Ohio State was tested—for one half. During the first two quarters the Buckeyes lost two of three fumbles, were penalized 43 yards, made just three first downs and struggled to a 12-7 lead over Indiana. After that it was no contest as the Buckeyes went on to win 47-7. Other Big Ten victors were Illinois (31-25 over Wisconsin), Iowa (13-10 over Northwestern) and Michigan State (45-13 over Purdue).
Ball State held on to first place in the MidAmerican race, drubbing Northern Illinois 33-7, while Central Michigan moved into the runner-up spot, coming from 14 points back to down Bowling Green 38-28. Western Michigan topped Ohio U. 21-10, Toledo beat Miami of Ohio 24-9, and Kent State walloped Eastern Michigan 38-13.
Notre Dame, which broke a school record in the first period against Navy by not allowing a touchdown for the 21st quarter in a row, yielded a pair of TDs to the Middies in the second period and fell behind 14-3. Quarterback Rick Slager then rallied the Irish for three touchdowns, and Dave Reeve kicked 47-and 24-yard field goals for a 27-21 victory.
1. MICHIGAN (8-0)
2. NEBRASKA (6-1-1)
3. OHIO ST. (6-1-1)
"I was trying to find a seat on the field so I could sit down and watch. For about 10 seconds I became a fan." That's what Florida Quarterback Jimmy Fisher said as he praised Split End Wes Chandler, who caught five of his passes for 163 yards and two touchdowns in a 24-19 win over Auburn. The play Fisher wanted to sit down and watch was a 64-yarder on which Chandler grabbed a pass, broke five tackles and made it all the way to the end zone. (As Chandler came out of the end zone, the Auburn war eagle tried to bite him. Under a new rule prohibiting mascots from interfering with play, the Tigers were penalized 15 yards on the ensuing kickoff.) "He's pure magic," said Fisher, who hit on nine of 14 throws for 251 yards and three touchdowns. Florida, which gained 506 yards in this battle of Southeastern Conference unbeatens, will tangle with Georgia at Jacksonville this Saturday. The winner of that contest will likely wind up as SEC champion and Sugar Bowl host.
"I'd hate to play Cincinnati as a steady diet," said Georgia Coach Vince Dooley. His Bulldogs took a 24-3 lead into the fourth quarter and seemed to be on their way to an easy win in this intersectional game. After all, the Georgia "Junkyard Dog" defense hadn't allowed a point in the fourth quarter all season. But Bearcat Quarterback Art Bailey threw a couple of touchdown passes, and suddenly the Bulldogs' lead had dwindled to 24-17. Two interceptions by Georgia and a three-yard scoring run by Fullback Al Pollard ended Cincinnati's resurgence and wrapped up a 31-17 decision.
The Mississippi-LSU game in Baton Rouge shaped up as a close battle. It was close—for the opening 8:08. Then the Tigers scored the first touchdown of a 45-0 rout. Ole Miss, which entered the contest with the best rushing defense in the SEC, allowing just 136.6 yards a game, permitted LSU 426 yards on a school-record 76 carries. During the first half, the Tigers intercepted three passes, recovered an Ole Miss fumble, built a 281-43 advantage in yardage gained and took a 31-0 lead. LSU Tailback Terry Robiskie became the school's alltime leading ground-gainer, running for 129 yards to raise his four-year total to 2,202. Backup Tailback Charles Alexander added 138 yards.
Mississippi State gave Alabama a scare. The Bulldogs led 17-12 at halftime, then tired as the Tide did all the second-half scoring to register a 34-17 SEC victory.
Some people, Big Eight coaches in particular, have suggested that Maryland plays a soft schedule and does not deserve its No. 5 rating in the polls. After Maryland stepped out of the Atlantic Coast Conference last week and knocked off SEC opponent Kentucky 24-14, Terp Quarterback Mark Manges spoke up. "That's typical Big Eight jargon," he said. "Last year they said they'd wipe up everybody in the bowls and they went 1-4. If we wind up playing a Big Eight team, we'll show them." With Manges breaking two tackles to score from 10 yards out and directing the Terps to successful conversions on 10 third-down plays, Maryland remained unbeaten.