San Jose State and Elway's dad, Jack, lost their first game, 26-7 to California; Wyoming defeated Hawaii 28-10; Big Sky Conference preseason favorite Boise State was upset by Northern Arizona 30-14 on Scott Lindquist's three touchdown passes; Montana State beat Idaho State 30-27; Idaho shaded Weber State 35-34; and Montana edged Nevada-Reno 28-27.
First quarter, Michigan State ball, first-and-10 on its own 29. The Spartans lose five yards. They lose 14. They lose 10 more. Oops, that made Michigan State Quarterback John Leister the only Spartan to get into an end zone all afternoon in an 11-3 loss to Notre Dame. Irish Defensive Tackle Mike Gann nailed Leister for the safety that put the Irish up 2-0, and walk-on Mike Johnston kicked field goals of 33, 29 and 42 yards. "Hey, we've got to give Johnston one, too," said Irish Coach Gerry Faust upon realizing he had overlooked his kicker after awarding game balls to his four defensive coaches. The Notre Dame defense picked off four passes, recovered two fumbles and held the winless Spartans to 19 yards rushing.
"There wasn't a lot of excitement, was there?" said Michigan Coach Bo Schembechler after the Wolverines had beaten back Indiana 24-10. No, Bo, there wasn't. Michigan used its grind-it-out ground game of yore, passing just 10 times while running 62. Tailback Lawrence Ricks carried on 22 of those occasions, for 124 yards and one TD.
Quarterback Kelly Lowrey caught an II-yard touchdown pass from Fullback Cedric Jones on an option play and threw six yards to Tight End Zeke Mowatt for another score that gave Florida State a 14-10 lead and sent the Seminoles on their way to a 34-17 defeat of Ohio State, the Buckeyes' second straight loss at home for the first time in 10 years.
Minnesota ran 96 plays to Illinois' 59, had 31 first downs to the Illini's 11 and outgained its Big Ten rival 442 yards to 345. Yet Gopher Coach Joe Salem said, "We got the hell beat out of us." The reasons the Gophs lost 42-24: seven fumbles, seven sacks and two big plays sandwiched around a safety. Illini Quarterback Tony Eason hit Wide Receiver Mike Martin for an 80-yard touchdown, and Kirby Wilson ran a punt back 46 for a touchdown.
Oklahoma junked its wishbone completely in favor of the I formation in a 13-3 victory over Iowa State. "We needed this win," explained Sooner Coach Barry Switzer, "and our runners had lost their confidence." Perhaps Switzer had, too: The Daily Oklahoman of Oklahoma City, the state's largest newspaper, editorialized last week that Switzer should think of moving on and suggested that his outside business interests had something to do with the team's 1-2 record. Switzer would have none of it. "We won and won," he said. "Now that we stubbed our toe, it's time for me to go."
Jim Melka's 32-yard, last-minute punt return for a TD gave Wisconsin a 35-31 win over Purdue; Miami downed Louisville 28-6; Missouri defeated East Carolina 28-9; Tulsa beat Kansas 20-15; Miami of Ohio blanked Kent State 20-0; Ohio edged Toledo 17-14; and Bowling Green took over first place in the Mid-American Conference by beating Western Michigan 7-3.
Northwestern, which had broken its record 34-game losing streak the previous week, lost 45-7 to Iowa, and new losing streak leader Eastern Michigan dropped its 23rd straight, 13-8 to Central Michigan.