The Courier-Journal from Louisville, Kentucky on November 4, 1979 · Page 9
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The Courier-Journal from Louisville, Kentucky · Page 9

Louisville, Kentucky
Issue Date:
Sunday, November 4, 1979
Page 9
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V THE COURIER-JOURNAL, SUNDAY, NOVEMBER 4, 1979 C 7 UNIVERSITY OF LOUISVILLE FOOTBALL Titanic defensive struggle leaves U of L with 10-10 tie ; By MIKE SULLIVAN Courier-Journal Staff Writer Maybe Southern Mississippi and Lou-. isville deserved what they got yesterday ; before 13,085 college football fans at Fairgrounds Stadium. ' Neither defense deserved to walk away a loser. Neither offense had the consistency of a winner. But, please, do not dredge up that "kissing-your-sister" cliche when discussing the 10-10 tie that left Louisville 4-3-1, Southern Miss 5-3-1, and both teams' players black and blue. fTU tell you this," Southern Miss quarterback Dane McDaniel said between grunts of pain as he slowly unrolled his socks. "That team got on our butts at the opening whistle and hasn't let up yet. They're just somethin', boy. They just got after our ." Obviously, McDaniel whose scrambling and passing helped the visitors erase a 10-7 deficit on Winston Walker's field goal in the fourth quarter had his own way to describe this tie. Something along the line of, "A tie is like having your sister set fire to you and push you into a trash compacter." However, certain U of L fans may recommend that Scott Gannon, U of L's freshman quarterback, be forced to personally try out a new cliche: "A tie is like kissing a porcupine on the tail." That would be unkind, although Gannon who threw four interceptions and missed several open receivers felt guilty enough to volunteer. "I wasn't tight, but the ball was sailing on me," Gannon said. "It was some kind of physical error, because I wasn't throwing to the wrong areas. But I couldn't bring the ball down, all day. I just threw terribly. But we're going to correct the problem. I'll be back." Several boo-birds may not be thrilled about that, because they expressed displeasure when Gannon came back yesterday after being replaced briefly by Stu Stram in the second quarter, and again in the fourth quarter, after being replaced briefly by Pat Patterson. "People booed when I sent Stram back into some games this year," coach Vince Gibson said. "Maybe if I'd switched (permanently) to Stu, the little rascal would have come through. But Scott started poorly in our last game and came back strong. I stayed with Stu the same way early in his career." Even Gibson, though, had to disagree with Gannon's plea that, at least, he hadn't thrown to the wrong zones. "I had Dave Betz ready to try a long field goal there in the final minute, when Scott was intercepted," Gibson said. "Scott threw for the wrong man, I thought. He threw to Randy Butler, but Marc Wilson was wide open." Southern Mississippi's Art Newberry leaped in front of Butler and picked off the third-down pass at the eight-yard line. In the 51 seconds that remained, neither team found a miracle. If Gannon had thrown an incomple-tion or even flopped onto the ground on that fateful play, it would have been fourth-and-eight at the Southern Miss 34-yard line. Betz, U of L's "long" field-goal specialist, would have had a chance to kick from 52 yards or so. "Let's not forget that our offense was playing against a magnificent defense," Gibson said. "It was incredible, really, that our kids fought and hung in there throughout the fourth quarter. Southern Miss had all the field position, but we just wouldn't cave in. There was only Does U of L l support merit a top team? Continued from Page 1, this section schedule. As Gibson said after yesterday's 10-10 tie, "We proved we could play big-time football." . And you could understand yesterday's lousy crowd if the weather had been terrible or if the opponent had been Pushover U. or Dogmeat Tech or somebody like that. But yesterday was a crisp, breezy fall day, and the team that U of L tied was the same one that had drubbed Ole Miss and Mississippi State, and come within a play or two of beating unbeaten Florida State. "To tell you the truth, I thought they were more physical than Florida State," said Otis Wilson, the U of L linebacker that has the pro scouts drooling. "They were a helluva team." And still, the crowd was 13,085 in a metropolitan area of almost a million people. The part of the stadium under roof was less than half full. Across the way, the rows and rows of empty seats gleamed in the aluminum stands. Those are the seats, of course, where there are supposed to be students. U of L has , more than 17,000 students, but the library yesterday probably had greater ; occupancy than the student section. Was Gibson disappointed with yester day s non-crowd? "No, that's not my job," he said. "I just coach 'em and do the best I can with what I got. They told me when they hired me to bring 'em a team that can play big-time football. If people aren't proud of this team, something's wrong." The no-shows who were out yesterday shopping or raking leaves or watching ; TV or playing golf whatever it is that citizens of Louisville find more interest-'. ing than watching the U of L football ; team missed an interesting, albeit se-) riously flawed, football game. Going into the game, the Cardinals I were a 10-point underdog and Gibson was talking about the visitors as if they I were the Pittsburgh Steelers. ; But Wilson, Jeff Henry, Ricky Skiles, 1 Eddie Johnson and the rest of the U of L defense came up with what Skiles lat-. er called the team's best defensive ef- fort of his career. The same offense that generated 38 points against Ole I Miss and 21 against Mississippi State ! ! x r '' r7jU : ff ... ..