USC players committed five turnovers, Arizona players six. But the biggest boner may have been a decision by Wildcat Coach Larry Smith. With his team ahead 20-17, Smith decided that instead of running out the final five seconds of the first half, he would have Tom Tunnicliffe throw a bomb. Tunnicliffe did, but Trojan Safety Joey Browner grabbed it and returned it 53 yards for a touchdown. Tunnicliffe passed for 303 yards and Scott Tinsley of USC for 209.
In another rousing game, UCLA outlasted Stanford 38-35. It was a rematch of two quarterbacks—Tom Ramsey of the Bruins and John Elway of the Cardinal—who had grown up playing for rival high schools in Granada Hills, Calif. Ramsey passed 27 times, hit on 19 and accounted for 314 yards and two touchdowns. Elway completed 29 of 39 tries for 352 yards and a pair of TDs. Other notables: Danny Andrews of UCLA rushed for 148 yards, and Vincent White of Stanford caught 14 passes for 124 yards. The points that settled the outcome came when Ramsey ran five yards for a score that put the Bruins on top 38-27 in the fourth period. California defeated Washington State 34-14.
Brigham Young clung to first place in the WAC by beating San Diego State 58-8. And Idaho remained atop the Big Sky by defeating Northern Arizona 55-37.
Army may have lost the war to visiting Pitt 24-6, but the Cadets were happy about having won the second half 6-0. "This is the best I've ever felt after losing." Army Strong Safety Joe Hampton said. Army defenders took pride in having limited Dan Marino of the Panthers to 10 completions in 19 tries for 71 yards and in having intercepted three of his passes. It was incidental to the Cadets that three of Marino's tosses went for touchdowns. It also didn't faze them that Pitt rushed for 297 yards. 129 of them by Fullback Joe McCall on 24 carries. Although Halfback Gerald Walker. Army's third-leading career rusher, was out with a shoulder injury, the Cadets managed to score a touchdown. That proud moment came when Bill Turner passed six yards to Billy Noble in the fourth period.
Because the Turner Broadcasting System was willing to pay each team $125,000 to televise the game, West Virginia and Rutgers moved up their meeting from Saturday to Thursday. Wide Receiver Rich Hollins caught scoring passes of 54 and 43 yards from Jeff Hostetler as the Mountaineers pulled away from a slim 13-10 halftime lead and won 44-17. Willie Drewrey of West Virginia started the scoring with a 75-yard punt return in the first period.
Doug Flutie's 29-yard pass to Flanker Gerard Phelan with 58 seconds left gave Boston College a 20-13 victory over Syracuse in the rain. Defensive Back Vic Crawford of the Eagles excelled, making 11 tackles, assisting on eight others, batting down a pass and recovering a fumble.
Swarthmore's hopes for an unbeaten season were snuffed by Widener 24-7. The victorious Pioneers won in the fourth quarter by rushing for two touchdowns, which were as many as the Little Quakers had allowed on the ground in all 35 previous periods this year. Widener, the Division III champion last season, thus advanced to the first round of this year's playoffs. The Pioneers' first opponent will be West Georgia, which defeated Maryville 45-13. West Georgia leads Division III in total offense and scoring and is third in total defense. Wagner also moved into those playoffs by beating Kean College of New Jersey 42-0 as Tailback Alonzo Patterson ran for 134 yards and two touchdowns. Patterson, a senior, has gained 4,213 yards and is third in total rushing yardage among all active players at all levels of NCAA competition, trailing only Herschel Walker of Georgia and Eric Dickerson of SMU.
While Penn pulled out its remarkable victory over Harvard, Dartmouth beat Brown 22-16, Cornell defeated Columbia 35-26 and Yale routed Princeton 37-19.