USC's upset of Penn State lends credence to Paterno's worries

September 16, 1991|By Jeff Fletcher

After Penn State routed Cincinnati, 81-0, a week earlier, Joe Paterno was worried. As it turned out, he had reason to be.

His Nittany Lions (2-1) were upset, 21-10, by Southern Cal (1-1) on Saturday night in Los Angeles.

"I was worried about the one-sided win and that we were not anywhere near as precise as we had been going into the Georgia Tech game [Penn State's opening-game win]," Paterno said.

"Nothing mystical or magical happened here," he said. "SC just played good, tough football."

* SAN DIEGO STATE: An injury to a starter paved the way for San Diego State freshman Marshall Faulk's sweep into the record book.

Faulk set an NCAA record with 386 yards rushing on 37 carries and scored seven touchdowns Saturday night in the Aztecs' 55-34 victory over Pacific in San Diego.

Faulk didn't get his first carry until late in the first quarter, when he replaced T.C. Wright.

"After that third touchdown, I said to myself, 'Golly, stuff like this doesn't happen to a freshman,' " said Faulk, who got his break when Wright went out with a thigh injury. "I also told myself, 'Keep playing harder and harder. Do it one more time, one more time.' "

* FLORIDA: Maybe coach Steve Spurrier should have gone out on a limb. Fifth-ranked Florida's defense would have backed him up.

Still angry that a Birmingham, Ala., columnist wrote that Spurrier had predicted a 30-point victory over Alabama, the Gators coach refused to acknowledge the controversy even after watching the Gators (2-0) roll over the Crimson Tide (1-1), 35-0, Saturday night in Gainesville, Fla.

"I didn't predict a big margin," Spurrier said. "I did tell a group of Golden Gators, some guys who are over 70 years old, that if we were able to beat them that we'd dedicate the game to them. They had never seen the Gators beat Alabama here."

* TOWSON STATE: In its 10-8 loss to Boston University on Saturday night, Towson State had an offensive night to forget.

The Tigers (0-1) set school records by attempting only three passes, completing one and gaining 8 yards through the air. The last time Towson came close to such numbers was in 1981, when the Tigers completed two of 14 passes for 31 yards in a loss to C.W. Post.

Coach Phil Albert said yesterday that the team will need not only a major offensive improvement, but also help on defense when the Tigers meet Delaware State Saturday.

"Our defense is going to have to make a 180-degree turn preparing for Delaware State," Albert said, referring to the different styles between Boston and Delaware State.

* MORGAN STATE: After losing its first three games -- the most recent by a 38-6 score on Saturday night against Bethune-Cookman in Daytona Beach, Fla. -- Morgan State now has the pleasure of meeting one of the top Division I-AA teams in the country.

Youngstown State, which finished in the I-AA top 10 last season, just had its 15-game, regular-season winning streak ended on Saturday by Delaware State. If the Bears are to stretch the Penguins' losing streak to two, they will have to improve on the 558 yards of total offense they gave up Saturday.

MEAC standings

Conference Overall

.. .. .. .. W.. .. L.. ..T.. ..W.. ..L.. ..T

Beth.-C'man..2.. .. 0.. ..0.. ..2.. ..1.. ..0

Howard.. ... 1.. .. 0.. ..0.... 2.. ..0.. ..0

N.C. A&T.. ..1.. .. 0.. ..0.. ..2.. ..1.. ..0

S.C. State...0.. .. 0.. ..0.. ..1.. ..0.. ..0

Dela. State..0.. .. 1.. ..0.. ..1.. ..1.. ..0

Florida A&M. 0.. .. 1.. ..0.. ..1.. ..1.. ..0

Morgan State 0.. .. 2.. ..0.. ..0.. ..3.. ..0

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