But the Huskies don't always send everyone. Three days before the game, Oregon coach Rich Brooks talked about that vexatious defense. "You go through the game film and try to find a key, you think you have a key, but the key doesn't hold up," he said. "That's the biggest problem, finding out when they're coming."
Less enigmatic is where the Huskies are going. Hint: They haven't been there since 1982.
MILDCATS NO MORE
The big news in the Big Eight last week wasn't Nebraska's 69-21 win over a Missouri team that was still trying to get over its loss to Colorado in the infamous "five-down" game of Oct. 6. No, it was Kansas State's 23-17 victory over Oklahoma State. Only last year the Mildcats—er, Wildcats—had to live with the ignominy of being big-time college football's least successful program (SI, Sept. 4, 1989). But the Oklahoma State win gave Kansas State a 4—2 record (not since 1982 have the Wildcats won four games in a season) and its first victory over a Big Eight team other than Kansas or Missouri since 1984. The win also snapped a string of 17 consecutive conference losses and inspired, no kidding, bowl talk in Manhattan.
Look at the schedule. Kansas State's next three games are at 2-4 Missouri, 1-4-1 Kansas and against 2-3-1 Iowa State at home. No cinches there, but also no certain defeats. Should the Wildcats win all three, they could absorb the usual drubbings by Oklahoma and Colorado in their last two games (they have already lost to Nebraska) and still get invited to a bowl for the second time in the school's history. If so, that would be a fitting reward for fifth-year quarterback Carl Straw, who completed 14 of 21 passes for 182 yards against the Cowboys and scored the winning TD. "Guys like me came here to play Big Eight football," said Straw after the game. "I think Kansas State finally belongs in the Big Eight."
BACK IN THE SADDLE
Texas's 14-13 win over previously unbeaten Oklahoma before the usual sellout crowd of 75,587 at the Cotton Bowl bore an eerie resemblance to the Longhorns' 28-24 victory over the Sooners last season. Once again, Texas quarterback Phil Gardere passed for the game-winning TD in the final moments. Once again, the man who got burned was Sooner corner-back Charles Franks, who could only say, "Two years in a row, and it had to be me." The only difference was that Johnny Walker, the receiver who caught last year's game-winner, was a decoy this time, opening the way for Gardere to hook up with flanker Keith Cash on a crossing pattern with 2:00 remaining. The play capped a gritty 91-yard drive.
The Longhorns, however, didn't lock up the win until defensive end Shane Dronett, who had blocked an R.D. Lashar field goal attempt earlier in the quarter, forced Lashar into missing a 46-yarder in the final moments. At least, that's the way Dronett saw it. "I think he was thinking of me blocking that other kick," Dronett said. "I think that's one of the reasons he kicked it left."
The Longhorns are now 3-1 and entertaining ideas of being...No. 1? Really? "I'd rank us Number One because we've played tough teams," says Longhorn running back Phil Brown. That's pushing it a bit, but Texas does deserve to be somewhere in the Top 20.