Desert Swarm claimed another victim at Champaign, Ill., where defense-minded Arizona beat Illinois, 16-14. In case anyone there noticed.
The Wildcats, who entered the game allowing 158 yards a game, fewest in the nation, got a pair of touchdowns when linebacker Sean Harris and lineman Jim Hoffman returned fumbles for scores. Hoffman’s came when he grabbed the ball after Illini quarterback Scott Weaver was leveled at the Illinois 46.
“I thought it got called back because it was so quiet,” Hoffman said. “But I forgot we were playing at Illinois. If we were in Tucson the fans would have been screaming.”
They’ll have to wait until at least Oct. 2, when USC goes to Arizona Stadium. Next week Arizona is at Oregon State.
“I hope we will not see a defense like that again,” Illinois Coach Lou Tepper said. “It was intimidating. This is not the kind of defense you want to put a young offense up against.”
NOT A BAD START
Wisconsin built a 21-0 lead against Iowa State, then won, 28-7. Camp Randall Stadium (capacity: 77,745) was sold out for the first time since 1985. The Badgers, apparently no longer the BAD-gers, had two runners break the 100-yard barrier in the same game for the first time in four years. They are 3-0.
“To be 3-0 was our goal,” said Brent Moss, who had 104 yards and three touchdowns in 21 carries. “The Big Ten is a whole new season but we feel pretty good about what we’ve been able to do so far.”
Now for reality. Wisconsin also opened 1991 with three consecutive nonconference wins, then finished 5-6. The Badgers get Michigan and Ohio State back-to-back this season, Oct. 30 and Nov. 6, though both are at Camp Randall. They don’t play Penn State.
California wants respect and a higher ranking.
California (3-0) added a 58-0 thrashing of Temple to a 27-25 victory over UCLA and a convincing 45-25 defeat of San Diego State last week.
“I thought we were much better than people gave us credit for,” Coach Keith Gilbertson said. “But we still have something to prove.”
Gilbertson said he “couldn’t tell you” how the beating of Temple might affect next week’s rankings.
“All I know is that I’m worried about the last ratings nine weeks from now.”
--Spence Fischer had his second 300-yard passing performance in as many weeks to help Duke end an eight-game losing streak with a 42-21 victory over Army at Durham, N.C. Fischer, who passed for 333 yards in a loss at Rutgers last weekend, completed 29 of 36 passes for 357 yards and three touchdowns against the Cadets.
--Sherman Williams topped 100 yards rushing for the third game in a row and Jay Barker set a Southeastern Conference mark for most consecutive victories by a quarterback as No. 2 Alabama routed Arkansas, 43-3, at Tuscaloosa, Ala. The Crimson Tide has won 26 consecutive games, with Barker running the offense for 20. That breaks the record of 19 wins in a row by LSU’s Warren Rabb from 1957-59.
--Miami’s 21-2 victory over Virginia Tech was the Hurricanes’ 52nd consecutive win at the Orange Bowl and their 29th consecutive regular-season win.
--Florida extended the nation’s second-longest home win streak to 20 games by beating Tennessee, 41-34.
--Florida State linebacker Derrick Brooks scored a touchdown for the third game in a row on a 49-yard interception return as the top-ranked Seminoles beat North Carolina, 33-7. Brooks also scored on an interception return against Duke and a fumble recovery against Clemson.
OUT OF TUNE
Notre Dame, which struggled on the ground for two weeks, used eight backs against Michigan State at South Bend, Ind., and grinded out 269 yards rushing in a 36-14 victory. None was better than Randy Kinder, who ran 12 times for 94 yards, going through gaping holes on his way to the best game of the season by an Irish back.
His 23-yard run set up Kevin Pendergast’s second field goal for a 19-7 lead with 9:28 left in the third quarter. His 33-yard run in the fourth quarter helped set up Kevin McDougal’s 12-yard scoring pass to Lee Becton for a 36-7 lead.
Incidentally, Kinder was a high school star not far from Michigan State’s campus in East Lansing.
“It was a special game for me,” said Kinder, who had only 27 yards on seven carries before Saturday. “It was neat running against the green and white. I caught myself singing their fight song a little bit.”
POST IN, MRS. ASHER
Could Louisville quarterback Jeff Brohm have been any better against Arizona State? His top receiver didn’t think so.
“He’s so accurate, right on the numbers, my mom could have caught the ball,” Jamie Asher said.
Brohm led Louisville (3-0) to a 35-17 victory and its best start since 1972. He passed for two touchdowns, ran for another and completed 26 of 38 for 331 yards.
NOT SO SPECIAL
It’s one thing to get kicked when you’re down, quite another to kick yourself. But Colorado State, with a chance to beat No. 19 BYU at Ft. Collins, Colo., suffered a season’s worth of special-teams breakdowns, especially with the kicking game, and lost, 27-22.
Colorado State fumbled away the opening kickoff, kicked two short punts that BYU converted into scores, had two field-goal attempts blocked, had one punt blocked, and missed an extra point. The missed extra point forced the Rams to go for a two-point conversion after their last touchdown, and that also failed.
“The one thing that is killing us is our kicking game,” Colorado State Coach Sonny Lubick said. “That’s obvious. If we make a field goal, a kick here or there, an extra point--everything is a little bit different. This is the second week I’ve come in here and talked about that.
“Our kickers have got to make those field goals when we are down in there, from 25 to 30 yards. They have to be givens.”
Countered BYU Coach LaVell Edwards: “Our special teams made some of the biggest plays. Those are plays you can’t count on.”
The game was played in intermittent rain in the first half, and officials ordered the teams off the field for three minutes in the first quarter because of lightning.
STICKS AND STONES . . .
It was just like most football games. The taunting and verbal cheap shots common on most Saturdays were present when New Mexico and Fresno State met at Albuquerque, N.M.
Except that much of the verbal sparring flowed not on the field but from the stands, where New Mexico fans took shots at Bulldog Coach Jim Sweeney all night. Seems they were bothered by Sweeney applauding on the sidelines in 1991 as his team piled up score after score in a 94-17 victory and when the Bulldogs won, 68-21, three years earlier and Sweeney called the Lobos a “BAAAD” team.
After Fresno’s 41-24 victory, Sweeney said the occasional “Sweeney’s a weenie” chant hardly bothered him.
“Sure, I heard it, especially in the first half and after halftime (when the Lobos had a 24-17 lead),” he said.
“But I heard it less and less in the fourth quarter.”
After allowing New Mexico to score on four of six first-half drives, the Fresno State defense shut out the Lobos, intercepting two Stoney Case passes and allowing only 128 yards.
“As far as the team was concerned, the fans calling our coach names is pure trivia,” Bulldog quarterback Trent Dilfer said. “None of those beer-drinking guys knows what it’s like to play football. And most of them were gone by the third quarter.”
Arkansas Coach Danny Ford, a former Crimson Tide player whose homecoming in Tuscaloosa, Ala., was ruined as Alabama rolled, 43-3: “It was the longest second half in my life. They probably could have scored 100 and I’m aware of that. One day we will play them and give them a good football game.”
Alabama Coach Gene Stallings on cornerback Antonio Langham: “He shows he has the ability to make the plays. He made the plays in high school, he has made them here at Alabama and I am sure he will make them in the NFL.”
Offensive coordinator Bob Toledo, after quarterback Corey Pullig regained his passing touch to lead Texas A&M; to a 73-0 win over Missouri a week after the Aggies lost to Oklahoma, 44-14: “We took a lot of shots after what happened in the Oklahoma game. Corey responded to all the criticism he had. A lot of people who gave up on him are going to be jumping back on the bandwagon.”
Ditto from Texas A&M; Coach R.C. Slocum: “I told the team before the game you don’t win 22 straight regular season games and back-to-back conference championships unless you have some character. We showed some today.”
Miami quarterback Frank Costa, still not totally pleased with the 21-2 win over Virginia Tech: “We’re stopping ourselves with penalties and dropped balls, which is uncharacteristic of University of Miami teams in the past. For two games we’ve been dropping balls, and we just can’t have it.”
Also from Costa: “I took a lot of hits, the most I can remember in a long time--I guess since early in high school.”