The first serious Heisman contender from South Dakota, Heupel, son of an Aberdeen, S.D., football coach is probably the best football player produced in that state since former Ram quarterback Norm Van Brocklin.

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You Have to Hit Keyshawn

On the Tampa Bay team, the Buccaneers are also ruled by a defensive expert, Tony Dungy; but the difference between him and Oklahoma's Coach Stoops is that Dungy has never seen a pass offense he likes.

Until, perhaps, the other day.

It was a good omen for Tampa when Dungy allowed King to throw the passes that dethroned the NFL's last undefeated team, Minnesota.

During the offseason, Dungy and his front office had shown the good sense to bring in Keyshawn Johnson, who, although Tampa hasn't seen much of him this season, ranks up there with Buffalo's Eric Moulds, the Rams' Isaac Bruce and a few others on the list of the NFL's leading wide receivers.

When a good one like Keyshawn is double-covered, however, you have to fire the ball to him anyway, sometimes, as Buffalo quarterback Doug Flutie did occasionally this week when Moulds made the catches that turned back the New York Jets, 23-20.

One superior Flutie-Moulds play was, on both ends, among the season's most spectacular.

As a quarterback, Flutie is one of the NFL's great clutch players, but King isn't bad, and when King went to Keyshawn six times in the Minnesota game, for 121 yards, it had to have been a learning experience for the Tampa coaching staff.

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Trojans Most Influential

Pro Football Weekly's reporters recently scouted all 31 NFL locker rooms and identified the most influential players on each team, whereupon they paid a rare tribute to USC football.

Although the Trojans are having their problems this season, they produced three All-Americans in other seasons who have gone on to unusual distinction on three different pro clubs.

Named their teams' most influential players this fall--on the field as well as in the locker room--were former Trojans Willie McGinest, New England's standout defensive lineman; Tony Boselli, Jacksonville's all-time all-pro offensive lineman, and Bruce Matthews, who for 18 years has been one of the NFL's great offensive linemen for the old Houston Oilers, who are now the new Tennessee Titans.

On other teams, there were some obvious choices--linebacker Junior Seau at San Diego, running back Emmitt Smith at Dallas, quarterback Brett Favre at Green Bay, tight end Shannon Sharpe at Baltimore--but there were some surprises too.

It turns out that Atlanta's most influential player is running back Jamal Anderson, Oakland's is offensive lineman Lincoln Kennedy, and Washington's is its newest defensive lineman, Bruce Smith, who won out over a locker room full of team leaders.

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When It Hurts to Win

The worst thing that could have happened to Cincinnati, which lost its first six games this season under former Coach Bruce Coslet, has happened: