Roddy Tompkins caught a 41-yard touchdown pass early in the fourth quarter, and Oregon State returned a fumble for another score last night to seal the Beavers' first winning season in 29 years with a 17-7 victory over visiting California.
The comeback win helped the Beavers (6-3, 3-3 Pac-10) break their NCAA Division I-record streak that began with the 1971 season and endured through the generations, making Oregon State synonymous with college football mediocrity.
The victory, which also made Oregon State eligible for its first bowl game since the 1965 Rose Bowl, was anything but certain against Cal (4-5, 3-3).
Dee Andros, who coached the Beavers to a 6-5 record in 1970 but oversaw its decline later in the decade, may have been happiest to see the losing skid go away.
"They took a monkey off my back," said the 75-year-old Andros, known as the "Great Pumpkin" because he roamed the sidelines in a huge orange windbreaker. "I told them if they won this game tonight I wouldn't need my car, I'd just fly home."
AIR FORCE 28, ARMY 0: Mike Thiessen ran for a touchdown, Corey Nelson returned an interception for another score and host Air Force shut down the nation's top rushing attack. The victory gave Air Force its third straight Commander-in-Chief's Trophy, which goes to the service academy with the best record in their head-to-head matchups. Air Force (5-3), which defeated Navy 19-14 earlier in the year, has won the trophy nine of the last 11 years.
The Falcons gained 337 yards and held Army, which had been averaging 320 rushing yards per game, to 90 on the ground and 100 total. Army is 3-5.
MAINE 26, JAMES MADISON 20: Brian Scott threw for two touchdowns and Brent Naccara ran for another as host Maine defeated the Dukes, ranked eighth in Division I-AA. Scott's 20-yard touchdown pass to Dwayne Wilmot late in the third quarter capped a 95-yard drive and put Maine (3-6, 2-4) ahead 26-7. The score was set up by a 55-yard run from Marquisse Silva.
James Madison's Curtis Keaton rushed for 196 yards and two touchdowns, just missing his fourth consecutive 200-yard game. The Dukes (7-2, 6-1) remain in contention for the Atlantic 10 title with Massachusetts (5-1 in conference play).
LOUISVILLE 23, CINCINNATI 13: Chris Redman reached two more milestones--1,000 completions and 12,000 yards passing--while steadying the Cardinals on the road.
After failing to score a first-half touchdown for only the second time this season, Louisville (7-3, 4-1 Conference USA) got rolling as Redman picked apart Cincinnati's secondary with short, quick passes. Redman (32 of 49 for 367 yards) became the second big-school passer to top 12,000 career yards--Ty Detmer threw for a record 15,031 for Brigham Young from 1988 to '91. Cincinnati fell to 3-6, 0-4.
WASHINGTON 33, ARIZONA 25: Marques Tuiasosopo threw two touchdown passes, and visiting Washington stayed on course for a possible Rose Bowl berth.
The Huskies (6-3, 5-1 Pac-10) became bowl-eligible with the victory and kept Arizona (6-4, 3-3) from doing the same. The Wildcats must win seven games to qualify for postseason play because of their 12-game schedule.
IVY LEAGUE: In Providence, R.I., Michael Malan rushed for a pair of second-half touchdowns as Brown retained a share of first place in the league with a 17-10 victory over Harvard. Brown is 7-1, 4-1. Harvard (5-3, 3-2) committed six turnovers. . . . In Philadelphia, Kunle Williams scored twice on interception returns, including one for a school-record 100 yards, and Kris Ryan rushed for 151 yards as Pennsylvania defeated Princeton, 41-13. Penn is 4-4, 2-2. Princeton is 3-5, 2-3. . . . In Ithaca, N.Y., Joe Walland threw for 244 yards and two touchdowns to lead Yale in a 37-20 win over Cornell. Yale is 7-1, 4-1. Cornell is 5-3, 3-2. Walland broke Yale records for passes completed (371) and attempted (684) in the game. Walland's last touchdown pass was the 30th of his career, which also tied a school record. . . . In New York, Quentin Unsworth blocked two punts and Joe Cook recovered a fumble in the final minute as Columbia defeated Dartmouth, 21-14. Columbia is 3-5, 1-4. Dartmouth is 1-7, 1-4.