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- Faces in the CrowdJune 11, 2001
A Mid-American Conference-record crowd of 32,139 crammed into Western Michigan's Waldo Stadium and overflowed onto a slope nearby. The occasion: a game with Central Michigan for the league title. The crowd cheered three Central students who ran onto the field with the game ball, which had been carried by a relay of runners from the Chippewas' campus some 100 miles away. The Broncos built a 10-0 lead early in the second quarter but from there on, it was all Central as Quarterback Kevin Northup scored twice. That, as well as 20 tackles by Linebacker Ray Bentley, enabled Central to take its second championship in a row, 22-10.
NOTRE DAME (8-0-1)
"USC's November, the Trojan month." is the way Southern Cal Coach John Robinson liked to refer to it. According to Robinson's calendar, victories over Washington and UCLA on Nov. 15 and 22, respectively, would give the Trojans the Pac-10 title and bragging rights around Los Angeles. It would also keep Southern Cal's non-losing streak going and perhaps make USC's Dec. 6 confrontation with Notre Dame a battle for No. 1. Nice dream. Washington turned it into a nightmare by winning at Southern Cal for the first time since 1964. And the Huskies did it without their leading rusher, Toussaint Tyler, who was out with a bruised knee. En route to its 20-10 victory, Washington scored twice in the third quarter, first on Ray Horton's 73-yard punt return and then on a 10-yard Tom Flick-to-Paul Skansi pass. Marcus Allen's 216 yards rushing helped the Trojans to a 404-212 margin in total yardage. But Allen hurt his right arm late in the game and couldn't return, and Quarterback Gordon Adams went out when he tore up his right knee late in the first half. What finished off USC, though, was the loss of four fumbles and four intercepted passes. Washington thus ended the Trojans' longest-ever unbeaten string at 28 games and assured itself of a berth in the Rose Bowl.
UCLA recovered from what Coach Terry Donahue called "a severe case of mental flu," i.e., successive losses to Arizona and Oregon. Providing the cure was Jay Schroeder, who came off the bench to direct three TD drives, two of which he climaxed with passes, as the Bruins won 23-14 at Arizona State.
When rookie Coach Joe Avezzano took over at Oregon State, he declared "war" on Oregon and promised to increase local interest in the annual game between the two teams. Although the Beavers were winless, Avezzano sure enough built up interest, and a record 41,600 jammed into OSU's Parker Stadium. Oregon won 40-21, thanks mostly to Quarterback Reggie Ogburn, who gained 173 yards rushing in only 14 carries.
Samoa Samoa twice slammed into the end zone from one yard out and passed to Jeff Keller for a 69-yard score as Washington State defeated California 31-17. Arizona equaled a school record with 42 first-half points and routed University of the Pacific 63-35.
Brigham Young took over first place in the Western AC by clobbering Colorado State 45-14 as Jim McMahon continued to set passing records. He connected on 23 of 33 throws for five touchdowns, and his 441 yards through the air gave him 3,834 for the season, an NCAA mark. McMahon also extended two of his own records by passing for more than 300 yards for the ninth time in a row and by passing for more than 400 for the fifth consecutive game.
Air Force got its first WAC triumph by toppling Wyoming 25-7. Leading the way were Scott Schafer, who had two TD passes, and Sean Pavlich, who kicked four field goals.