Iowa dropped farther into its own slough of despond. After taking a 14-3 lead the Hawkeyes fell apart in the second half under the constant prodding of Michigan's swift backs and lost their fourth straight, 23-14. Michigan State, too late, was showing strength again. Sophomore Sherman Lewis perked up the spotty Spartan offense with two touchdown runs, and MSU beat Northwestern 21-13. At Madison, Wisconsin's Ron Miller and Pat Richter found Illinois' pass defense as leaky as its line, and the Badgers routed the Illini 55-7.
The luck of the Irish, with some help from Syracuse, was working overtime in South Bend last Saturday. Frank Budka had put Notre Dame in front 14-0, but Dave Sarette and Bob Lelli matched his two touchdown passes, and as time ran out Syracuse led 15-14. Then the Irish's Joe Perkowski stepped back to try a 56-yard field goal. He missed, but some intemperate and not very thoughtful Orangemen roughed the ball holder, giving Perkowski a second chance. This time he made good from 41 yards out, and the Irish won 17-15.
Big Eight leader Colorado, perhaps too anxious to show off for Orange Bowl officials, bumbled fitfully against Nebraska and, while never in danger, was hardly impressive in beating the Huskers 7-0. Missouri Valley champion Wichita, perhaps too satisfied with its invitation to play Villanova in the Sun Bowl, lost to Dayton 23-12. The top three:
1. OHIO STATE (7-0-1)
2. MINNESOTA (7-1)
3. KANSAS (6-2-1)
The game was not significant. Oklahoma had lost five straight before beating Kansas State and Missouri. Army had looked good only against second-class opposition. But for a few minutes in New York's Yankee Stadium the Sooners looked like Coach Bud Wilkinson's teams of old. Going off on a fast count that caught the Cadet defenses huddling, Oklahoma sprang Mike McClellan loose around left end for 75 yards and a touchdown in the first quarter. The Sooners added another in the third and for the rest of the game depended on crashing linemen, who relentlessly rushed Army Quarterback Dick Eckert to near distraction. The final score: 14-8.
Pitt, nearing the end of a treacherous schedule, salvaged what little was left of the East's reputation against USC—but just barely. Ahead 10-3 on Ricky Leeson's three-yard plunge and Fred Cox's 43-yard field goal, the Panthers fumbled, then held off the rallying Trojans to win 10-9, when Leeson batted down a two-point pass attempt. Disappointing Penn State finally had a good day. Against Holy Cross, Halfback Roger Kochman ran for three touchdowns, Buddy Torris scored twice and the Nittany Lions rushed for 380 yards as they won 34-14. Navy, attacking less spectacularly, beat stubborn Virginia 13-3 while Boston College overcame Boston U. 10-7 on the power running of Harry Crump and Lou Kirouac's 23-yard field goal.
Rutgers remained unbeaten, mostly because of defensive play by Quarterback Sam Mudie. While Colgate pushed the supposedly inviolable Scarlet Knights around scandalously, Mudie ran back intercepted passes 52 and 38 yards for touchdowns. He plunged a yard for another and passed 35 yards to End Bill Craft for a fourth as Rutgers won 26-6. Lehigh, playing Lafayette for the 97th time, won 17-14 on a field goal by Andy Larko in the last six seconds while undefeated Amherst lost to Williams 12-0.
In the Ivy League, Columbia, hardly straining, ran over inferior Penn 37-6 to clinch first place. Princeton, a 26-16 winner over Yale, and Harvard, which beat Brown 21-6, can still tie Columbia by winning Saturday. The top three:
1. PENN STATE (6-3)
2. SYRACUSE (6-3)
3. RUTGERS (8-0)