When it came to numbers, Portland State had the weekend's single most impressive one: 93. That's how many points the Vikings had against Cal Poly Pomona, which avoided a shutout by scoring a touchdown with 2:17 left. The Vikings' 93 points eclipsed the NCAA Division I-AA mark of 72 it set last year against Puget Sound. Almost all of the Vikings' total yardage—603 out of 657—came through the air. Neil Lomax, the all-time college passing-yardage leader, raised his total to 11,664 yards, completing 13 of 20 passes for 339 yards and three touchdowns. His replacement, Lloyd LaFrance, added 264 yards and four more scores with his 15-for-17 marksmanship.
Brigham Young's Jim McMahon turned in what for him was rather a commonplace performance, clicking on 31 of 60 passes for 389 yards. Not bad for a player nursing a rotator-cuff tear on his throwing side. McMahon's feats led to a 34-7 WAC win at Hawaii.
Colorado State booted a chance to solidify its WAC lead when it was tied by Utah 21-21. A missed 19-yard field-goal attempt with eight seconds to go kept the Rams from winning.
For a few heady moments, West Virginia dared to envision an end to the frustrations it has endured at the hands of Penn State since 1955. After a nine-yard scoring run by Walter Easley had trimmed the Nittany Lion lead to 20-15, the Mountaineers recovered an onside kick at the Penn State 48 with 3:45 to play. Another touchdown might well have snapped a string of 22 consecutive losses to Penn State. But Nittany Lion Safety Pete Harris deflected a third-down pass right into the hands of his brother, Defensive Halfback Giuseppe—shades of older brother Franco's famed Immaculate Reception for the Steelers during the 1972 NFL playoffs. Although Giuseppe's interception was a pivotal play, the groundwork for West Virginia's setback was laid a year ago when Curt Warner, a sensation as a West Virginia high school running back, enrolled at Penn State. Last week, when teammate Booker Moore wasn't crashing through for 112 yards, Warner was scoring twice, on a three-yard run and an 88-yard kickoff return.
Syracuse, too, had a tough time before defeating Rutgers 17-9. It wasn't until Joe Morris scored on a 38-yard run in the third period that the Orangemen pulled in front for the first time, 10-3. By rushing for 157 yards, Morris became Syracuse's leading career runner (3,022 yards), surpassing Larry Csonka (2,934). The Scarlet Knights made it 10-9 with 7:10 remaining, but then were thwarted by two big defensive plays by the Orange. Rutgers' try for a go-ahead two-point conversion went awry when Defensive Tackle Herb Butzke pressured Quarterback Ed McMichael into a wild throw. And then, with 3:02 to go. Defensive End Jamie Kimmel blocked a Scarlet Knight punt and fell on it in the end zone for a touchdown.
Substitute Halfback Leo Smith, who had gained only six yards in Boston College's first six games, ran for 145 during a 30-14 victory over Army. Three field goals by John Cooper also helped the Eagles.
Despite strong winds, heavy rain and nine fumbles by Quarterback Jim Jensen, Boston University held off Massachusetts 3-0. Jeff Pelin's 32-yard field goal shortly before half-time enabled the Terriers to run their Yankee Conference record to 4-0.
Foul weather also plagued Bucknell, which lost eight of 11 fumbles to Lehigh. In all, the Engineers profited from 10 turnovers during their 13-0 victory.