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Rain wasn't the only thing that dropped out of the sky to dampen the spirits of Oklahoma rooters. John Elway's passes also came teeming-down—usually in the hands of intended receivers—as Stanford stunned the Sooners 31-14. In addition to provoking seven turnovers, building a 31-0 lead and holding Oklahoma without a first down for a stretch of almost 28 minutes, the Cardinals led in every vital category: 27-10 in first downs, 237 yards to 188 in passing; 44 yards to 33 in punting average. In fact, even though ace runner Darrin Nelson was sidelined with a bruised hip, Stanford outrushed the Sooners, 220 to 153.
Dwayne Crutchfield, a 232-pound tailback for Iowa State, didn't tell Coach Donnie Duncan how painful his bruised knee was. Instead, he told himself, "If I have to run through those holes on one leg, I'll do it." He did it. Crutchfield picked up 84 yards. Quarterback John Quinn threw a touchdown pass to Jim Knuth, and Alex Giffords boomed a 49-yard field goal as the Cyclones salvaged some glory for the Big Eight with a 10-7 non-conference win over Iowa.
Michigan's Bo Schembechler, normally an ultraconservative coach, took a rare gamble. With fourth down and inches to go at his own 29 on the first play of the fourth quarter, Schembechler decided to go for it, even though the Wolverines led South Carolina 14-10. His call—a fake punt and run—was anticipated by the Gamecocks, who turned it into a Bo boo-boo. After stopping the play cold, South Carolina marched in for the score and a 17-14 win. Michigan had taken a 14-3 lead when John Wangler twice passed to Anthony Carter for TDs. George Rogers kept the Gamecocks on the move by pounding out 142 yards in 36 carries.
Southern California arrived in Minnesota just in time for that state's first frost of the fall. USC got a chill of another sort during the game, finding Gopher defenders as hard to budge as icebergs. Minnesota, which had given up 47 points to Ohio State the week before, kept USC off the scoreboard until walk-on Quarterback Gordon Adams hit Flanker Kevin Williams with a 29-yard pass 46 seconds before the half. Eric Hipp's 39-yard field goal made it 10-0, but the Gophers cut the margin to 10-7 when Marion Barber scored on a 16-yard jaunt. Near the end, Minnesota's iceberg defense melted, and Trojan Tailback Marcus Allen broke loose for scoring runs of 20 and 37 yards as USC won 24-7. In all, Allen rushed 42 times for 216 yards.
Both quarterbacks accumulated impressive stats as Ohio State defeated Arizona State 38-21 in another Big Ten- Pac-10 showdown. Mike Pagel of the Sun Devils ran for 25 yards and passed for 288 and a pair of touchdowns as he connected on 24 of 49 attempts. That gave him 313 yards overall, three more than Art Schlichter of the Buckeyes. When not running for 39 yards, Schlichter hit on 14 of 19 passes for 271 yards and three TDs. Six of Schlichter's passes, good for 133 yards and 12 points, went to Doug Donley.
For Penn State, which hoped to avenge last season's 42-17 loss at Nebraska, the rematch turned into more of the same. Jarvis Redwine of the Huskers stunned the Nittany Lions with another vintage performance, powering his way for 189 yards and two touchdowns on 34 carries. Quarterback Jeff Quinn added deft passing, connecting on 12 of 17 throws for 158 yards. And the Nebraska defense was positively devastating, forcing seven turnovers and sacking Penn State quarterbacks nine times for minus 88 yards. When it was all over, the Nittany Lions had lost again, 21-7.
Before leaving the game early in the second quarter with a slightly sprained knee, Pittsburgh Quarterback Dan Marino uncorked three touchdown passes as he made good on nine of 15 attempts for 150 yards. That was enough to send the Panthers on their way to a 36-2 triumph over Temple. In the fourth period, Rick Trocano, who had been the Panthers' No. 1 signal caller last season until Marino took charge, stepped in. Trocano, who had started at safety against the Owls, made the most of his chance by completing five of six passes for 80 yards and leading the Panthers to a final TD.