Arizona State beat Wichita State 33-21 as Quarterback Mike Pagel completed 15 of 35 passes for 223 yards and three TDs.
There was a carnival atmosphere in El Paso Saturday night for the debut of Billy Alton, UTEP's new coach, and his version of Billy Ball, which includes a three wide-receiver offense, varying defensive fronts, even blue and white war paint on many of the players. Said Alton, "We're using every motivational device known to modern coaching. It's new, it's exciting, it's fun." It's also 0-1 after visiting Brigham Young bombed UTEP 65-8. Cougar Quarterback Jim McMahon completed 21 of 31 passes for 267 yards and four touchdowns to become the first passer in NCAA history to throw for 200-plus yards in 14 consecutive games. With Georgia's loss to Clemson, Brigham Young's 15-game winning streak is now the nation's longest.
In its 23-10 win over North Texas State, Texas not only moved the ball on offense, but, in a manner of speaking, on defense as well. The Longhorns held the Eagles to minus 17 yards rushing and sacked Quarterback Shaw Thompson six times for another 63 yards in losses. Thompson twice was called for intentionally grounding the ball. Leading the defensive charge was Tackle Kenneth Sims with eight unassisted tackles, seven assists and parts of four sacks. Tailback A.J. (Jam) Jones rushed for 105 yards and two touchdowns in his 1981 debut. "There's a lot of fire and spirit on our football team. It wasn't all that pretty, but it was a win," said Texas Coach Fred Akers. "And if you can't enjoy a win, you can't enjoy anything. We did just enough to foul things up a lot of the time." Grambling traveled to Irving, Texas for its first game ever against a Southwest Conference opponent, but SMU made the occasion less than gala, routing the Tigers 59-27. Junior tailbacks Eric Dickerson and Craig James paced the Mustangs, Dickerson rushing for 142 yards and four touchdowns and James rambling for 104 yards. Together they became the first SMU runners to gain more than 100 yards in five consecutive games. James and Dickerson also moved into fifth and eighth place, respectively, on the Mustangs' alltime rushing list.
Arkansas had drives of 75, 61, 52, 48 and 48 yards "in beating Northwestern 38-7. The Razorbacks' ball-control offense was so effective that they didn't have to punt until only nine minutes remained in the fourth quarter, their only punt of the game.
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