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The night before the game, police tried to break up a block party at State and Salisbury Streets in West Lafayette, and some of the 2,000 Purdue students gathered there threw rocks and bottles. Twenty-four were arrested.
"I don't listen [to the boos] and I don't care," said Notre Dame outside linebacker Mike Golic. "If they want to boo they can boo." The fans in South Bend had razzed the Irish after their 31-13 loss to Miami, and what hurt was that the team deserved it. Though playing in heavy rain, the Hurricanes, who trailed 10-7 at halftime, moved the ball almost at will in the second half. After Miami running back Alonzo Highsmith scored his fourth TD, with 1:13 left to play, some Notre Dame students chanted, "Go for two." "This is the lowest I've ever felt after a game," said Irish defensive tackle Mike Gann.
Michigan State coach George Perles revved up his offense before its game at Michigan by quoting from newspaper articles that called the Spartans dull. "The media did a great job of coaching today," said Perles after the Spartans' 19-7 upset. "I know we're not good copy, but we're not where we want to be yet. We're building a foundation." State forced four turnovers, and fullback Bobby Morse caught six passes for 57 yards and returned a punt 87 yards for a touchdown. "Once I got the kickout block, all I saw was sideline," said Morse, whose dad, Jim, played in the same Notre Dame backfield with Paul Hornung. "I wasn't going to let anybody catch me."
Oklahoma State once again gave Nebraska all it could handle. Last year the Cowboys led 10-7 at halftime before losing 14-10. This time they were ahead 3-0 through three quarters in Lincoln before the Cornhuskers came up with a field goal, a 49-yard punt return by Shane (Cowboy) Swanson and a 64-yard pass play to win 17-3. Said Oklahoma State quarterback Rusty Hilger, a devotee of positive-thinking tapes, "All day long I had this feeling of anxiety. I was wondering what was going to happen."
Syracuse's Huskerbusters went to Gainesville boasting a defense ranked No. 1 in the nation against the pass and No. 2 overall, but it was Florida that had the D this day, shutting out the Orange 16-0. The main damage was done by 222-pound outside linebacker Alonzo Johnson, who broke up a pass and had nine tackles, including three sacks. Johnson's performance didn't surprise Florida quarterback Kerwin Bell. "When I was playing on the sixth and seventh teams, he did that to me all the time," said Bell. "I remember one scrimmage when he sacked me 10 times." Said Syracuse coach Dick MacPherson, "He leaped over our people a few times, he ran over people a few times, and he went underneath them a few times."
A week after beating Clemson, Georgia Tech lost 27-22 to North Carolina State. The Yellow Jackets turned the ball over four times, their defense yielded 333 yards—Wolfpack tailback Joe McIntosh got 138 of them—and Robert Lavette was held to 76 yards. "They had defenses we hadn't seen before," said Lavette. "They were flexing their tackles. We never could figure that out."
"They took us lightly," said State coach Tom Reed. "In fact, they took us as kind of a joke. I think the joke's on them."
Florida State came up with a 17-17 draw at Memphis State on a 42-yard field goal on the last play of the game by freshman kicker Derek Schmidt. "I've never been so happy with a tie game in my life," said Seminole coach Bobby Bowden.
Outside Vanderbilt Stadium vendors were selling black-and-gold WELCOME TO THE TOP 20 bumper stickers before the Commodores met winless Tulane. The outcome was to be Welcome To The Win Column for the Green Wave as quarterback Ken Kar�her burned the Vandy secondary, completing 24 of 39 passes for 316 yards to lead Tulane to a 27-23 victory. "We've been close in other games," said Tulane coach Wally English. "Somebody said it was like selling encyclopedias—we've been in the house several times, but in this one we stuck around and closed the deal."