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Florida State's Eddie McMillan took Miami's opening kickoff on his 10 and ran it back for a touchdown, but the Hurricanes refused to collapse. It took the Seminole kicker, Frank Fontes, to decide the issue 20-17 with a 25-yard field goal late in the final quarter. Powerhouses Auburn and Alabama picked on local poorhouses, Chattanooga and Southern Mississippi, and eked by, 60-7 and 42-6. Tennessee went further afield for its cannon fodder, bringing in UC Santa Barbara for a 48-6 workout.
Florida flinger John Reaves had a bad day (17 for 40, four interceptions and a 13-10 loss to Mississippi State), but he did break Archie Manning's SEC career total-offense record. His batterymate, Carlos Alvarez, caught eight passes for 98 yards to become the league's career pass-reception yardage champ. But the Gators are still 0-2.
Marshall played its first football game since a plane crash last November killed 75 persons, including most of the Thundering Herd team. The Huntington, W. Va. school fielded a team mostly of freshmen and sophomores, yet trailed Morehead State by only 16-6 going into the fourth quarter before losing 29-6.
Slotback Johnny Rodgers put his varied skills on display in Lincoln and mighty Nebraska had its 21st straight game without a loss, battering Minnesota 35-7. In the first quarter, Rodgers got two steps on his man and Quarterback Jerry Tagge laid the ball in his arms in the end zone. In the third he caught a Tagge pass on the 15, darted this way and that and left two Gophers on the ground as he zipped in for TD No. 2. Three minutes later he showed off his rebounding ability, circling under the ball in the end zone and outjumping the defender. "Nobody yet has stayed with Johnny in single coverage," said Tagge. "They just can't do it. Minnesota jammed the middle and slanted the ends. We couldn't just line up and run, so we switched to our passing game."
But up-the-middle power was not entirely abandoned. I-Back Jeff Kinney gained 79 yards in 16 carries and scored the Corn-huskers' other two touchdowns. " Nebraska is a fine football team, beautifully trained, and it executes well," said Minnesota Coach Murray Warmath. "I don't think they are going to get beat." Then he groused about redshirting, allowed in the Big Eight but banned in the Big Ten. "The value of the five-year program is so obvious it is not worth discussing," he said. "Maybe [Bob] Devaney could still do wonders without it, but it is a Big Ten disaster."
For the second straight week Michigan used a Statue of Rules play. The Wolverines were leading Virginia 28-0 in the second quarter when Virginia's Gerard Mullins stood around and watched a kick-off roll over the goal line, presuming it a touchback. Michigan's Dave Elliott fell on it like an avalanche. Touchdown. "That is a live ball," said Michigan Coach Bo Schembechler. "I tell my kids that until they despise it." The final score was 56-0, and the game was so one-sided that Schembechler played 73 men, everyone available except one fellow who got an upset stomach—probably from watching the carnage. Michigan won the first-down battle 33-7, and 14 of its runners gained yardage. The poor Cavaliers never penetrated inside the Wolverine 36. Said beaten Coach Don Lawrence, "They have the best six running backs I've ever seen."
Mountain-country neighbors Colorado and Wyoming met for the first time in 24 years, and it was too soon for the visiting Cowboys. Colorado had a sophomore quarterback in charge of its triple-option offense but still won easily 56-13. The sub was 5'7", 174-pound Joe Duenas, starting in place of another soph, Ken Johnson, who suffered an injured wrist in the preceding week's upset of LSU. Duenas almost did not get the call because Coach Eddie Crowder was worried about his speech problem—a stutter—in the huddle. "The only thing I was worried about was calling the plays," said Duenas, "beating that 25-second clock. I only got caught once." The clock was about the only thing that caught him. He ran for three touchdowns and passed for another, and he was second in ground-gaining only to Tailback Charlie Davis, who enjoyed his second straight 100-yard game: 174 yards versus LSU, 109 versus Wyoming.
Playing in light snow flurries at Air Force, Missouri could manage only two Greg Hill field goals and took its second loss 7-6, an unhappy beginning for new Coach Al Onofrio. With five seconds to go, Hill tried another from 35 yards, but a shifting wind pushed it about two feet wide to the right. Workhorse Tailback Brian Bream ground out 90 of the Falcons' 186 soggy yards.