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Youngstown State counters with 5'8" Tailback Paris Wicks. He picked up 1,363 yards rushing and led I-AA in scoring with 17 touchdowns. The Penguins have 21 of 24 starters back, including their kicking specialist, Paul McFadden, and figure to boot the Colonels out of first place.
For a fast-moving offense, look to Murray State Quarterback (Instant) Winston Ford, so named in high school for producing "instant" touchdowns late in the game. This summer he produced bubble gum—at a Donross factory in Memphis. On defense the Racers feature Cornerback Ronald Hopkins, who blocked two kicks and had four interceptions, and Noseguard Rodney Lofton, who made 14 tackles for losses.
SPEAKING OF D: On Oct. 10, Eastern Kentucky held Middle Tennessee to minus 43 yards rushing, largely owing to nine sacks by EKU. (In college football, unlike the NFL, sacks count against rushing rather than passing yardage.)
While USC, Washington, UCLA and Arizona State tend to command most of the Pac-10 attention, let's not forget last year's Cinderella team. Washington State got its first bowl bid in 51 years, and barely lost in the Holiday Bowl (38-36) to BYU. But graduation decimated the Cougars, and even with Tailback Tim Harris back the Cougs will have difficulty winning more than six games.
Who's really the No. 1 college quarterback? Is it Danny Marino (page 28) of No. 1-ranked Pitt? Or is it John Elway of unranked Stanford? As of the end of the 1981 regular season they had nearly identical career completion averages (59%) and nearly the same career passing yardage (2,615 for Marino and 2,674 for Elway). Marino has thrown more touchdown passes (34 vs. 20), but he has also thrown more interceptions (21 vs. 13). About the only thing Elway has that Marino doesn't is George Steinbrenner's autograph on the bottom of a Yankee contract—and $140,000 of Yankee money.
FREE THE PACIFIC THREE! You can watch USC's Nov. 27 game against Notre Dame on TV because the deal was arranged before the probation ax fell. The Trojans can't, however, go to a bowl. Arizona State and Oregon end their year of NCAA sanctions in December, so they can't appear on TV in the regular season. But they can go to a bowl.
"Based on the success of my son at Stanford," says San Jose State Coach Jack Elway, "it's obvious I was an overachiever when I got married." Elway the elder is too modest. Since his arrival the Spartans are 22-11-1, having upset such highflyers as Baylor (then, 1980, No. 4 in the country), Cal and—it hurt him to do it—Stanford. Eleven San Jose players signed pro contracts last spring (notably Running Back Gerald Willhite, Denver's No. 1 pick), but Steve Clarkson is back to direct the offense. "He'll be one of the five best quarterbacks in the country," says Elway, who faces one of those five best on Sept. 18 in Palo Alto.
It's UNLV's first season in the conference. No one, not even Jim McMahon, topped Sam King's 3.778 passing yards in 1981; but King's gone. Coach Harvey Hyde had two unexpected losses on top of that: Split End Jim Sandusky, with 68 catches in '81, and Tight End Jeff Spek, who caught 54 balls, both transferred to San Diego State.