Alabama had tied the game at 24 with 12:34 left before Nebraska launched an 80-yard drive ending in Berns' decisive touchdown. The key play in the march was a 33-yard third-down pass from Sorley to Smith. Nebraska also profited from five interceptions, two by Monster Back Jim Pillen in the fourth quarter. "Give Nebraska credit for the turnovers," said Bear Bryant. "I think we lost to a good team. I'd like to think that time ran out on us, but I guess that's being optimistic."
Washington State, which had upset Nebraska two weeks ago, socked it to Michigan State 23-21. In an aerial war that produced the combined totals of 37 completions in 60 attempts for 556 yards and four touchdowns, WSU's Jack Thompson had the edge over the Spartans' Big Ten passing champion, Ed Smith. Indeed, Thompson seemed to thrive under adverse conditions, connecting on 12 of 14 passes in the second half despite a sudden rainstorm. All told, Thompson completed 21 of 30 for 364 yards and two touchdowns, both to Flanker Brian Kelly.
Like many of the teams in the Top Ten, No. 1-ranked Michigan looked sluggish in a 21-9 defeat of Duke—a game that ended when time ran out for the Blue Devils on the Wolverine one-yard line. "If you're looking for super powers in college football," said Michigan Coach Bo Schembechler, "you're not going to find them, because of the [limit of] 95 scholarships. We have an equalization of talent. It's probably good for football but bad for Michigan people who expect to win by four or five touchdowns all the time."
Ohio people were not disappointed, however, as the Buckeyes routed Minnesota 38-7. Ohio State also threw eight (count 'em, eight) passes—two for touchdowns. "We passed the ball too much," Woody Hayes said, winking. "We're getting frivolous, and that's not good." Woody was pleased with Quarterback Rod Gerald, who connected on five of seven for 95 yards and a touchdown and added 63 yards on 12 option runs.
Meeting LSU for the second time in 53 years, Indiana scored an unexpected 24-21 victory when Tailback Ric Enis ran 11 yards with a pitchout for the winning touchdown with 2:33 left.
Linebacker Marty Murray scored on a 100-yard pass interception to give Indiana State a 14-9 win over Southern Illinois; Oklahoma poured it on Utah 62-24; Illinois edged Missouri 11-7; and Florida State defeated Kansas State 18-10.
1. OKLAHOMA (2-0)
2. MICHIGAN (2-0)
3. OHIO STATE (2-0)
Houston's two games in six days were evidently too much for the Cougars. Fresh from its Monday night conquest of UCLA, Houston was savaged 31-14 as well-rested Penn State racked up 521 yards total offense, 245 through the air. The defeat was doubly dismal for Houston Coach Bill Yeoman, who also lost Quarterback Danny Davis, prime mover of the Cougars' veer attack. Davis will be out six or seven weeks with a shoulder separation. Asked if his team had suffered any other injuries, Yeoman replied, "That's like asking Mrs. Lincoln if anyone else was hurt."
Junior Quarterback Chuck Fusina led the Lions by completing 15 of 23 passes for 245 yards, including a 29-yard touchdown toss to Split End Scott Fitzkee and four receptions by Tight End Mickey Shuler good for 100 yards.