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Morning Briefing

Elway Knows When to Pay Attention

November 28, 1986

Nobody has ever doubted John Elway's ability, but some have wondered about his concentration. Not Sam Wyche.

Wyche, whose Cincinnati Bengals face the Denver Broncos Sunday, said that when he was assistant coach for the San Francisco 49ers he once lectured a sports psychology class at Stanford that included Elway.

"I know he was a good student," Wyche told the Denver Post. "He paid attention, which was really something, because he had a good-looking girl sitting beside him."

Ouch: From Alex Demyanenko of the Daily Bruin: "Let's hope USC beats Auburn on Jan. 1. USC may not need Ted, but we need Ted."

Add Tollner: Terry Donahue can relate to his plight, having been in a similar situation in 1979. That year, USC led UCLA, 35-0, at halftime and won, 49-14. It was Donahue's fourth straight loss to USC and concluded a 5-6 season. UCLA stuck with him, however, and he has since beaten the Trojans five out of seven.

For What It's Worth: In 1950, UCLA beat USC, 39-0, still the biggest Bruin win in the series. The next week, USC upset Notre Dame, 9-7, but it didn't save Trojan Coach Jeff Cravath. For Christmas, USC gave him a pink slip.

Trivia Time: When is the last time two undefeated, untied teams met in the Rose Bowl? (Answer below.)

Wait a Minute: Said Alabama Coach Ray Perkins of Saturday's game against Auburn in Birmingham, Ala., the steel capital of the South: "This game is bigger than any bowl. To me, it's the biggest rivalry in America. Years ago, they nicknamed it the Iron Bowl and I think that's fitting. For all intents and purposes, it is the biggest bowl game in America."

Iron Bull?

Said ex-Celtic Gerald Henderson of the New York Knicks after Wednesday night's game at Boston Garden: "Nothing's different. Same floor, same green and white, same Larry Bird."

The Celtics won, 101-90.

After the Mike Tyson-Trevor Berbick fight at the Las Vegas Hilton, promoter Butch Lewis said there was an escape clause in his contract with HBO that would allow him to withdraw Michael Spinks from promoter Don King's unification series and match him with Gerry Cooney.

Said HBO executive Seth Abraham: "Do you think we would spend $20 million if he had a loophole to get out of the series?

"If you thought the Triple Crown had some good races, wait until you see HBO, the Hilton and Don King run to court to stop Butch from leaving the series."

Citrus Bowl executive director Chuck Rohe, who has traveled all over the country scouting teams, told Al Burleson of the Huntsville (Ala.) Times two weeks ago: "If Michigan wins the Big Ten, you're going to see another rout by the Pac-10 in the Rose Bowl."

Trivia Answer: In 1931, when Washington State met Alabama. The Cougars, led by Hall of Fame linemen Mel Hein and Turk Edwards, made it to Pasadena by upsetting USC. The Trojans that season beat Cal, 74-0; UCLA, 52-0; Washington, 32-0; Stanford, 41-12, but they lost to Washington State, 7-6. In the Rose Bowl, however, the Cougars were humbled by Alabama, 24-0.

Quotebook

Temple basketball Coach John Chaney, asked if the Owls will try to run with the Nevada Las Vegas Runnin' Rebels tonight in the NIT semifinals: "I don't know if we'll be running and gunning or laying and praying."

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