Bob Devaney upset the Nebraska agricultural population two weeks ago when he compared his players to "a bunch of farmers standing around at a picnic." Last week, following a 59-7 crushing of Kansas State, Devaney tried to make amends. "We looked like a bunch of farmers with a harvest to bring in who did their typically expert job," he said.
More expert than most was Johnny Rodgers, who caught five passes and scored two touchdowns, one on his seventh all-the-way punt return of the season to tie the NCAA record. " Rodgers is not only the most exciting offensive player of the year," said Kansas State's Vince Gibson, "but he might just be the greatest college player of all time."
Colorado won the Rarefied Air Bowl with Air Force 38-7 by scoring three times after turnovers gave it opportune field position. "I thought we were ready to play a hell of a game today," said the Falcons" Ben Martin, "but I guess somebody up there didn't like me."
Miami set out or two fourth-quarter scoring drives that narrowed Notre Dame's lead to 20-17 but a missed field goal with 1:31 remaining left the comeback short. Kent State won its first Mid-American championship in 22 years, defeating Toledo 27-9.
1. PENN STATE (9-1)
2. DELAWARE (10-0)
3. WEST VIRGINIA (8-3)
For more than a half it was just like an old-time movie-house sing-along as everyone followed the bounding ball. Then Penn State got its defense in order while Quarterback John Hufnagel just kept on trucking. Boston College, which had matched the Nittany Lions tit for tat and TD for TD from the start, finally succumbed 45-26. Hufnagel broke it open with a 76-yard scoring completion to Jimmy Scott and a 57-yard run. His day's work produced a school record 363 yards, two touchdowns passing and two running. John Cappelletti rushed for 107 yards and joined Lenny Moore and Lydell Mitchell on the Lions' 1,000-yard roster.
Boston College scored on its first play, an 83-yard pass from Gary Marangi to Mel Briggs. Marangi also concluded the point fest with a 48-yard connection to Mike Esposito. In defeating the Eagles, Penn State extended a 40-year-old unbeaten streak against New England teams to 26 games.
Syracuse suffered a 43-12 loss to West Virginia, giving Orange Coach Ben Schwartzwalder only the second losing season of his career and the first in 23 years. Ben, who faces mandatory retirement after next season, was done in by a sophomore, Danny (Lightning) Buggs, who carried four times for 159 yards, caught two passes for 76 and scored three touchdowns. "If there is a better runner or a more dangerous runner. I have not seen him," said West Virginia Coach Bobby Bowden.
Kingsley Fink passed for a late touchdown and set up the winning field goal with a 39-yard pass play to Barry Armstrong as Army came from behind to beat Holy Cross 15-13. Jim Barclay's kick from 20 yards out was good with 38 seconds remaining. Less than five minutes earlier Fink had completed a 10-yard scoring pass to Jim Ward. Bucknell gave small-college leader Delaware unexpected trouble before the Blue Hens won their 14th straight, 20-3. After a scoreless first half Bucknell took a 3-0 lead with the only third-quarter points Delaware has allowed this year. A 12-yard run by Blair Caviness put the Hens ahead to stay. Williams scuttled Amherst's unbeaten hopes with a 21-12 victory in the Little Three championship game. In its 108th game with Lafayette, Lehigh won 14-6 by stopping the Leopards on the one in the final three minutes. Tom Parr paced Colgate past Boston University 26-0 with 112 yards rushing, 101 passing and two touchdowns. Temple and Villanova wanted no repeat of last year's tie, so the coaches agreed to sudden death if this year's game was deadlocked after regulation play. It was close, but not that close. Temple won 12-10 and the only thing in danger of dying suddenly is the Villanova program, which school critics want to end.