1. OKLAHOMA (3-0)
2. OHIO STATE (2-0)
3. NOTRE DAME (2-0)
First-string Quarterback Ken Johnson saw only limited action because of the death of his father earlier in the week, but it is doubtful if anything could have helped Colorado in Stillwater on Saturday. The Oklahoma State Cowboys, one-point losers to Arkansas the previous week and all but forgotten in their own state, took a 21-0 lead in the first half and went on to beat the Buffaloes 31-6. JC transfer Alton Gerard, who didn't start, scored three touchdowns and Quarterback Brent Blackman did a nice job of directing the Wishbone attack in the Big Eight opener for both teams. When a three-touchdown favorite loses by 25 points, excuses are meaningless and Colorado Coach Eddie Crowder didn't try to peddle any. " OSU is for real," he said. Answered OSU Coach Dave Smith, "We did a lot of things and we did them good."
One of the good things was stopping Colorado's runners, including Charlie Davis, for most of the game. Colorado fumbled 10 times to Oklahoma State's one. Davis finally got going—or his line started blocking—in the third quarter and his runs were the big factor in the Buffs' lone scoring drive.
In Lincoln a record crowd of 76,217 was entertained by the antics of Nebraska and its star Johnny Rodgers. The Cornhuskers rolled over Minnesota 49-0 and fleet Johnny got a pair of touchdowns, one on a 64-yard punt return. He enjoyed it so much that he strutted the last 10 yards backward. Later he admitted he had planned it. "I decided I'd do it on my first punt return [for a score] this year. I wanted to do something different and I couldn't think of anyone ever doing that." There are many things Rodgers has done that nobody has done before, at least nobody at Nebraska. His two scores made him the school's alltime touchdown producer (35 in three seasons), his seven catches made him the first Big Eight player to pass 2,000 yards on pass receptions and his 12 points put him just one short of the school career record set by Bobby Reynolds 20 years ago.
Sophomore Tom Clements, who was unspectacular as a passer in Notre Dame's opener, hit 17 of 24, including scoring plays of 39 and 62 yards, as the Fighting Irish beat Purdue 35-14. When Clements wasn't passing or running himself, he was handing off to another sophomore, Eric Penick, who gained 133 yards in 12 carries, despite sitting out about 20 minutes because of a minor injury. Greg Marx, Steve Niehaus and the rest of the Irish defense chased Purdue Quarterback Gary Danielson all afternoon.
The nation's sixth- and seventh-ranking passers, Florida State's Gary Huff and Kansas' David Jaynes, dueled in Lawrence, and the two of them flung a total of 75 passes. Huff's flings were more effective in a 44-22 win for the unbeaten Seminoles. He had four touchdown passes in the first half. Kansas dominated only at the start when sophomore Flanker Ken Saathoff, a fine-arts major who keeps a piano in his room, sang The Star-Spangled Banner with the band, then went out and caught a pass for a 34-yard gain.
Michigan was worried about its ailing defense, but two quick, alert plays by Wolverine defenders broke open the game against Tulane. Randy Logan intercepted a pass and ran it back 32 yards for a touchdown. Then sophomore Gil Chapman zipped 49 yards with a punt for the third TD of the first quarter and Michigan could have waltzed the rest of the way. The Wolverines won 41-7 and Ed Shuttlesworth ran for three touchdowns. Coach Bo Schembechler gave out with the kind of statistic all coaches love: "We've won three games because we've turned the ball over only once on a fumble or interception."
Oklahoma continued its stampede, overwhelming Clemson 52-3 as Greg Pruitt ran for three touchdowns. The Sooners have yet to give up a touchdown themselves in three games, and now they have two weeks to get ready for the renewal of the rivalry with Texas in Dallas. Missouri and Cal battled in a strange game featuring second-stringers. Cal Quarterback Jay Cruze took over for sophomore Steve Bartkowski late in the second quarter and almost won the game for the Bears by passing for four TDs and 354 yards. But the Tigers had a bench, too. Sophomore Ray Bybee, in there because the regular fullback was hurt, rushed for 185 yards, and sub Chuck Link scored three touchdowns as Missouri won 34-27.
Toledo lost its first Mid-American Conference game in three years, 38-22, to Ohio U. Ohio's Tim Worner ran for 252 yards. San Diego State stayed undefeated by beating Kent State 14-0, the second-straight shutout for the Aztecs. Kansas State beat previously unbeaten Tampa 31-7, and Cincinnati beat Villanova 14-7.