Memphis State Defensive End Stanley Adams seemed to have done his job well when he batted away a pass by Florida State Quarterback Rick Stockstill. Trouble was, Adams swatted the ball back into the hands of Stock-still, who caught his own pass and ran for 31 yards. Sam Platt of the Seminoles used more conventional methods, rushing for 188 yards during the 24-3 victory over the Tigers.
McNeese State began its defense of its Southland title with a 36-28 defeat of Arkansas State. Stephan Starring, who set a Cowboy rushing record of 234 yards, ran for two scores and passed 21 yards for another, and teammate Theron McClendon ran for 189 yards.
Co-leaders Murray State and Western Kentucky were both 13-10 winners in Ohio Valley Conference games. The Racers defeated Akron, while Western beat Eastern Kentucky.
Richmond ended its five-game losing streak by upsetting Virginia Tech 18-7. Barry Redden of the Spiders carried 48 times for 233 yards against the Hokies, who were second nationally in total defense and scoring defense.
FLORIDA STATE (7-1)
"I'm so confused now I have no idea where we are," said Washington Coach Don James after being upset by Navy 24-10. Two things in particular baffled James: his team's inability to score more points and the Middies' ability to run for 292 yards. Navy's staunch defense shouldn't have been a surprise, the Middies having entered the game tied with Alabama for the fourth-best scoring defense in the land. But with Eddie Meyers unexpectedly running for 114 yards and with Fred Reitzel scoring three times, Navy controlled the ball—and the ball game.
Arizona Coach Larry Smith hoped his silence would be golden. So he refused to say who would start at quarterback against Notre Dame. Would it be freshman Tom Tunnicliffe, a deft passer, or sophomore Kevin Ward, a better runner? Smith's silence turned out to be worth maybe a nickel or so. Tunnicliffe, who started, passed for just 95 yards. What's more, the Irish shut down the Wildcats' ground game, limiting them to 71 yards. Meanwhile, Notre Dame's version of silence led to a priceless play. When freshman Quarterback-Punter Blair Kiel lined up in punt formation and spotted a hand signal from Irish Coach Dan Devine, he knew what to do. Kiel took advantage of the Wildcats' 10-man rush by galloping 80 yards for a touchdown that helped Notre Dame win 20-3.
Stanford continued to flex its mighty offensive muscles during a 48-34 Pac-10 triumph at Washington State. As usual, much of the punch was supplied by John Elway and Darrin Nelson. Elway completed 29 of 36 passes for 379 yards and five touchdowns and ran for another. Even more dazzling was Nelson, who had 369 yards in all-purpose running, 28 shy of Eric Allen's 1971 NCAA record, and turned two of Elway's throws into TDs covering 44 and 24 yards. Cougar Quarterback Samoa Samoa was no slouch either, accumulating 340 yards—134 rushing and 206 on 16 of 35 passing.
Rich Campbell of California also did a lot of passing in vain. Despite Campbell's 225 yards through the air, the Golden Bears lost to UCLA and its more diversified offense 32-9. Freeman McNeil of the Bruins rushed for 115 yards, Tom Ramsey completed 11 of 16 passes for 154 yards, and Jojo Townsell ran a kickoff back 100 yards for a TD.