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SPOTLIGHT: SATURDAY’S GAMES AT A GLANCE : WORLD 1, WEAVER 0

Complied by Elliott Almond

Scott Weaver, Illinois’ redshirt freshman quarterback, was full of braggadocio last week when he said: “I’m ready to take on the world.”

Missouri brought Weaver back to earth rather quickly. Weaver was sacked four times, had two passes intercepted and lost a fumble as the Tigers routed the Illini, 31-3.

USE YOUR ILLUSION

In Columbia, S.C., they probably don’t know the difference between a longhair from Altoona, Pa., and a couple of hirsute rockers from Los Angeles. That’s why South Carolina quarterback Steve Taneyhill, hair hanging out the back of his helmet and fake diamond studs in each ear, is said to have a Guns N’ Roses appearance.

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Group leader Axl Rose, and guitarist Slash would be surprised by the comparisons. Taneyhill, a 6-foot-5 passer with a mouth, isn’t exactly sporting body tattoos, after all.

Still, there is something to be said for the unconventional sophomore, who was found acting like a rock star last week. Taneyhill, 20, was arrested at an off-campus party and charged with underage possession of alcohol.

He was sentenced to 30 hours working with children to clear his record.

It wasn’t the first time Taneyhill was in trouble. When he arrived at Columbia last fall, Taneyhill got into a scuffle at a tavern because some locals teased him about his long hair.

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Coach Sparky Woods told him, “If your hair turns into a problem, I’ll ask you to cut it.”

He never questioned the fact his 19-year-old freshman was in a bar. And Gamecock officials didn’t think of suspending their star quarterback for a game because of last Sunday’s arrest.

Taneyhill started against Arkansas, but South Carolina managed only three yards in the fourth quarter and blew an 11-point lead in an 18-17 loss.

HE KEEPS ON RUNNING

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Perry Klein continues his wayward travels. After a prep career that led him from Palisades to Carson to Santa Monica highs, Klein left Cal and is throwing footballs at C.W. Post on Long Island, N.Y.

Klein completed 22 of 50 passes for 361 yards and two touchdowns as the Posters lost to Wagner, 27-21.

LIFE’S THE PITTS

Before the season, Coach Johnny Majors said of his coaching return to Pittsburgh: “We are thin, painfully thin, in depth and talent. Every team I’ve ever coached, you could look on the schedule and know there were three or four teams you should beat . . . but this is the first time I can truthfully say I don’t know who we should beat.”

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The Panthers then gave Majors a welcome home gift with a 14-10 upset victory over Southern Mississippi last week.

But Majors obviously knew something. Virginia Tech stomped Pittsburgh, 63-21, in the Panthers’ second outing.

POLISHING THE DOME

Knute Rockne. Paul Hornung. Joe Montana. Rudy Ruettiger. Right, Rudy Ruettiger is part of Notre Dame lore, although he played just 27 seconds for the Irish.

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Ruettiger’s inspirational story has been well known in South Bend for years, but it will receive a wider audience when the movie “Rudy” is released next month.

The movie is based on Ruettiger, who as a 27-year-old walk-on played for 27 seconds against Georgia Tech in 1975.

LOOK WHO’S TALKING

Listen to those chest-beating Clemson Tigers before Saturday’s 57-0 loss to No. 1 Florida State.

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Running back Rodney Blunt: “If you watch some of our films, we’re a dominant team also. We don’t fear any team.”

Defensive tackle Brentson Buckner: “All (Charlie Ward’s) got to be worried about is 6-foot-3, 300 pounds coming at him full speed every play.”

Ward was so scared he passed for 317 yards and four touchdowns in three quarters as the Seminoles handed No. 21 Clemson its worst defeat in 62 years.

LEAVE IT TO BEAVERS

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He’s 6-2, 232 pounds. Has 4% body fat. Can bench press 375 pounds. Can squat 750. Has a 33-inch vertical jump. Runs the 40-yard dash in 4.6 seconds. He’s Oklahoma’s single-season sack leader.

