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Things just hadn't gone right all week for Wisconsin Coach John Jardine. First came the indignity of that photograph in The Milwaukee Sentinel. It showed Ohio Stadium and the caption was BADGER GRAVEYARD, a none-too-subtle reminder that Wisconsin had never won in the stadium in its 19 visits in the last 55 years. Then, after Jardine had assembled his team at the stadium for a practice session, he angrily pulled them off the field to protest the antics of local television crews. "This place is a zoo," he growled. And all that was before the game. Actually, Jardine insisted, the Badgers were "never more ready."
Ah, but what the Badgers were not ready for was an uncharacteristic start by the Buckeyes. After Quarterback Rod Gerald's long pass on the first play of the day was deflected at midfield, he came right back with the same call, this time passing to Jim Harrell for a 79-yard touchdown. When the game at the graveyard was over, Ohio State had a 42-0 victory and retained its one-game lead in the Big Ten.
Another quick start through the air came from Michigan in a 23-6 defeat of Iowa. On the game's third play, Rick Leach hit Russell Davis on a broken pass play that the fullback lugged 63 yards down the sideline for a touchdown. Leach wound up with nine completions in 12 passes, good for 202 yards and three scores. His last touchdown pass was the 25th of his career, a Wolverine record.
Freshman Mark Herrmann raised his touchdown pass total to 17, unleashing three as Purdue stopped Northwestern 28-16. Herrmann's 12-for-24 passing netted 183 yards and brought his season total to 2,041. Minnesota, which had shocked Michigan 16-0 the week before, led Indiana 16-13 at the fourth quarter. But the Hoosiers scored 21 points in 8:35 for a 34-22 win, as Indiana's Ric Enis rambled for 207 yards. Michigan State freshman Bruce Reeves, best known as a kickoff-returner, took over at tailback, ran for 119 yards and tallied on three short runs during a 49-20 drubbing of Illinois.
Oklahoma stayed atop the Big Eight by sending Kansas State to its 18th consecutive league loss, 42-7. Fullback Kenny King pounded out 99 yards, and Quarterback Thomas Lott added 96 more and scored three times as the Sooners plowed through the Wildcats for 483 yards.
The week's best tip came from Nebraska Coach Tom Osborne. He had noticed that Oklahoma State's defensive ends backed off from the line whenever the Huskers went into a wide formation. Osborne informed Quarterback Tom Sorley, who knew precisely what to do—run the ends. "I'd yell 'block' and our guys would know then to block for me," said Sorley, who got enough blocks to scamper for 55 yards. Sorley also scored a touchdown while guiding Nebraska to a 31-14 victory. Even though the Cowboys keyed on him, I. M. Hipp of the Huskers scored twice and gained 71 yards. When Sorley and Hipp were not strutting, Wingback Curtis Craig was, ripping off 82 yards in just five carries. For the 16th game in a row, State's Terry Miller gained more than 100 yards rushing, this time getting 116. Miller also became the fourth major-college player ever to rush for 4,000 career yards.
"I've never seen a touchdown run like that by a small back," Iowa State Coach Earle Bruce said after his team had downed Kansas 41-3. The runner was State's Dexter Green, a 5'9", 160-pound halfback, who broke five tackles during the 14-yard scoring play. Green rushed for 149 yards in 26 carries, caught three passes for 18 yards and scored twice. Another standout for the Cyclones was Cornerback Kevin Hart, who made 12 tackles, recovered two fumbles, forced another and broke up three passes.
Coach Al Onofrio was asked if there was a reason why Missouri had been so successful in running to the left against Colorado. "Well, I think you know who our left tackle is," he said. The player in question was 270-pound James Taylor, recovered sufficiently from a recent knee injury to make the left side the right side for Tiger backs. Two other well-healed players also excelled as the Tigers, down 14-0 in the first period, rallied to beat the Buffaloes 24-14. Quarterback Pete Woods passed for two touchdowns and sneaked over for a third, and Tailback Earl Gant rambled for 112 yards in 14 carries.