Penn State Coach Joe Paterno seemed neither appreciative nor charitable after the Nittany Lions' 52-0 thrashing of Cincinnati. "We still have a long way to go," said Paterno about an offense that generated 421 total yards and a defense that allowed only 121. Curt Warner provided the fuel for Penn State's offense, rushing for 122 yards and scoring three touchdowns.
"I think this shows we have the potential to beat anybody on our schedule, bar none," said Temple Quarterback Tink Murphy after the Owls beat Syracuse 31-19. Among Temple's upcoming opponents: Penn State on Oct. 3. The ebullient Murphy completed 16 of 26 passes for 192 yards and one touchdown. Other winners were: Navy, which defeated The Citadel 17-7; Rutgers, which beat Colgate 13-5; and Holy Cross, which defeated Boston University 14-6.
"We've studied Nebraska's tendencies for the past several years and our defense knew just about what to expect," said Iowa Coach Hayden Fry. What he didn't say was that for the most part the expectations had been unavailing, to wit, last season's 57-0 blowout by the Cornhuskers. Saturday, however, the Hawkeye defenders were summa cum laude in a 10-7 upset of Nebraska. The Cornhuskers, who were first in the nation in rushing offense a year ago, were held to 150 yards and entered Iowa territory only three times in the first three quarters. "Never have I seen so many do so much on defense to win a game," said Fry in presenting the game ball to Defensive Coach Bill Brashier. On offense Iowa came out in an unbalanced line for the first time since Fry has been at Iowa. "It worked well in the first quarter and into the second before Nebraska caught on," said Fry. By that time Eddie Phillips had scored on a two-yard run and Lon Olejniczak had kicked a 35-yard field goal for the Hawkeyes. Another big Iowa weapon was Punter Reggie Roby, who set a school record with five kicks for 279 yards, a 55.8 average. Nebraska marched to the Iowa 36 but fumbled with 2:51 left. Iowa fumbled the ball right back to the Cornhuskers, who stalled again at the Iowa 39, losing the ball on downs. A final possession resulted in an interception, finally sealing the win for the Hawkeyes.
Purdue also bested a highly regarded opponent, beating Stanford 27-19. Sophomore Quarterback Scott Campbell, whose only other collegiate start came in a nationally telecast game against Notre Dame last year, was boffo before the cameras, completing 14 of 18 passes for 177 yards and one touchdown. Also starring was Tailback Jimmy Smith, who scored three touchdowns, including one on a 100-yard kickoff return. Stanford's John Elway completed 33 of 44 passes for 418 yards and one touchdown, but the Cardinals lost three fumbles and were penalized 15 times for 104 yards.
Viewing Ohio State's 34-13 win over Duke was none other than Woody Hayes, making his first trip to Ohio Stadium for an OSU game since Nov. 25, 1978. Sitting in an obscure radio booth, the 68-year-old Hayes allowed that he "had a hand" in recruiting 21 players on the present OSU team, including junior Tailback Tim Spencer, who scored three touchdowns, one an 82-yard scamper on the Buckeyes' first play from scrimmage. Quarterback Art Schlichter, another Hayes recruit, ran for one score and passed for another. In other games involving Big Ten teams Illinois beat Michigan State 27-17, Minnesota beat Ohio University 19-17, and Indiana edged Northwestern 21-20 when the Wildcats, trying for their first win in 27 games in the Big Ten, missed a two-point conversion late in the game.
Oklahoma had trouble in its season opener. Wyoming led the Sooners 20-17 midway in the second half before finally going under 37-20. Nevertheless, Barry Switzer called it OU's best opener in nine years. Five other Big Eight teams won games against non-conference opponents.
In his first game as a collegiate coach, Gerry Faust emerged victorious as Notre Dame whomped LSU 27-9. Leading the way for the Irish were Middle Linebacker Bob Crable, who had 13 solo tackles, including three on a goal-line stand, and Quarterback Tim Koegel, who completed six of seven passes for 101 yards and a touchdown. "Notre Dame would have won without those players and that coach from Moeller," said Faust, who coached Crable, Koegel and seven others on the Notre Dame roster when he was at Moeller High in Cincinnati.