On the way to its first victory in Ann Arbor since 1958, Iowa displayed a stingy defense that gave up only 263 yards to Michigan and got three field goals from freshman Tom Nichol. That was all the scoring Iowa needed, and all it did. Nichol kicked a pair of three-pointers in the first quarter and added a 30-yarder in the third period after Mel Cole had made an end-zone interception. The 9-7 win left the Hawkeyes the only team undefeated in Big Ten competition. For the first time in 14 seasons, the conference representative in the Rose Bowl probably won't be either Michigan or Ohio State.
Ohio State stopped Illinois runners cold: 18 yards in 20 carries. However, the Buckeyes were almost done in by the passing of Tony Eason, who completed 27 of 47 for 386 yards and two touchdowns. Unfortunately for him, Eason was also intercepted three times. Ohio State built its 34-27 triumph around the running of tailbacks Tim Spencer (131 yards) and Jimmy Gayle (119). Spencer put the Buckeyes ahead 31-27 with an eight-yard cross buck in the third period.
Three touchdown passes by Scott Campbell propelled Purdue to a 35-0 rout at Northwestern. It was the Wildcats' 26th consecutive loss, two short of the major-college record held by Kansas State and Virginia. Indiana staved off Minnesota 17-16.
"I had to prepare two game plans—one with Crutchfield playing and one without," Iowa State Coach Donnie Duncan said after jolting previously unbeaten Missouri 34-13. Dwayne Crutchfield didn't let a badly sprained left ankle or a twisted left knee keep him from playing. Even a knockout blow couldn't stop him for long. Crutchfield was coldcocked after diving into the end zone for a touchdown in the first quarter and landing on his head. Once the cobwebs cleared and a bloody gash on the bridge of his nose had been cleaned up, Crutchfield returned and finished with 32 rushes for 98 yards and three touchdowns. And he did this against a Tiger defense that had been limiting opponents to a mere 79 yards a game on the ground, the sixth-best figure in the country. It helped, too, that the Cyclone defense forced five turnovers and that John Quinn passed for 226 yards.
Kansas State used a Heinz 57 defense, but Nebraska countered with a spicy offense and a bread-and-butter defense that added up to a 49-3 wipeout. "They lined up practically every way imaginable," Husker Quarterback Turner Gill said of the Wildcats. Nevertheless, the Huskers rolled up 674 yards of offense, 93 on a touchdown run by I-Back Mike Rozier. Nebraska stands alone at the top of the Big Eight.
Three Oklahoma reserves accounted for five touchdowns in a 45-7 romp past Kansas. Freshman Steve Sewell, who started because Halfback Chet Winters was hurt, scored on a 17-yard run. Another freshman halfback, Alvin Ross, tallied on runs of one and two yards. And Darrell Shepard, who took over at quarterback in the second half after Kelly Phelps sprained an ankle, scored on runs of one and 10 yards.
Colorado seemed headed for its fifth straight defeat: The Buffaloes trailed Oklahoma State 10-3 with the ball on their own four, 88 seconds left and no time-outs remaining. Worse yet, Quarterback Randy Essington was out with bruised ribs, and sophomore Steve Vogel, who had thrown only four passes in his career, was in charge of the offense. What was Vogel to do, especially against a Cowboy defense ranked No. 2 in the nation? Simple: complete five passes in a row, the last a nine-yarder to Brad Parker for a touchdown with six seconds to go. Then victory-starved Colorado got a two-point conversion pass from Vogel to Derek Singleton to win 11-10.
With Quarterback Jim Kelso passing 37 yards for one touchdown and carrying the ball for another six-pointer, Toledo toppled Central Michigan 17-3. That gave the Rockets undisputed possession of first place in the Mid-American Conference.
For a walk-on, Cincinnati's James Bettis has done mighty well. By rushing for 203 yards during a 27-18 win over Richmond, the senior tailback became the Bearcats' alltime leading ground-gainer, with 2,226 yards.