UCLA could empathize with Saturday's upset victims but avoided inclusion by beating Arizona 35-18. Last year the undefeated and second-ranked Bruins were upended by the Wildcats 23-17 as Quarterback Tom Ramsey was sacked seven times and threw two interceptions. Saturday, the stats showed 146 yards through the air, three touchdown passes and no sacks as Ramsey directed a ball-control offense that scored after drives of 76, 94, 80 and 80 yards. Sophomore Halfback Kevin Nelson gained 152 yards in 25 carries and Fullback Frank Bruno added 74 more yards on 16 carries. UCLA also went for a relatively short 37-yard TD trip after an interception by Tom Sullivan, one of his two in the game.
USC, which barely beat Tennessee, 20-17, a year ago, had no problems this time around, routing the Vols 43-7 in its opener. Playing little more than a half, Tailback Marcus Allen rushed for 210 yards and four touchdowns. Allen also caught four passes for 21 yards. "Marcus is a little quicker this year, a little more dynamic," said USC Coach John Robinson in understatement. Also turning in a dynamic performance was Quarterback John Mazur, playing in his first college game; he completed seven of 12 for 91 yards. " John Mazur started as well as any quarterback I've ever coached. He knew more about what, was going on than I did," said Robinson about Mazur's six completions in his first six attempts, including a 50-yard score to Timmy White.
A pair of old hands led Arizona State to a 52-10 win over Utah. Senior Fullback Gerald Riggs rushed for 139 yards and two touchdowns, and Quarterback Mike Pagel passed for three touchdowns as Darryl Rogers got the 100th win of his 17-year coaching career. Washington also won its opener, beating Pacific 34-14, while Washington State defeated Montana State 33-21 and Oregon State overcame a 28-0 deficit to beat Fresno State 31-28, ending a 14-game losing streak.
As usual, footballs were flying in the Western Athletic Conference. Brigham Young Quarterback Jim McMahon, suffering from chills and a fever, burned the Air Force with 28 completions in 39 attempts for 226 yards and four touchdowns in a 45-21 win. At Colorado State, Matt Kofler broke one San Diego State passing record and just missed tying another while leading the Aztecs to a 30-14 win. Kofler completed 35 passes in 52 attempts for 359 yards. The 35 completions erased the mark of 33 set by Jesse Freitas in 1973, while the 52 attempts were just one short of Brian Sipe's 1971 record.
For Alabama, Michigan's loss stood to be its gain. Playing against undermanned Georgia Tech, Alabama seemed sure to rise in the polls, with Bear Bryant's 308th collegiate win, six short of Amos Alonzo Stagg's record. Both events will have to wait for another day. "Our group of skinny-necked youngsters refused to be beaten," said Georgia Tech Coach Bill Curry after Tech, 1-9-1 a year ago, the tie coming against favored Notre Dame, upset 'Bama 24-21. For Tech, it was the first win against the Tide on the road in 25 years. "I played on a couple of Super Bowl championship teams, but this is it," said Curry. "A win in the Super Bowl doesn't come close to matching this." Tech trailed 21-17 with 8:36 remaining but then marched 80 yards for the winning touchdown, scored on a two-yard run by freshman Tailback Robert Lavette with 3:57 to play. Alabama then drove to the Tech 33, but a 50-yard field-goal attempt by Peter Kim fell short. "it wasn't a fluke or an upset," said Bryant. "GT came out and whipped us. They wanted to win a lot worse than we did." Although the Tide outgained Georgia Tech in total offense 384 yards to 262, 'Bama didn't help its cause by losing three fumbles and being flagged with seven penalties for 84 yards, three coming during Tech's scoring drives.
Georgia extended the longest winning streak in college football to 15 with a 27-13 win over California. Although the Golden Bears' run-and-shoot attack amassed 325 yards of total offense against the Bulldogs, 285 of them in the air, Georgia's Herschel Walker helped offset it by running for 167 yards on 35 carries.
The "hero" of North Carolina's 56-0 win over East Carolina was a senior whose football career was cut short by chronic knee problems. Former Offensive Lineman Ken Saylors, acting as a lookout in the area of the Carolina law library, which overlooks the practice field, espied two overeager observers last Wednesday. Saylors told Coach Dick Crum, who went to law school dean Dr. Kenneth Broun. When Broun confronted the two men (later identified as East Carolina assistant coaches Charlie Elmquist and Garry Fast), neither would produce identification and left shortly thereafter. "He (Fast) was in there Tuesday and was in the same seat today, but I didn't want to jump the gun," said Broun. "He was working on a pad with symbols that appeared to be football players. I told him he could use the law library for what it was intended, but that he could not stay and copy down plays." East Carolina's denial of any wrongdoing gained a measure of credence after the Tar Heels rolled up 571 yards of total offense against the Pirates, with Tailback Kelvin Bryant rushing for 211 yards on 19 carries and six touchdowns.
Florida State's meeting with Memphis State was supposed to be a breather for the Seminoles before consecutive road games against Nebraska, Ohio State, Notre Dame, Pitt and LSU. But FSU nearly smothered, escaping with a 10-5 defeat of the Tigers. Clemson defeated Tulane 13-5.