Studying those films have been interior linemen John Hendrick, J.C. Pelusi and Phil Puzzouli. Sherrill may play Fralic at defensive tackle, particularly if Hendrick's knee doesn't respond from a midseason operation. That more than anything else describes the rebuilding job Pitt faces on defense. But don't write off the Panthers. Even with the losses, Sherrill considers the interior defensive line one of his strong points (contingent upon Hendrick's health). "You tend to forget about the other people when you have players like we did in front of them," says Fazio.
Linebacker Sunseri isn't about to forget 1980. "I want my senior year to be every bit as good as Hugh's. How good? Well, 9-2 isn't going to be good enough in my book. Pitt's established as a national contender, and nobody wants that to change." Sunseri emphasized the point by letting fly with a stream of tobacco juice into a wastebasket. His brand is Red Man.
The University of Florida has a well-deserved reputation as one of the nation's leading "party schools," but until a year ago, there wasn't a whole lot to celebrate. The Gator football team hadn't had a winning season in two years, and in 1979, under new Head Coach Charley Pell, Florida had tumbled to 0-10-1. But last year was something to shout about. The 1980 Gators scrambled to an 8-4 record that included a 35-20 victory over Maryland in the Tangerine Bowl, and did it despite having lost their first-string quarterback, Bob Hewko, in the fourth game. Now Hewko is back from knee surgery, but he may not be able to reclaim his job from Wayne Peace. A freshman last year, Peace showed his poise against Kentucky, when, with 34 seconds left (and no timeouts) he completed three straight passes to set up the field goal that gave the Gators a two-point win.
If, as Pell says, the Gators are "a little better" this year than last, he will almost certainly, as they say, give Peace a chance. Peace performed remarkably well for a freshman, throwing for 1,271 yards and five touchdowns. Junior Tyrone Donnive Young is a gifted wide receiver—averaging 19.5 yards per catch last season—and should be the recipient of many of Peace's bombs. (Just doesn't sound right, does it?)
The Gator backfield should be more explosive this season, the second year of Offensive Coordinator Mike Shanahan's reign. Shanahan, whose unit broke 40 school offensive records when he held the same post at Minnesota, is responsible for Florida's switch to a wide-open attack. The leading rusher from a year ago, junior Fullback James Jones, is back, but he averaged only 59.7 yards a game. However, Tailback Lorenzo Hampton, a 4.5 man in the 40, is fully recovered from the broken left foot that sidelined him for the season in a Gators scrimmage game last year.
The chink in Florida's defense is at linebacker, but fortunately for the Gators, a lot of opponents will never get past the line of scrimmage to exploit that deficiency. The reason is David Galloway, a 6'3", 283-pound tackle, who runs the 40 in 4.7. Galloway had lost both his parents by the time he was 11, so his then-19-year-old sister, Shelley, took him in and raised him. And raised him. And kept raising him. When he isn't crunching ballcarriers, Galloway relaxes with the exploits of Conan the Barbarian, Marvel Comics' untamed hero. Then, the suspicion is, he eats the pages. "He's an awesome, dominating player," says Pell appreciatively.
It's hard to see how the Gators can finish among the top three teams in the SEC; they open at Miami and play Mississippi State and LSU back-to-back on the road. Regardless, it seems clear that Florida is back. And there's nothing tougher than a Gator's back.
14. OHIO STATE
That he was the No. 1 quarterback at Ohio State as a freshman was astonishing enough. That he came out throwing in his first game and never stopped was downright shocking. Five interceptions against Penn State, remember? Had Woody Hayes gone soft in the head? Never mind. Art Schlichter, son of a grain farmer, was going to change the face of Ohio State football and harvest a Heisman Trophy to boot. What happened?