With 8:26 left and the ball on the Purdue 38, Ohio State's Cornelius Greene broke a huddle and said, "O.K., let's say a little prayer and get those yards." Then he handed the ball to Archie Griffin, who took off behind Tackle Scott Dannelley, cut inside and rambled to the 15, a historic 23-yard gain that gave Griffin a four-year total of 4,730 rushing yards, 15 more than the NCAA record set in 1969 by Cornell's Ed Marinaro. Out of the game jogged Archie, and finally the Ross-Ade Stadium crowd of 69,405 had reason to cheer. By then the Buckeyes had devastated the hometown Boilermakers, scoring on Pete Johnson's 60-yard run on State's first play from scrimmage and building a 35-6 advantage that did not change.
Like Ohio State, Michigan kept its Big Ten record untarnished, throttling Indiana 55-7, its 40th consecutive home game without a loss. Minnesota and Wisconsin, as expected, defeated Iowa and Northwestern 31-7 and 17-14 respectively, but Michigan State, ranked 16th, lost when an aroused Illinois battled back from a 13-point deficit in the third quarter to win 21-19.
Nebraska, 6-0 going into a Big Fight clash with Colorado, was fourth in the rankings and wondering what it had to do to move up. "We need to take a good team and stick it to them," said Tight End Brad Jenkins. Colorado started quickly, as Quarterback Dave Williams rambled for a 74-yard touchdown on the third play of the game, but then came the avalanche. Vince Ferragamo lofted a 42-yard scoring bomb to Bobby Thomas. The next drive took 2:24 and six plays. Before the end, Colorado had fumbled seven times and seven different Huskers had scored, Anthony and John O'Leary getting two TDs apiece as Nebraska rang up a shocking 63-21 win.
Oklahoma ran its unbeaten string to 36, dumping Iowa State 39-7 in a game exerting only for those guessing who would fumble the ball next. The Sooners did 13 times, losing six, while the Cyclones had six fumbles and lost four. Tony DiRienzo booted his 10th field goal of the year, a Sooner record, and Oklahoma finished with 392 total yards, but in the dressing room things were gloomy. "If fumbling's a disease," said Quarterback Steve Davis, "we have it."
Missouri whipped Kansas State 35-3 and Oklahoma State, preparing for Oklahoma next week, thumped Kansas 35-19.
Defending MAC champ Miami ( Ohio) climbed out of a 10-point hole to take previously unbeaten Bowling Green 20-17. The Falcons outgained Miami 153 yards to 70 and had 11 first downs to the Redskin three, but two Bowling Green fumbles helped Miami off the hook. "They're as good a team as we've played," Miami's Dick Crum admitted. "We were lucky to get out of the first half alive."
1. Ohio State (7-0)
2. Oklahoma (7-0)
3. Nebraska (7-0)
Student of Darrell Royal know that he thinks the best time to pass is in wet weather. Thus, regardless of the potent Texas wishbone, loyalists were not surprised when Quarterback Marty Akins uncorked a 23-yard pass to End Alfred Jackson during the first touchdown drive and a 43-yarder to Jackson on the third drive as Texas drummed Rice 41-9 with an attack as relentless as the rain that fell on Memorial Stadium throughout the game. The Longhorns rang up a 27-3 advantage by halftime, scored a quick third-quarter touchdown and then turned matters over to the reserves. Halfback Gralyn Wyatt scored the first three TDs on runs of nine, three and eight yards and Akins hit three of eight passes for 74 while his backup, Ted Constanzo, completed four of seven for 84. "Marty was especially sharp," Royal said. "He lateraled off for five touchdowns, and to me that's like five touchdown passes."