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The Southern Cal-at-Arizona State matchup came down to one decisive play. USC, trailing 17-10, had a fourth-and-eight at the Sun Devil 25 with 46 seconds left. Arizona State, as it had all night, blitzed, and Free Safety Mike Richardson dumped Trojan backup Quarterback Scott Tinsley for an 11-yard loss. A third-quarter Richardson blitz had sidelined USC's starting signal caller, Sean Salisbury, who will miss the rest of the season with an injured right knee. In all, the Sun Devils tackled USC ballcarriers 12 times behind the line for minus 76 yards. USC's running corps, badly depleted by injury, gained only 20 yards on 43 rushes. The Trojans got their sole touchdown on a 21-yard pass from Salisbury to Split End Jeff Simmons to forge a 10-10 halftime tie.
Arizona State's first 10 points came on Todd Hons' 29-yard pass to Tailback Darryl Clack and on a school-record 52-yard field goal by Luis Zendejas. The Sun Devils drove 54 yards for the winning touchdown in the third quarter, Alvin Moore storming in from six yards out. That, plus Stanford's upset of Washington (page 24), put Arizona State atop the Pac-10.
UCLA's Irv Eatman, a 6'6¼", 268-pound defensive tackle, agreed to Coach Terry Donahue's suggestion that he shift to offensive tackle against Oregon. From Tuesday through Friday, Eatman got a crash course on the position from Offensive Tackle Coach Ed Kezirian. Their early-morning, afternoon and evening sessions bore quick fruit; Eatman added needed muscle to the Bruins' pass protection and run blocking as UCLA won 40-12. Four field goals by freshman John Lee helped, too.
With Tom Tunnicliffe passing for 204 yards, Arizona defeated Washington State 34-17. California beat Oregon State 28-14. Fresno State, 4-0 in the PCAA and 7-1 overall, took command of the conference race by dumping Long Beach State 40-22, despite a conference-record 35 completions—on 59 attempts for 367 yards—by 49er Quarterback Todd Dillon. The PCAA gained prestige when Utah State jarred WAC leader Brigham Young 20-17. Aggie Quarterback Doug Samuels completed 19 of 31 passes for 326 yards and three TDs.
Week after week, John Brunelle, a student serving as the sports information director at Pacific University in Forest Grove, Ore., had to report that his team had lost again. Last week, though, Brunelle was able to announce that the Boxers had ended their string of losses at 30 games, the longest such streak for a four-year college at any level. And just who was the big gun for Pacific during its memorable 21-14 triumph over Lewis and Clark? Why, it was none other than the same John Brunelle, who doubles as the team's quarterback. Brunelle completed six of 11 passes for 132 yards, including a 72-yarder to Jeff Kaihewalu for a touchdown.
Question: What chance did Kansas, which was ranked 96th out of 97 Division I-A teams against the rush with an average yield of 263.8 yards a game, have against visiting Nebraska, which was first in rushing with 392 yards a game? Answer: None. The Cornhuskers pounded out 426 yards on the ground while romping to a 52-0 Big Eight triumph. Although bothered by a hip pointer, Husker I Back Mike Rozier carried 16 times for 123 yards and scored a pair of touchdowns on runs of 25 and 27 yards.
Colorado, which had given up 185 points in losing five of seven games, also seemed to have no chance when it played at home against new-look Oklahoma, with its I formation. Marcus Dupree, the Sooners' speedy freshman, scored on a 77-yard punt return in the second period. Nevertheless, the Buffaloes, whose Rich Johnson had broken four tackles on a 17-yard touchdown run in the first quarter, battled to a 10-10 halftime standoff. But second-half interceptions set up three Oklahoma TDs, leading to a 45-10 victory for the Sooners.
Kansas State moved closer to a possible bowl bid, which would be its first ever, with a 9-3 win at Iowa State. The Wildcats are now 5-2-1. Oklahoma State, which got 227 yards on the ground (on 37 carries) from NCAA rushing leader Ernest Anderson, toppled Missouri 30-20. Anderson has a total of 1,328 yards in seven games.
When first-string Michigan Tailback Lawrence Ricks wasn't grinding out 135 yards on 18 carries, third-string Tailback Kerry Smith was running for 113 on 11. Altogether, the Wolverines picked up 374 of their 566 yards of total offense on the ground while clobbering injury-plagued Minnesota 52-14. Michigan struck through the air, too, Steve Smith firing three touchdown passes for the second week in a row. Mike Hohensee of the Gophers gained 239 yards with his 27-for-39. passing, but Minnesota ballcarriers struggled to just 47 yards in 29 carries.