- TOP PLAYERSOffensePABLO S. TORRE | August 20, 2012
- TAMPA BAY buccaneersENEMY lines WHAT A RIVAL COACH SAYSJune 28, 2012
- Faces in the CrowdJune 11, 2001
It was late in fourth period and the capacity crowd of 78,406 at Wisconsin's Camp Randall Stadium may well have felt they'd seen it all. Those fans had seen barefooted Mike Bass of Illinois kick field goals of 19, 21, 30 and 44 yards. They had seen Tony Eason of the Illini pass for more than 400 yards. They had seen Illinois Kicker Chris Sigourney deliberately run from his own 19 into the end Zone, where he ate up time by scooting around before being tackled with 1:54 left. That safety had pared the Badger deficit to 26-22. It also enabled Illinois to get off a free kick from its 20. That strategy backfired when Wisconsin pulled off perhaps the most novel maneuver of the season. The play began on the Illinois 40 with Quarterback Randy Wright of the Badgers pegging the ball to Split End Al Toon, who was some 15 yards to Wright's left and slightly behind him. Wright's throw hit the turf before reaching Toon. "Dead ball," thought the Illini. "Play's over. So what if Toon scooped up the ball on the bounce?" So plenty. The ball was still in play because it was a lateral (not forward) pass. While Illinois defenders relaxed, Tight End Jeff Nault of Wisconsin zipped into the open near the end zone. Toon fired. Nault caught. Touchdown. Wisconsin 28-26 with 52 seconds to go.
Did it really matter that the PAT kick was missed? Yes. Eason took the Illini 51 yards on five quick plays after the ensuing kickoff. That put the ball on the Badger 29. From there the shoeless Bass booted a 46-yard field goal as time ran out, giving Illinois a 29-28 victory. By kicking five field goals, he tied a Big Ten single-game mark. And Bass, who has now made good on 18 of 20 such attempts and on 26 of 26 PAT kicks, broke Red Grange's 1924 Illinois record of 78 points in a season by raising his total to 80 points.
Steve Smith of first-place Michigan played only the first two quarters at Northwestern. During those 30 minutes he hit on 10 of 12 passes for 203 yards, ran nine times for 71 yards and led the Wolverines to touchdowns on all six of their possessions. Anthony Carter latched on to a pair of Smith's passes for TDs that covered 34 and 29 yards. That gave Carter 36 career touchdowns, a Michigan record. Wildcat freshman Sandy Schwab set NCAA single-game marks for completions (45), attempts (71) and tied in plays (76). But neither Schwab's 436 yards passing nor a Big Ten-record 17 catches by Tight End Jon Harvey kept Michigan from romping 49-14.
Ohio State also won in a breeze, 49-25 at Indiana, where the Buckeyes haven't lost since 1904. Even when Ohio State goofed up, things worked out fine—as when Quarterback Mike Tomczak called the wrong play, "Right 86 deep post" instead of "Right 83 deep post." Flanker Cedric Anderson caught Tomczak's pass on that play and turned it into a 73-yard TD. Buckeye Tailback Timmy Spencer ran for 187 yards on 33 carries.
Running Back Eddie Phillips of Iowa also had a big day—36 rushes for 198 yards and the decisive TD—in a 21-16 win at Minnesota. Purdue beat Michigan State 24-21.
For Bruce Mathison, a seldom-used, fifth-year senior quarterback at Nebraska, it started out like so many other Saturdays. There he was on the bench while Turner Gill ran the attack during a Big Eight game against visiting Missouri. I Back Roger Craig joined Mathison on the sideline after injuring an ankle early in the first period. Late in the first half, Gill suffered a concussion. Suddenly, this was no ordinary Saturday for Mathison; he was quarterbacking the Huskers. The Tigers led 7-3 at the half and 13-9 with 9:07 to play. Mathison, who Husker Coach Tom Osborne said had trouble reading the defenses early on, then rallied his team with a 79-yard march. Mike Rozier, who had a hip pointer and wasn't expected to play, took over for Craig and during that drive caught a 10-yard pass from Mathison and also ripped off runs of 17 and 27 yards. In all, Rozier gamely carried 17 times for 139 yards. Fullback Mark Schellen finally put Nebraska ahead by scoring from one yard out with 4:46 to go, and then Mathison ran 16 yards into the end zone with 2:36 left. Missouri scored with 53 seconds remaining, but its subsequent on-sides kick was pounced on by Nebraska, which won 23-19.
Oklahoma State had high hopes of winning at Oklahoma. After all, the Cowboys had the leading rusher in the nation, Ernest Anderson, who was averaging 208.8 yards a game. And they had an offense that was crunching out 450.2 yards a game, the fifth best in Division I-A. Those hopes—and averages—were shattered by the Sooners, who held Anderson to 59 yards on 20 carries and limited Oklahoma State to 241 yards in total offense while winning 27-9. Freshman Tailback Marcus Dupree of the Sooners started the scoring in the first quarter when, on fourth and one, he ran 30 yards for a touchdown. In other conference games it was Iowa State 31-14 over Colorado and Kansas State 36-7 over Kansas.
"No one cares that we had four starters who weren't in this game. No one cares that half our guys were playing hurt and that half our guys had the flu." Maybe not, but Pitt Coach Foge Fazio, who uttered those words after a 14-0 victory at Syracuse, obviously cared so much about the manpower problems facing his undefeated Panthers that he lost count of the wounded. Only two starters didn't play.