Cornhuskers roll on; Bulldogs still bite; two hard-to-swallow defeats
At the turn of the century, Michigan's ''Point-A-Minute'' team turned heads with its scoring prowess. Top-ranked Nebraska is certainly doing the same this year with what one writer has called ''The Greatest Show on Turf.''
In fact, some quick math reveals that the Cornhuskers are scoring almost two points each minute they have the ball. Their point total after 10 games is 529, their possession time just over 281 minutes. In other words, Nebraska is scoring with amazing suddenness. For example, every 112 seconds against Minnesota and seven times in 18 plays against Colorado.
The chief purveyors of this onslaught are running back Mike Rozier, quarterback Turner Gill, and wingback Irving Fryar. Heisman Trophy voters have a weakness for running backs with big yardage, so Rozier is probably going to be selected the nation's best player. After all, he leads the country with 165.8 yards per game on only 21 carries, which is far below the 30 to 35 normal for Heisman candidates.
Turner Gill has been equally spectacular, but because he doesn't throw that often his statistics don't appear in the NCAA statistics. With a couple more attempts, though, he would be listed among the nation's most efficient passers. Fryar, his chief receiver, has a 21.4 yards-per-catch average.
It's very conceivable that all three will finish among the Heisman's top 10 vote getters (Rozier was 10th last year). If that happens, it would mark the best showing by one school since Nebraska's Johnny Rodgers and Rich Glover finished first and third in 1972.
* The University of Massachusetts was dealt one of the more excruciating losses of last week. It rang up a clear statistical superiority (433 to 235 yards in total offense), but could not stop Lehigh, a 21-20 victor, when it counted.In the waning minutes, Lehigh marched 80 yards on a touchdown drive that included three successful fourth-down plays. A two-point conversion won the game.
Florida couldn't feel too good about the way it lost to Georgia, either. With the Gators moving in for what might have been a game-clinching touchdown, Georgia intercepted the ball at the one yard-line, then marched 99 yards for the winning points.
* If there was ever any doubt, there isn't now: Georgia is a good team even without Herschel Walker. Though they tied Clemson in the season's second game, the fourth-ranked Bulldogs are still undefeated. On Saturday they meet third-ranked Auburn in what stacks up as the Southeastern Conference game of the year. Georgia hasn't lost to an SEC opponent since a defeat to Auburn in 1979.
* Arizona and UCLA will square off in college football's version of ''Good Morning, America'' this Saturday. The Pacific-10 rivals will tee it up at 10:30 a.m. in Tucson, an unusually early starting time necessitated by TV. ABC is using its late-afternoon time slot to carry the Auburn-Georgia showdown, which means CBS must issue a wake-up call to put the Westerners on its national game.
* Coach Jack Bicknell says that all the conjecturing about Boston College's bowl possibilities threatens to drive him up the wall. The Boston papers are filled with it, but Bicknell is concentrating on only one thing - beating Syracuse Saturday. He feels the Carrier Dome gives Syracuse one of the country's most significant home field advantages. ''Playing indoors is very, very difficult. The noise is deafening and the air doesn't circulate, making it like a Southern game.We'll wear our mesh jerseys and have all sorts of water available.''
* Talk about an off year, the Pac-10 Conference didn't place a single team among last week's UPI Top 20 and only one (Washington) this week. UCLA, the conference leader, was shut off the chart, primarily because of three early intersectional losses.
* Northwestern, which broke a long losing streak last season, isn't out of the woods yet. Michigan State held the Wildcats to a minus 47 yards in rushing offense in last Saturday's 9-3 defeat.