Texas Christian, a loser in its last 13 football games and winner twice in its last 37, may have found the way to reverse the tide: outnumber'em.
"I've been on the bench two weeks and the coaches are saying to make something happen," said reserve linebacker Steve Barker. "I'm tired of staying on the bench and seeing people on the field going through the motions. I wanted to tackle him, damn right."
Tackle Kenny Bryant of Oregon he did. Bryant was en route to a 97-yard touchdown with an intercepted TCU pass Saturday when the frustrated, helmetless Barker came off the bench and brought him down.
TCU's new coach, F. A. Dry, offered a public apology but, darn, he appended, "that kind of turned us around." Dry credited Barker's impromptu no-no with igniting a furious fourth-quarter Horned Frog rally that turned a 24-3 Oregon romp into a 29-24 struggle. Oregon's favor, but -
"I'm prepared for a lot of punishment" Barker allowed. Coach Dry said, though, "There would have to be a lot more circumstances than just wanting to see the team win for me to kick him off the team." And, maybe it was epidemic: in Abilene, about 100 miles away from the scene of the misdemeanor, Western New Mexico freshman Jessie Davis stuck his leg out from the sidelines and tripped lex Davis, who was credited with a 52-yard touchdown run anyway in an 46-13 Abilene Christian victory.
On yes, Oregon's Bryant was given his touchdown too - and a penalty against the Ducks on the ensuing kickoff for spiking the ball in anger when he thought at first he had been denied.
And we thought it was Texas A & M that has a "12th man" on its side in the Southwest COnference (the Aggie cheering section) . . .
The most famous bench tackle, of course, was Alabama's Tommy Lewis leaping out to stop Dick Moegle of Rice from completing a 95-yard touchdown run in the 1954 Cotton Bowl game.
After the 1977 Cotton Bowl, Houston quarterback Danny Davis credit because he thought he had played poorly and let his teammates down despite the 30-21 triumph over Maryland. Davis did not cry yesterday on learning he is out for the season with a shoulder separation.
Examination yesterday showed that Davis, who has a year of eligibility left, suffered torn tendons that will require surgery. Delrick Brown, the sophomore who replaced him in the fourth quarter of the 31-14 loss at Penn State, takes over - with Darrell Shepard, a cause celebre in this spring's recruiting wars, one of the backups. But Davis was All-American timer; so much for playing UCLA on Monday night and putting on the armor again on Saturday afternoon. Ah the dictates of television . . .
Can Ron Carew still hit 400? It was calculated last weekend that if he hit approximately .585 the rest of the way he'd make it. Since that tally, the Twin with the magic wand has five hits in seven ups . . . The L.A. Dodgers broke baseball's all-time home attendance record on the weekend; 2.788.673 and counting toward 3 million - possible since there are eight Dodger Stadium dates left. If Dusty Baker hit two more home runs, the Dodgers become the first big-league club ever with four players hitting 30 or more. Steve Garvey, Ron Cey, Reggie Smith have already reached the plateau . . .
Charlie Finley was moved out of intensive care and listed in good condition yesterday in the Chicago hospital where he had the coronary bypass operation: may go home in eight or 10 days . . . In Oakland, an official of the Oakland-Alameda County Coliseum, Inc., denies the latest report that Finley and American League president Lee MacPhail talked with coliseum, city and county officials about getting out of his A's stadium lease. San Francisco's Board of Supervisors, meanwhile is reported ready to discuss a change in the Candlestick Park lease to allow the Giants to play some games in Oakland, should the A's move. National League president Chub Feeney said the same people who wrote the Candlestick lease could "rewrite it - the Giants can't stand these tremendous losses every season."
Promoter Don King declared in New York yesterday that he plans to resume the suspended U.S. Pro Boxing Championships - legally in the clear for now - in January, "with or without ABC." King added that he and Umberto Branchini of Italy, prominent European promoter and manager, have formed a partnership for an exchange of ranking boxers. And he introduced Jerry Quarry as "the true white hope of boxing" (what, agian?) by way of announcing that Quarry will fight Branchini's man Lorenzo Zanon, victim of Ken Norton last week, on the Norton-Jimmy Young card No. K. Quarry. 32, told the press conference he is undergoing hyponotherapy along with his workouts in California . . . The toughtest blow involved in Saturday's Victor Galindez light-heavy title TV win over Alvaro Lopez was taken by one of the promoters of the bout in Rome's Sports Palace. Police said some two-thirds of the estimated gate of $30,000 was snatched by bandits who pistol-whipped the fellow as he carried the cash home from the arena.