In the past, Drake, a private college with an enrollment of 4,500 in Des Moines, has been urged to play in a less competitive division, or drop football completely. Lack of money, interest and victories were the reasons cited. All that began to change last season when the Bulldogs went 8-3.
Drake continued its turnaround last week by coming from behind for the fourth time this year. The victim was West Texas State, 21-13. The win, Drake's 13th in its last 14 games, kept the Bulldogs alone at the top of the Missouri Valley Conference and improved their record to 7-0, their finest start in 37 seasons. Quarterback Gary Yagelski connected with Pat Dunsmore on a 31-yard touchdown pass with 3:17 remaining to give the Bulldogs an 18-13 lead. Henrik Mike-Mayer added the final points with a 25-yard field goal in the waning moments. Amero Ware, Drake's hard-running fullback, gained 142 yards on 34 carries. Ware, the nation's third leading rusher, now has gained 997 yards this season.
A week after the Toledo Rockets had surged into first place in the Mid-American Conference, Bowling Green exploited all sorts of holes in their defense and achieved a 38-0 upset. Before pulling off that shocker, the Falcons, who were 1-4-1, had been out-scored 109-59. Miami of Ohio defeated Ohio University 40-14 to become the new conference leader. Tied for second place with Toledo was Central Michigan, which breezed past visiting Kent State 24-3.
Concordia won four games in one afternoon. How? Well, like this: Concordia (Ill.) upended Lakeland 36-16, Concordia (Neb.) routed Dana 41-7, Concordia (St. Paul, Minn.) beat Iowa Wesleyan 12-6, and Concordia (Moorhead, Minn.) defeated St. John's by a score of 17-7.
Philadelphia Inquirer Columnist Bill Lyon wrote the following about Penn State Coach Joe Paterno's reaction after both wire services and SI voted his team No. 1 last week: "He viewed it warily, in the manner of a man who has ordered the 'chefs surprise' and is served a plate of something he regards with suspicion, not entirely sure whether he is supposed to eat it or rinse his laundry in it." Unlike most other No. Is this season, the Nittany Lions didn't immediately fold. They led visiting West Virginia only 10-7 at halftime but wound up 30-7 victors. Missing from the Penn State lineup because of a pulled hamstring was Tailback Curt Warner, who was and still is ranked third in the nation in rushing yardage per game (167) and first in yards per carry (7.3). Sophomore Jon Williams, who took over for Warner, had 140 yards rushing and scored once. En route to their 23rd consecutive victory over the Mountaineers, the Nittany Lions also got touchdowns from Mike Meade on a one-yard plunge, from Kenny Jackson on an 11-yard catch of a tipped pass and from freshman Tony Mumford on a 13-yard sprint. West Virginia runners gained only 38 yards, but Oliver Luck moved his team by connecting on 24 of 39 passes for 226 yards.
Syracuse seemed to have found a chink in Pitt's run-proof defense; the Orange led 10-0 after one period. The Panthers had given up a total of only 90 yards on the ground in five games, but in that first quarter they yielded 106. Joe Morris picked up 82 of those yards and scored on a seven-yard burst. After that, Pitt tightened the screws. Syracuse got just 85 more yards rushing and Morris ended up with 128. Not even the recovery of two Panther fumbles and the theft of four Dan Marino passes could avert a 23-10 loss for the Orange. Marino passed for three touchdowns and 282 yards, completing 27 of 41 throws.
Yale warmed up for its Halloween showdown with Ivy League co-leader Dartmouth by beating Penn 24-3 as John Rogan and Tony Jones each broke team records: Rogan became the Elis' career passing leader (2,414 yards) with his 166-yard performance; a 49-yard field goal by Jones was the longest in the 110-year history of Yale football. Dartmouth drubbed Cornell 42-7, and Harvard and Princeton played to a 17-17 stalemate. The Ivies dropped a pair of non-conference contests, Brown losing 34-24 at Holy Cross and Columbia to Colgate 41-3. Freshman Doug Flutie passed for 244 yards and three touchdowns as Boston College defeated Army 41-6. Navy runners churned out 390 yards in a 27-0 defeat of William & Mary.
The weather in Laramie, Wyo. was perfect—for Arctic sea lions. Wyoming's Cowboys didn't mind it too much, though, overcoming a 12-mph wind, a driving snowstorm and an early 14-0 deficit to defeat Brigham Young 33-20. The Cowboys began their resurgence with a pair of second-quarter touchdowns and wound up shredding a Cougar defense that had heretofore yielded an average of only 114 yards on the ground. Wyoming ran for 350 yards, with fullbacks Doug Moore and Walter Goffigan combining for 126. Cowboy Quarterback Phil Davis carried 16 times for 140 yards and had scoring runs of 30, 32 and 28 yards. Davis also teamed with James Williams on an 81-yard pass-run play that put Wyoming ahead 21-14 in the third period. Jim McMahon of the Cougars, who wore a brace to support his injured left knee, connected on 29 of 47 passes for 393 yards and two TDs. Along the way, McMahon, a senior, fattened his NCAA record collection to 41 by setting three marks and tying one. Two of the records he surpassed were for total offense. The more significant of those was for total yardage in three years, McMahon's 8,027 yards being 140 more than that accumulated by Stanford's Jim Plunkett.