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A crowd of 52,300, the largest ever to see a sporting event in Virginia, was on hand in Blacksburg. Those fans didn't get to see Tailback Cyrus Lawrence, Virginia Tech's alltime leading rusher; he had knee surgery on Friday and probably will miss the rest of the season. What those folks saw was a 16-6 victory by West Virginia, which got three field goals from Paul Woodside.
Florida State overwhelmed East Carolina 56-17. Along the way, the Seminoles racked up 706 yards in total offense, 456 of them through the air. Sophomore Tailback Greg Allen scored four touchdowns for Florida State, three on short runs and another when he caught a 24-yard pass.
Tailback Cliff Austin broke a 30-year-old Clemson record by gaining 260 yards on 27 carries in a 49-14 drubbing of Duke. The Tigers won without Quarterback Homer Jordan, who had an injured knee. Blue Devil Quarterback Ben Bennett, who had thrown 102 passes without having one picked off, was intercepted twice by Clemson Linebacker Johnny Rembert, who ran one grab 43 yards for a touchdown.
North Carolina and Maryland were tied with Clemson for the top spot in the Atlantic Coast Conference. The Tar Heels had an easy time of it in romping past North Carolina State 41-9 as Scott Stankavage passed for 203 yards. Stankavage, who connected on 11 of 18 throws, equaled a North Carolina record by firing four touchdown passes. Maryland defeated Wake Forest 52-31, John Nash running for three touchdowns for the Terps and Boomer Esiason adding three more touchdowns with his passing.
Notre Dame led Arizona 10-0 at the half and went in front 13-6 early in the fourth quarter when Mike Johnston kicked a 43-yard field goal. Not a big lead for the Irish, but seemingly a fairly secure one. After all, they had given up yardage grudgingly all season and had a defense that was first in Division 1-A against the rush (34.5 yards a game) and third in total defense (218.5 yards a game). But Quarterback Tom Tunnicliffe of the Wildcats found a few weaknesses in that defense. During a 79-yard drive, Tunnicliffe was on the mark with seven of nine aerials for 78 yards. The 79th yard? That was picked up by Running Back Phil Freeman, who banged into the end zone for the first rushing touchdown scored against Notre Dame this year. With 8:40 to go, the score was 13-13. Tunnicliffe helped unknot it with a 19-yard pass to Wide Receiver Brad Anderson that put the ball on the Irish 32 with six seconds remaining. That gave Tunnicliffe 19 completions in 38 attempts for 199 yards. Then it was Max Zendejas' turn. Zendejas, who had already scored on field goals of 38 and 32 yards, kicked one of 48 yards as time ran out. Thus, Notre Dame, which had won three games on field goals, lost one on a three-pointer, 16-13.
By putting its Rogers and Hammerstein combo to use and by having a Body in the right place at the right time, Michigan beat Iowa 29-7 and took over sole possession of first place in the Big Ten. One of the pivotal turnarounds started when Defensive Tackle Mike Hammerstein pounced on a Hawkeye fumble at the Iowa five. Running Back Rick Rogers promptly covered those five yards for a Wolverine touchdown. As for Body—Defensive Back Marion Body—he thwarted a Hawkeye drive by recovering a loose ball inches from the Michigan goal line. The Wolverines' small but quick defensive line—the heaviest starter weighed 247 pounds—did a job on the Iowa offensive line, which had no one below 240 pounds. Utilizing its speed, Michigan had eight quarterback sacks.
Wisconsin trailed Michigan State 10-0, but came back for a 24-23 win. The Badgers won their fourth game in a row as Randy Wright passed nine yards to Al Toon for a third-period touchdown and then hit him again with a two-point pass that ended the scoring. Indiana was a 40-21 victor at Minnesota, and Purdue was a 34-21 winner at home against Northwestern. The Boilermakers won despite a conference-record 15 receptions by Wildcat Split End Todd Jenkins, who gained 189 yards. Doing the throwing was freshman Sandy Schwab, who passed for 360 yards as he hit on 31 of 49 attempts. More than anyone, it was Mel Gray who enabled Purdue to end a nine-game losing streak, scoring twice and picking up 197 yards on 25 carries.
Productive runners also helped Nebraska and Oklahoma to remain tied for first place in the Big Eight. Husker Coach Tom Osborne had banked on passing about 25 times against Kansas State, but after three of his receivers fumbled completions, he decided to stick mainly to the ground. I Back Mike Rozier didn't mind the switch; he stormed through the Wildcats for 204 yards on 21 carries and scored on runs of 27 and 46 yards in a 42-13 Cornhusker victory. Although he carried the ball only nine times, freshman Halfback Marcus Dupree was Oklahoma's main man in a 38-14 drubbing of Kansas. Dupree accounted for 158 yards and had TD runs of 75, 13 and seven yards. Frank Seurer of Kansas, the conference's leading passer in yards, suffered a separation of the left shoulder, which will sideline him for at least two weeks. Missouri, which hadn't been involved in a tie for 15 years until two weeks ago, played its second in a row—17-17 against Iowa State.
Wichita State clung to its lead in the Missouri Valley Conference by holding off New Mexico State 28-26. Miami of Ohio, however, was bumped out of the top spot in the MidAmerican when it lost 10-0 at Western Michigan. Bowling Green took over first place by beating Northern Illinois 20-18.