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The symbolism was only too obvious as Sooner Coach Barry Switzer showed up at a press conference with an orange in each hand after Oklahoma had rushed for 430 yards and destroyed Colorado 52-14. That assured Oklahoma of at least a share of the Big Eight title and set up a Nov. 25 showdown with Nebraska to see who will wind up with the Orange Bowl bid. When Fullback Kenny King was not busy piling up 121 yards in 18 carries, Quarterback Thomas Lott was gaining 83 yards in 11 tries and passing 28 yards for a touchdown, and Halfback Billy Sims was scoring on half of his six runs.
Nebraska also scored 52 points and set a school record by rushing for 550 yards. When Nebraska's 52-7 rout of Kansas was over, three I backs had accumulated 397 yards: I. M. Hipp got 200 yards in 23 carries; Rick Berns added 107 in eight trips, three of them touchdown runs of 63, 10 and five yards; and 5'7", 175-pound Tim Wurth lugged the ball 13 times for 90 yards.
Even though Missouri Quarterback Pete Woods had undergone surgery on a broken finger and did not play and although Oklahoma State's Terry Miller ran for a school-record 246 yards in 38 attempts, the Tigers beat Oklahoma State 41-14. Miller's two touchdowns had given the Cowboys a 14-10 lead going into the fourth quarter, but then the Tigers scored 31 points. Iowa State kept its bowl hopes alive with a 22-15 triumph at Kansas State in which Tailback Dexter Green gained 135 yards. Wildcat Coach Ellis Rainsberger announced his resignation before the game amid charges that his staff had misrepresented the identity of two players who had been in a junior varsity contest earlier in the week.
There was lots of unusual running in the Big Ten. Ohio State ran around the goalposts, Michigan proved it could keep its footing on real live grass and Minnesota's Kent Kitzmann ran and ran and ran and ran and...Because his players "have been notoriously slow starters" and because they were tied 7-7 with Indiana, Coach Woody Hayes had his Buckeyes loosen up by running around the goalposts before the second half. Warmed up, the Buckeyes spent the rest of the game running into the Hoosier end zone. Ohio State's 35-7 romp was built around Jeff Logan's 148 yards rushing. Michigan, whose only three losses in the past two seasons have come on grass, returned to Purdue, where it was upset last year 16-14. This time the Wolverines tore up the grass in a 40-7 win as Russell Davis rumbled for 167 yards. They also limited Purdue's Mark Herrmann to 10 completions in 22 attempts for 74 yards, intercepted him three times and sacked him for a safety. Kitzmann, a sophomore fullback who had carried only 54 times for 227 yards all season, surpassed both totals as Minnesota blanked Illinois 21-0. What Kitzmann did was gain 266 yards and score all three Gopher touchdowns as he set an NCAA record by lugging the ball 57 times.
Two fumble recoveries, a blocked punt and an interception—all by Safety Rod Sears—helped Iowa win 24-8 over Wisconsin, whose coach, John Jardine, announced he will retire at the season's end. Winless Northwestern lost 44-3 to Michigan State.
Miami of Ohio, with Jeff Feicht running for 135 yards and two touchdowns, stopped Kent State 25-0 and earned the Mid-American Conference title. Austin Peay's 24-21 defeat of Tennessee Tech moved the Governors to the top of the Ohio Valley Conference. Taking over first place in the Missouri Valley was Wichita State, a 41-14 victor over Indiana State as Jim Andrus threw five TD passes. Senior Vince Allen of Indiana State picked up 143 yards rushing, his 26th game of 100 or more yards, to bring his career yardage to 4,207.
Tom Stine, a junior at Central Methodist (Mo.), who the week before had set an NAIA mark by passing for 571 yards, eclipsed that record by five yards during a 49-32 victory over Tarkio. Stine completed 36 of 65 passes, six of them for touchdowns.