Aubrey Beavers, a Sooner linebacker from Houston, is being touted as a big-time player.

“Beavers epitomizes the George Thorogood song, “Bad to the Bone,” said John Hadley, editor of Lindy’s Football.

After the Sooner defense shut down No. 5 Texas A&M;, 44-14, Beavers told the Daily Oklahoman, “They tried to run over us. We had to be men.”

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REUNITED

The Stanford-San Jose State game featured a coaching reunion of sorts for the Cardinal’s Bill Walsh and Spartans’ John Ralston. Here was Walsh, a San Jose State alumnus and assistant at Cal years ago, facing Ralston, who graduated from Cal and coached Stanford to Rose Bowl victories in 1971 and 1972.

When Ralston became Stanford’s coach in 1963 he gave Walsh his first full-time coaching job. And when Walsh became coach of the San Francisco 49ers in 1979 he hired Ralston as the club’s general manager.

Furthermore, Stanford offensive coordinator Terry Shea, Walsh’s top assistant, coached San Jose State for two years and led the Spartans to a Big West Conference title in 1991. Shea was the first assistant hired when Walsh returned to Stanford last year. With the San Jose position open, it was Walsh who recommended Ralston for the job.

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“John is just an inspirational guy, just irrepressible,” Walsh told Art Spander of the San Francisco Examiner.

Ralston recounted to Spander: "(Walsh) had ideas on top of his ideas. But they were so hard to imagine fitting into what we were doing.”

Not surprisingly, Walsh and Ralston were in the middle of an entertaining game Saturday. Steve Stenstrom of El Toro completed 30 of 39 passes without an interception for 330 yards and four touchdowns as No. 23 Stanford won, 31-28.

NOTEWORTHY

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Charles Johnson, Colorado wide receiver, scored three first-half touchdowns and had six catches for 151 yards in the half as the Buffaloes routed Baylor, 45-21.

Wyoming wide receiver Ryan Yarborough became the 14th player in NCAA history to gain 3,000 receiving yards and scored the go-ahead touchdown with 1:17 left in the Cowboys’ 45-42 victory over Northern Iowa.

Cal’s defense, which handled UCLA’s ground game last week, stifled Marshall Faulk of San Diego State in the Bears’ 45-25 victory. Faulk, the NCAA rushing champion the past two seasons, was held to 64 yards in 22 carries. It was his lowest output since his freshman debut against Cal State Long Beach on Sept. 8, 1991.

North Carolina gained 714 yards against Maryland, breaking the school mark of 675 against Virginia Military Institute in 1969.

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David Palmer of Alabama set a school record with 217 receiving yards on eight catches as the No. 2 Crimson Tide defeated Vanderbilt, 17-6.

Steve McNair accounted for 570 yards, including the game-winning 50-yard touchdown pass, in Alcorn State’s 44-41 victory over Texas Southern.

It was a great day to play two in Pennsylvania: Washington & Jefferson defeated Franklin & Marshall, 14-7.

QUOTE WORTHY

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Ramblings from beleaguered Coach Lou Holtz, before No. 11 Notre Dame beat No. 3 Michigan, 27-23:

-- “Nothing is as good as it seems and nothing is as bad as it seems. Somewhere in between there, reality falls.”

-- “The thing you cannot forget is that there isn’t anything wrong with winning ugly. As a matter of fact there isn’t anything wrong with being ugly--as long as you’re successful.” Wishful thinking from Coach Spike Dykes of Texas Tech after his Red Raiders were beaten by No. 9 Nebraska, 50-27: “I don’t know if we could have won but we could have been there at the end.” After losing to Virginia, 38-0, Coach George Chaump of Navy said with a straight face: “Our defense stopped them better than I ever dreamed we would .”

Air Force Coach Fisher DeBerry, after his team lost to Colorado State, 8-5: “I anticipated that our offense would be a lot better.”

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