Independent South Carolina defeated visiting North Carolina State 20-12 in an error-filled game. The teams combined for 11 turnovers: eight interceptions and three lost fumbles. It wasn't until Free Safety Chuck Finney ran back an interception 55 yards for a touchdown in the closing minute that the home team could breathe easily. Duke overtook Georgia Tech 38-24. Virginia, which had been winless, handed VMI its first defeat, 13-10.
When Tailback Ricky Williams was sidelined by an ankle injury two weeks ago, Florida State Coach Bobby Bowden took a chance and started freshman Greg Allen against LSU. In 31 carries Allen gained a team-record 202 yards. So, Bowden wasn't as fearful when he had to start Allen last week against Western Carolina. Allen, a 6-foot 198-pounder, carried 32 times for 322 yards, an NCAA record for a freshman and the ninth-highest total ever in I-A. Allen, who sat out the last seven minutes, came within 35 yards of breaking the alltime record by Georgia Tech's Eddie Lee Ivery. Bowden. who had expected this game to be a breeze, used Allen until then because the Catamounts refused to cave in. The Western players, who were 2-6 and who had endured an 8½-hour bus ride to Tallahassee, stayed in the game on Ronnie Mixon's 25-for-41 passing, which netted 322 yards. It was one of those big-number shootouts: 1,060 yards in total offense, with Florida State gaining 623 of them and winning 56-31.
Herschel Walker of Georgia, the only other freshman besides Allen to have rushed for 200 or more yards in back-to-back games, continued to have slightly less success as a sophomore. Walker lugged the ball 23 times for 112 yards, but did score four times as the Bulldogs defeated Temple 49-3.
Alabama overcame a 7-11 scare—the Tide lost seven of 11 fumbles—to salvage a 13-10 victory over Mississippi State. It helped that 'Bama recovered four of six bobbles by the Bulldogs and intercepted two of their passes. The last interception was by Strong Safety Tommy Wilcox at the Alabama one with 19 seconds left. That halted a desperation drive by Mississippi State Quarterback John Bond, who had hit on three passes for 70 yards during the final two minutes. A 10-10 deadlock, which had stood since halftime, was broken when freshman Terry Sanders booted the decisive 28-yard field goal early in the fourth period. Peter Kim, who earlier had kicked a 27-yarder for Alabama, was unable to try for that one because he injured his leg while attempting a field goal late in the first half. The win put the Tide half a game in front of Georgia in the Southeastern Conference and moved Coach Bear Bryant into a tie with Pop Warner for second place on the alltime victory list, one short of tying Amos Alonzo Stagg's record of 314.
Florida, which had won only three of 23 games at Auburn since 1912, seemed poised to do a turnabout. Trailing 12-14, the Gators recovered a fumble at the Tiger 31 with two minutes to go, and Brian Clark, who had already booted four field goals, was ready, willing and apparently able to add another for a 15-14 lead. But Clark missed a 40-yarder, and Auburn prevailed, despite having lost four first-half fumbles and having gotten only 40 yards in total offense in the last half.
David Johnston, though, booted a timely field goal for LSU, a 46-yarder in the last second to earn a 27-27 tie at Jackson, Miss. Vanderbilt beat Memphis State 26-0, and Virginia Tech knocked off Kentucky 29-3.
With 47 seconds to go in a Big Sky game at Weber State, Milt Myers of the Wildcats passed 30 yards to Split End Ray McNeil for a touchdown to cut Northern Arizona's lead to 17-16. Roger Ruzek added the PAT to make it 17-17, which is how it stayed until the clock ran down. A tie, right? Wrong. Three 1-AA conferences—the Yankee and Ohio Valley are the others—play overtime periods this season. And so it came to pass that the first-ever regular-season major-college overtime game was played.
Weber State won the coin flip and elected to start the extra period on defense, the Lumberjacks putting the ball into play at the Wildcat 15, as the rules dictate. On the third play, Scott Lindquist passed nine yards to Dion Jergo to put Northern up 23-17. Because of a low snap on the PAT try, holder Kevin Margerum tried a pass, which was incomplete. Then it was Weber State's turn to get the ball at the Lumberjack 15. Myers hit Eric Allen with a touchdown pass on first down, and Ruzek kicked the extra point for a 24-23 Weber State win.
In a week filled with standout performances by players named Allen, the least surprising was that by Southern Cal's Marcus Allen. "I saw him in a phone booth," said Washington State Coach Jim Walden of Allen. "I saw him fly over the stadium. He plays like Superman." Walden had a right to feel that way after Allen ran 44 times for 289 yards and three touchdowns, and caught the first TD pass of his career as USC won 41-17. It was the sixth time this season that Allen had gained 200 or more yards, an NCAA mark.