It looked like curtains for Notre Dame coach Gerry Faust when Michigan State took a 17-0 lead in East Lansing, aided in large part by a fumble and interception suffered by Irish quarterback Steve Beuerlein. But, although the Irish were trailing 17-3, "at halftime coach Faust was cool and confident," said tailback Allen Pinkett. "It's a shame he takes all the blame, because the players are the ones making mistakes." In the second half Pinkett personally made good for some of those miscues by scoring two TDs. Meanwhile, it was the Spartans who were making the slipups: three lost fumbles, two intercepted passes and a blocked punt by Notre Dame cornerback Mike Haywood that set up the go-ahead touchdown. "I had to make up for my defense," said Haywood, who had been burned for long gains early on. The final score was Notre Dame 24, Michigan State 20, and Faust was exuberant: "This looked like one of my old Moeller [High] teams, the way we came back. I rank this as one of Notre Dame's great comebacks."
"The word is 'choke,' " declared Missouri defensive tackle Robert Curry of the Tigers' 35-34 loss to Wisconsin. At the start of the fourth quarter, with Mizzou holding a fat 28-7 lead, Badger cornerback Bobby Taylor blocked a Missouri punt and teammate Richard Johnson fell on it in the end zone. Wisconsin scored three more times in the next eight minutes, going ahead 35-28 on a 21-yard draw by fullback Marck Harrison. Mizzou drove 67 yards for a touchdown with 1:28 to play, and Tiger coach Warren Powers elected to go for a win with a two-point conversion attempt. Warren Seitz threw to flanker George Shorthose, who was open in the corner of the end zone, but the ball went through his hands. "The Lord sends adversity to the great ones," said Missouri noseguard Steve Leshe, "and we're getting an early taste of ours."
In the first half of Miami's game at Purdue, Boilermaker Jim Everett's passing kept his team in the game, 17-14. At halftime the Hurricanes made a defensive adjustment by adding an extra lineman, Dallas Cameron, as a rushing end. "They told me to come at 100 miles per hour and put pressure on the quarterback," said Cameron. "I think it's fun. Only they didn't tell me what to do on running plays." With Cameron coming on strong the 'Canes shut out Purdue in the second half, winning 28-17.
"I like the ball in my hands, and I don't care how it gets there," said Ohio State's 235-pound tailback, Keith Byars. In a 44-0 defeat of Washington State in Columbus, Byars rushed 145 yards on 26 carries and added 47 more yards on six pass receptions. Quarterback Mike Tomczak, recovering from a compound fracture of the right leg he suffered in spring practice, replaced Jim Karsatos at 9:23 of the second quarter and directed three scoring drives.
In the fourth quarter of Nebraska's 42-7 thrashing of Minnesota, the 76,077 fans in Lincoln discovered The Wave. Husker coach Tom Osborne wasn't amused. "I think the fans got a little bored, and they were trying to get excited," said Osborne. "And that's fine with me. It's just that they mustn't do that when we're running the ball up the field. We're trying to move the football, and nobody can hear." Losing coach Lou Holtz of Minnesota didn't like what he saw on the field but had no gripe with what went on in the stands. "The Nebraska fans are tremendous," he said. "I mean, these folks come out and have a good time."
What's with Pitt? The Panthers' 42-10 loss to Oklahoma in Pitt Stadium was their fourth game in a row without a win going back to last season. The supposed strength of the team, the offensive line, was beaten all day, and Pitt gained only 32 yards on the ground. "It looked like they played an 11-man line with everybody around the ball," said Joe Moore, Pitt's offensive coordinator and line coach. "I've never been in a game where everybody got whipped like that." That included offensive tackle Bill Fralic, who said, "I'll always look back on this day with bad feelings. It will always haunt me." For their part, the Sooners were coolly efficient as Danny Bradley completed 12 of an un-Oklahoma-like 18 passes for 145 yards, two for touchdowns. Bradley also plunged for two TDs. "Coach Switzer is used to seeing this type of score," said Bradley. "Right now I think it would be hard for anyone to beat us. I think Pitt quit in the fourth quarter. They just gave up."
Army unveiled a wishbone and it was all the cadets hoped for. In a 41-15 victory over Colgate at West Point, quarterback Nate Sassaman, a converted defensive back, threw only three passes as the Black Knights rolled for 440 offensive yards. "I was a little surprised they [the defense] stayed up so close," said Sassaman. "They didn't adjust at all in the first half [which ended 24-12]. By the second half it was too late." In all, three backs—including Sassaman—ran for more than 100 yards apiece.
Rutgers snapped a five-game losing streak, beating Temple 10-9. The Scarlet Knight defense, with six freshmen in the lineup, hasn't allowed a touchdown in the last seven quarters.