushed for 143 yards.