-v . Vwv J ill... . 1 1r ; 7X x 'tfs If 7 W, -A V . .- k Iff iqy ' . - :r: . ' , y" '" """ -' ' - "SsSSSSSWlStf -f - - - - m M, 'SjLIrJ : tig? mm, "iNT UHmmmt .,....,.,.! Ta.r,1,--,ii.imi,wlnr-l,,.ili-ii,il.Si , jllHf,..!, iii.i.iMnii i,M,.i ,.T, - MionnmntiMMii lliiiiniMMiniiiimii mrf - ' iiltl ' I - A University David O'Dom one touchdown by each team and those were by the kick teams!" True. Southern Miss bulled ahead 7-0 thanks to Ricky Floyd's two-yard run early in the second quarter. But that TD capped a "drive" of 12 yards in five plays, made possible when U of L's Jamie Perrin fumbled a punt and Jim Brown recovered for the visitors. It took Louisville only 12 seconds, though, to strike back. Senior Greg Searcy gathered in the ensuing kickoff on his 11-yard line, slithered straight up the middle behind a block from freshman Mark Clayton, and romped 89 yards for U of L's first kickoff-return touchdown since 1972. Searcy added a flourish by taunting pursuer Hanford Dixon over the last 15 yards or so. "He and I had been getting into it pretty good all day," Searcy said. "I knew I had enough of a lead, and I wanted to mess with his head a little. I said, 'Come on, come on.' He's a heck of a player, though." Junior Matt Mager, who tied matters The University of Louisville's Jeff Henry (58) wore a determined look at he tried to fight off a blocker and get to Southern Mississippi full was stopped cold by U of L. The visitors got a paltry seven first downs rushing. In fact. Southern Mississippi's only touchdown was a gift. Late in the first quarter, U of L's Jamie Perrin fumbled a punt on his team's 12-yard line and the Eagles were quick to capitalize on the opportunity. "The defensive effort was great today," Gibson said. "We had opportunities to win more than they did. It was us who dropped the pass in the end zone, us who missed the field goal. We just couldn't execute offensively." Indeed, the Cardinal offense and its of Louisville defender knocked Soputhern Mississippi's off his feet a bit too late in yesterday's game in Fair at 7-7 with the extra point, earned some glory for himself with just nine seconds left in the first half by booming a 44-yard field goal, the longest of his career. That ended a drive that started on U of L's 20 and reached the Southern Miss 27 in nine plays, the big ones a 20-yard run by Greg Hickman on a draw, and two screen passses from Gannon to Bo Haden, one for 25 yards and one for 20. "If we had stopped No. 44 (Hickman) on that draw, they never would have kicked the field goal," said Southern Statistics SOUTHERN MISSISSIPPI 0 7 0 3-10 LOUISVILLE 0 10 0 0-10 Southern Miss. - Floyd 2 run (Walker Kick) Louisvillt Searcy 89 kickoff return (Mager kick) Louisville - FG Mager 44 Southern Miss. - FG Walker 22 A-13,085 Southern U of L First downs 10 10 Rushes-yards 59-191 46-119 Passing yards v 57 58 Return yards 51 -e freshman quarterback, Scott Gannon, were ineffective against a Southern Miss defense that was almost as fierce as U of L's. The Cards' only TD came on an 80-yard kickoff return. In 24 passing attempts, Gannon threw almost as many interceptions (4) as completions (5). Afterwards, the second-guessers were wondering why Gibson didn't give his most experienced quarterback, Stu Stram, a chance to get the offense going. The 5-foot-8 senior played only a single series of downs late in the first half. Miss linebacker Fred McLaughlin. "It was third-and-12 on that one. We had poor defensive recognition on the screen passes. We were flat today." Southern Miss, though, might have been flattened if Mager had been able to try a field goal 654 minutes prior to the one he made. U of L, starting at the enemy 37 after a fumble recovery by Leon Williams, fought its way to the eight-yard line in nine plays. But the 10th was a fake field-goal attempt with Gannon, the Passes , 5-10-0 5-24-4 Punts 10-38 8-38 Fumbles-lost 4-3 2-1 Penalties-yards 2-29 2-20 INDIVIDUALS RUSHING - Southern Miss., Winder 22-120, Jones 10-36, Floyd 8-24. Louisville, Hickman 14-87, Haden 21-65, Gannon 8-mlnus 8. PASSING - Southern Miss., McDaniel 5-10-0. Louisville, Gannon 5-24-4. RECEIVING Southern Mitt., Taylor 4-53. Louisville, Haden 4-46, Word 1-12. back Willie Corner in yesterday's game. The U of L defense performed well, but the Cardinals