Suddenly there was a jam at the top of the Big Eight again. Nebraska, which the week before had taken sole possession of the lead, was upended by Iowa State 37-28. Sharing first place with the Huskers were Oklahoma,' Colorado, Oklahoma State and Iowa State, which has never won a league championship but which now has an 8-2 record, the best of any team in the conference.
The Cyclones' chances against the Huskers seemed to dwindle when Quarterback Wayne Stanley hurt his knee just before half-time, but Buddy Hardeman took over and ran for 93 yards. Iowa State, a 52-0 loser at Nebraska a year ago, allowed just 77 yards rushing, while Cyclone backs galloped for 321. Split End Luther Blue further enlivened the Cyclone attack by dashing 95 yards with a kickoff for a touchdown. State's defenders were relentless, forcing eight fumbles and pouncing on six of them. Nose Guard Maynard Stensrud made nine tackles, recovered one fumble and provoked two others.
Oklahoma outlasted Missouri 27-20, Halfback Horace Ivory running for 159 yards, Fullback Kenny King for 128 and Quarterback Thomas Lott for 126. With the Tigers trailing 27-10 at the start of the fourth period, Steve Pisarkiewicz came off the bench to complete 12 of 23 passes for 193 yards. But 6'5", 200-pound Linebacker Daryl Hunt forced him to rush one pass that was intercepted and later sacked Pisarkiewicz for a 10-yard loss. Hunt also caused two fumbles.
Kansas turned the ball over 10 times as Colorado prevailed 40-17. Running Back Tony Reed of the Buffaloes ran for 168 yards. Oklahoma State clobbered Kansas State 45-21 as Halfback Terry Miller scored 30 points.
Ohio State and Michigan geared up for this week's Big Ten showdown by notching victories. The Buckeyes struggled past Minnesota 9-3, picking up just four first downs and 42 yards in the second half. Quarterback Jim Pacenta set up the game's only touchdown by passing for 51 yards during a 73-yard drive in the second period. Minnesota's Tony Dungy passed for 201 yards and directed five second-half drives into Buckeye territory, but the State defenders did not yield a touchdown.
Running Back Rob Lytle became Michigan's alltime rushing leader (3,085 yards), picking up 89 yards and scoring three times in a 38-7 walloping of Illinois.
Purdue blanked Iowa 21-0. Indiana overcame a 14-0 deficit to nip Wisconsin 15-14 on a late touchdown run by Ric Enis and a two-point conversion run by Tim McVay, son of the New York Giant coach. Northwestern shocked Michigan State 42-21 after being down 21-20 going into the last quarter.
Notre Dame gained 484 yards and Alabama 401, with the Irish scoring all their points in the second period and then hanging on for a 21-18 verdict. Irish freshman Vagas Ferguson ran for 107 yards and Rick Slager completed 15 of 23 passes for 235 yards. Jeff Rutledge of the Tide hit on 13 of 24 attempts for 207 yards.
Western Michigan upset first-place Ball State 24-10 in a Mid-American clash. Also jolted was Northern Michigan, which had its 18-game winning streak snapped by Grand Valley State 31-14.