On offense, Bo Schembechler turned loose senior Tailback Gordon Bell, who raced for 210 yards on 28 carries and caught a seven-yard touchdown pass from freshman Quarterback Rick Leach.
While Bell made a shambles of the Badger defense, Wisconsin's All-America candidate Billy Marek gained only 58 yards on 21 carries and Quarterback Dan Kopina completed only three passes for 27 yards.
Randy Dean, an engineering student with a 3.95 grade-point average, earned another A when he led Northwestern to a 31-25 upset of Purdue, his father's alma mater. Dean completed six of eight passes for 127 yards and rushed for 42 more in his first start at quarterback. The game had another ironic note for losing Coach Alex Agase: Greg Boykin, whom Agase recruited when he coached at Northwestern, rushed for 123 yards and scored three touchdowns. "He didn't show us anything we didn't already know," Agase sighed.
Lee Corso savored his second Big Ten win in three seasons as Indiana took Minnesota 20-14, holding the Gophers scoreless in the second half. Courtney Snyder, who rushed for 174 yards, paced the Hoosiers, but Terry Jones got the winning touchdown on a one-yard quarterback sneak. In another Big Ten inaugural, Illinois whipped Iowa 27-12.
Pity the Oklahoma Sooners, who fumbled 12 times and lost 75 yards in penalties in their season's opener against Oregon. Paying for these mistakes, the Sooners had to settle for 617 yards total offense and a 62-7 victory, their 21st in a row. Barry Switzer used 59 players in the lopsided Duck hunt, Horace Ivory making his collegiate debut by gaining 104 yards on nine carries.
In other games Nebraska parlayed a 122-0 edge in punt return yardage with rugged defense to hold off LSU 10-7; Washington State's Chuck Diedrick kicked four field goals in an 18-14 upset of Kansas and Miami of Ohio extended its unbeaten streak to 24 with a 50-0 devastation of Marshall.
1. Oklahoma (1-0)
2. Michigan (1-0)
3. Ohio State (1-0)
It will obviously take more than mere success for Joe Paterno to change his mind on the merits of the NCAA freshman eligibility rule which, in the unheralded person of Tom Donovan, helped Penn State to a 34-14 conquest of Stanford.
"I still don't like the rule," Paterno said after unleashing Donovan in a record-breaking varsity debut. "I still think it's bad for the kids."