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While Michigan State was overwhelming Michigan, Ohio State, a blue-chip preseason challenger, went after ILLINOIS with dusty, ball-control diligence. Gary Cairns kicked three field goals, one for 55 yards and a Big Ten record, and the Bucks led 9-3 going into the last quarter. Then, with Illinois on its own 26, second and 30 and going nowhere, Coach Pete Elliott sent in a play—a slant-in pass from sophomore Quarterback Bob Naponic to Split End John Wright. It worked for 41 yards. Four plays later Naponic sneaked over from the one, Jim Stotz kicked the extra point and the Illini upset the plodding Bucks 10-9.
That left PURDUE with the best chance to catch Michigan State, and the Boilermakers polished up their game with a 35-0 win over Iowa. Bob Griese got them going with a 40-yard touchdown pass to Jim Bierne on the very first play, completed 16 of 24 for 215 yards and kicked five extra points. MINNESOTA and INDIANA played to a 7-7 tie, but Wisconsin ran into NEBRASKA and came away shattered, 31-3.
Army never had a chance against NOTRE DAME. The brave Cadets blitzed, stunted and stood on their heads, but Quarterback Terry Hanratty, protected by his huge pass-blockers, completed 11 passes, eight to fellow sophomore Jim Seymour, before he sat down with the Irish ahead 35-0. After that, Coach Ara Parseghian mercifully turned the game over to his reserves and Army held them scoreless.
Strange things were going on in the Big Eight. MISSOURI trouncing Kansas State 27-0 was routine, but IOWA STATE trotted out a scrawny 5-foot-5, 130-pound sandlot soccer player who had kicked his first football only eight days earlier to help it beat Kansas 24-7. Dave Spealler, dressed in helmet, shoulder pads, jersey and gym shorts, booted a 36-yard field goal and an extra point. OKLAHOMA STATE upset Colorado 11-10 when Quarterback Ronnie Johnson took the Cowboys 78 yards in the last four minutes, passing to End Tony Sellari for two points after Fullback Jack Reynolds crashed over from the one.
Miami of Ohio, a 7-0 winner over Kent State, was in charge of the Mid-American after WESTERN MICHIGAN surprised Bowling Green 16-14 and OHIO U. beat Toledo 21-6. TULSA took Colorado State 20-6 as Glenn Dobbs III pitched three touchdown passes.
Syracuse's Ben Schwartzwalder was saying the night before the Navy game, "We were so bad that I was even afraid to tell my wife." But that was before he began making some changes. Last Saturday Syracuse stacked its linebackers instead of gapping them—that stopped Navy's runners—and shifted from the crooked I into a T with a split end and flanker. There was even a flashy reverse pass, with sophomore Quarterback Jim Del Gaizo, who started it, taking a nine-yard toss from Flanker Terry Roe, a converted linebacker, for a touchdown. There were some anxious moments, though, when the Orange lost Floyd Little with a twisted ankle on the fifth play and Navy Quarterback John Cartwright floated two neat scoring passes to Terry Murray. But big Fullback Larry Csonka smashed the tender Middie middle for 135 yards and two touchdowns and Syracuse won 28-14.