could must only enough offense for a 10-10 tie. "Yeah, deep down inside I was expecting it (playing time at the end)," Stram said. "I think I could have helped. But it was coach Gibson's decision. What can you do?" You would think the Cardinals would have been delighted with a tie, but they weren't. They knew they had outplayed Southern Mississippi, so there were frowns and sniffles and frustration in the locker room. In his remarks to the players just after they came off the field, Gibson said: "You fought hard, you deserved to win. . . . I'm really proud of you." grounds Stadium. O'Dom had already lateraled the ball to Hanford Dixon (19) . O'Dom got the ball by intercepting a U of L pass. holder, passing to fullback Lawrence Mack in the end zone. Mack dropped the ball. "It was very catchable," Gibson said. "Lawrence threw his arm out to grab the ball. He had time to turn and wrap it in his stomach." Most of that sort of thing, though, was attended to by monsters such as Louisville linebacker Otis Wilson and Southern Miss defensive tackle J. J. Stewart, who spent the afternoon wrapping ballcarriers in their stomachs or simply rapping them in the head. The ultimate defensive dream was a 48-yard punt by Betz that Perrin managed to down at the visitors' four-inch line early in the third quarter. Southern Miss punted from its own eight and Louisville, in business 40 yards from the end zone, struggled to the enemy 17. Even though Searcy was nailed for a nine-yard loss on a third-down flanker reverse, Mager still was left with a 34-yard field-goal try. It was wide right. The visitors then started the 11-play, Staff Photo by Jobb Harris After two straight games on the road, the Cardinals end their season here on Sunday, Nov. 25, against Rutgers. That's the same Rutgers that beat Tennessee yesterday in Knoxville. In some places, two such good teams would draw 50,000 or more. In apathetic Louisville, Gibson and his superb defense will have to go out and gang-tackle people to get them into the stadium. That's a shame. And it makes you wonder if Louisville really wants or deserves to have first-class college football. Staff Photo by Jtbb Harrlt 69-yard thrust that ended with Walker's tying 22-yard field goal on the first play of the fourth quarter. A tremendous break for U of L came when Wilson and Eddie Johnson smeared Floyd for a loss of four yards on third-and-goal at the U of L one-yard line, forcing Southern Miss to settle for the three points. A tremendous break for Southern Miss had come earlier in the drive, near midfield, when McDaniel somehow escaped a monster blitz and turned a possible 12-yard loss into a four-yard pass completion. Southern Miss hogged the ball after that, until the finest moment by the U of L defense created some field position for the U of L offense. Going for a first down on fourth-and-one at U of L's 45, Floyd was slammed down inches short, giving the home team possession with 4:36 remaining. - Haden ran for seven yards, and Gannon hit Gary Nord with a 12-yard pass before Newberry's interception ended the bloody fun for everybody. Heflin passes Vanderbilt to first win Associated Press NASHVILLE, Tenn. Junior quarterback Van Heflin passed for a touchdown and kicker Mike Woodard booted two fourth-quarter field goals yesterday to lead Vanderbilt to a 13-3 homecoming victory over Memphis State University in a nonconference game. The win was the first in eight starts this season for Vanderbilt, of the Southeastern Conference, while Memphis State, an independent, slipped to 3-5. Vanderbilt's only touchdown, which came with 4:02 remaining to play in the first half, was set up on a 57-yard pass Louisville will play Memphis State at 2:30 p.m. Saturday in Memphis; Kentucky will play Vanderbilt in Nashville at 2:30' from Heflin to senior flanker Preston Brown, the SEC's leading pass receiver. Two plays later, Heflin found junior running back Terry Potter all alone in the corner of the end zone and connected for a 4-yard scoring pass. ; - Woodard kicked a conversion, making the score 7-0 at halftime. ; A shanked punt that went 19 yards combined with a 15-yard personal-foul penalty against Vanderbilt to bring Memphis State to Vanderbilt's 3-yard line early in the third period. A third-down fumble by freshman quarterback Darrell Martin, recovered by teammate Richard Locke, resulted in a nine-yard loss and Rusty Bennett kicked a 28-yard field goal for Memphis State. Woodard got the first of his field goals midway in the final period when he booted the ball 28 yards through the uprights. He made good on another a few minutes later, this one from 20 yards out to cap all scoring. MEMPHIS STATE 0 3 0-3 VANDERBILT 0 1 0 6-11 Van Potter 4 pass from Heflin (Woodard kick); MSU-FG Bennett 28; Van-FG Woodard 28; Van-FG Woodard 20. - A-28,900 ' MomphisState Vandy First downs 18 14 Rushes-yards 51-105 45-173 Passing yards 131 11 Return yards '2 29 Passes U-M-5 Punts 2-36 7-JT Fumbles-lost 7-0 4-1 Penalties-yards '-5 S-35

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