Was Michigan State's 17-11 win over Michigan really an upset? After all, the Spartans have Lorenzo White. Can a team with a runner like White be called an underdog? Besides, the Spartans had already beaten USC and Iowa and were playing the Wolverines at home.
But, yes, Michigan should have won. And it could have won. In fact, it would have won had quarterback Demetrius Brown and his nonsupporting cast not blown scoring opportunity after scoring opportunity. Brown was intercepted seven times, but even before he started connecting with the Spartan defense, it was clear the Wolverines were foundering. In the first period, with a first-and-goal at the Spartan two, running back Jamie Morris lost four yards, after which Brown lost seven more and threw an incomplete pass. "It was terrible that we had to settle for a field goal there," said Michigan coach Bo Schembechler.
Thereafter, things got even worse for the Wolverine offense, and by game's end a rattled Brown was playing catch with the Michigan State defense. Spartan safety Harlon Barnett was hit in the hands with a pass at his own 10 with slightly more than three minutes left, and safety Todd Krumm was the recipient of another Brown giveaway with 26 seconds remaining.
So the Big Ten's Big Two both fell on a single afternoon, leaving Michigan State, Indiana and Minnesota atop the league, each with a 2-0 record. The Golden Gophers and the Ducks in the Rose Bowl?
Auburn quarterback Jeff Burger. Burger, a senior, was nearly perfect in the Tigers' 48-15 win over Vanderbilt, completing 14 of 18 passes—three of the four incompletions were balls that were dropped by his receivers—for 282 yards and two touchdowns.
Texas A & M cornerback Alex Morris. Morris, a junior, had 14 unassisted tackles and helped out on two others as the Aggies beat Houston 22-17. Among the tackles were five quarterback sacks, including two in a row late in the game that thwarted a Cougar drive deep in A & M territory.
Miami defensive back Bubba McDowell and Florida State linebacker Kelvin Smith. Each blocked two punts. The first block by McDowell, a junior, was run in for a touchdown, and his second led to a field goal as the Hurricanes beat Maryland 46-16. The handiwork of Smith, a freshman, set up a TD and a field goal in the Seminoles' 61-10 rout of Southern Mississippi.
...AND SATURDAY'S GOATS
The Illinois offense. Against Purdue the Illini fumbled 10 times, tying their own 39-year-old Big Ten record. Illinois lost eight of those miscues—and the game, 9-3—to give coach Fred Akers his first win with the Boilermakers.