Stanford, which had been hoping for a Peach Bowl offer, was shocked by California 28-23. Cal kept as many as eight men back to try to thwart the passing of John Elway, who nevertheless hit on 27 of 44 attempts for 252 yards and ran for 74 yards. Elway's 326 yards surpassed Cal's 275 yards of total offense, but the Golden Bears won when J Torchio bootlegged the ball three yards into the end zone with 4:37 to go.
Like Elway, junior Gerald Willhite of San Jose State labored in vain. Willhite, the second player ever to catch 50 passes and run for 1,000 yards in the same season, increased his reception total to 55 with two grabs and his rushing yardage to 1,210 as he ran for 39 yards in a 44-38 loss to Utah State.
Brigham Young didn't waste Jim McMahon's lofty numbers, winning the WAC title by zapping Utah 56-6. McMahon passed for 399 yards and three scores, completing 21 of 34. He wound up with three NCAA season records: 42 TD passes and the 46 touchdowns and 278 points he accounted for.
Neil Lomax of Portland State augmented two of his records during a 75-0 rout of Weber State, which had been yielding an average of 26.2 points a game. By passing for five touchdowns and 474 yards as he made good on 32 of 55 tosses, Lomax brought his career figures up to 106 TD throws and 13,220 yards.