"My quarterback is one of the five best in the country," said San Jose State Coach Jack Elway after that quarterback had completed 21 of 40 passes for 285 yards and three touchdowns and run three yards for the winning score in a 35-31 upset of Stanford. "I don't want to compare him with any other around here." Translation: Jack Elway's quarterback is Steve Clarkson, and Jack Elway didn't want to compare Clarkson with his son, John Elway, who many observers believe is the best in the country. Elway fils went 24 of 36 for 382 yards and two TDs, but the Spartan pass rush sacked him four consecutive times in the last four minutes to preserve the victory. Clarkson, whom John helped his father recruit, threw six passes to Wide Receiver Tim Kearse for 163 yards and three TDs. Kearse, in turn, tossed an 84-yard touchdown pass to Wide Receiver Tony Smith on a flea-flicker.
Washington Quarterback Steve Pelluer threw two touchdown passes following recoveries of Arizona fumbles and the Huskies scored on four of their first seven possessions to build a 20-0 lead in a 23-13 win over the Wildcats. The Washington defense sacked Arizona Quarterback Tom Tunnicliffe seven times for minus 58 yards.
Southern Cal sophomore Sean Salisbury completed 13 of 22 passes for 171 yards and two TDs and Joey Browner returned a punt 54 yards for another touchdown in a 28-7 win over Indiana; Tight End David Lewis and Running Back Scott Smith each scored two TDs in California's 28-0 romp over San Diego State; Colorado shut out Washington State 12-0 for the Buffalos' first road victory (and the Cougars' first scoreless effort) since 1979; and New Mexico Running Back Mike Carter ran 10 times for 111 yards in the Lobos' 49-21 defeat of Nevada-Las Vegas.
Navy and Arkansas had never played before, so Razorback Coach Lou Holtz didn't quite know what to expect. "All I know about Navy is that they're on our side," he said before the game. After the Midshipmen had played the Hogs tough in a 29-17 Arkansas win, Holtz was impressed. "We got outplayed, outcoached, outeverything-ed. I guess we did look all right leaving the dressing room." The Razorbacks, however, nibbled away. Their longest run was for 13 yards and they put the game away with an 89-yard, 18-play, passless drive that used more than nine minutes of the third and fourth quarters. Running Back Darryl Bowles, who picked up 49 yards in that march, finished with 138 and a TD on 27 carries. Navy's Marco Pagnanelli gave the Hogs secondary fits, completing 19 of 30 passes for 274 yards and two TDs.
Almost a month after beginning fall practice, Texas opened its season—with a passing game that seemed to need some work. Quarterback Robert Brewer completed only three of 11 for 28 yards and suffered an interception, so the Longhorns relied on Tailback Darryl Clark and Fullback Terry Orr to beat Utah 21-12. Clark had 162 yards on 20 carries, including a total of 66 yards on the first and final Longhorn TD drives of the day. Orr scored on runs of five and 22 yards.
Though the Arizona State defense set up all 17 of the Sun Devils' first-half points in a 24-10 win and forced six Houston fumbles, picked off two passes and blocked a punt. Cougar Quarterback Lionel Wilson said, "We made them look better than they are." Part of the problem was Wilson himself, who was still nursing a tender ankle that had kept him out of the previous week's loss to Miami.
Tailback Eric Dickerson scored two touchdowns, one on an 80-yard run on the game's second play, as SMU defeated Texas-El Paso 31-10. Dickerson, a 6'3", 215-pound senior, had 165 yards on 16 carries, giving him a school-record 3,181 yards for his career. Craig James, who shares time with Dickerson in the Mustangs' I formation, gained 103 yards on 18 carries to mark the sixth straight game in which both have rushed for 100 or more yards.
Texas A&M ran up its highest point total since 1944 in a 61-22 drubbing of Texas-Arlington as David Hardy scored 19 points on seven PATs and four field goals, including a 57-yarder. Texas Tech beat Air Force 31-30 on a two-point conversion pass by Jim Hart, who also threw for three TDs; Tulane downed Rice 30-6; and Tulsa beat Oklahoma State 25-15 on Sunday night.