It was no surprise that Mark Herrmann hit on four of six passes during a 65-yard drive to Purdue's first touchdown against Michigan. What did surprise the Wolverines was that Herrmann ran for only his second touchdown in three seasons and that reserve Running Back Ben McCall tallied on runs of two and nine yards. Unexpected, too, was a rugged Boilermaker defense that held Michigan, a team that had been rushing for an average of 275 yards a game, to only 99 yards on the ground. But the biggest surprise of all was the final score: Purdue 24, Michigan 21.
Asked how his Iowa team held Ohio State to 185 yards rushing, Coach Hayden Fry said, "Easy. The secret was to give them the ball real close to our goal line so they wouldn't have far to go." The Hawkeyes did, indeed, do that, losing five fumbles and five interceptions. "Then at the end, our own fullback backed into our punter, and maybe you think that isn't a kick in the rear," Fry added. Thus the Buckeyes won 34-7 and were alone at the top of the Big Ten.
Turnovers—eight of them—also did in Kansas State. But Nebraska also had trouble, losing five fumbles before taking the Big Eight contest 21-12. An interception and a 60-yard return by Lawrence Cole gave Nebraska a 7-6 halftime lead, but the rest of the Husker offense consisted mainly of two 15-yard scoring drives after Wildcat fumbles.
For the fourth week in a row, Oklahoma scored 38 points, smothering Kansas this time, 38-0. It was 10-0 at halftime, but then Billy Sims scored his 21st touchdown of the season and the rout was on.
Oklahoma State trailed 20-0 entering the fourth period, and 20-14 with 3:52 to play when Colorado Coach Chuck Fairbanks decided to try for a first down on fourth-and-a-foot at his own 39. The Cowboys stopped that cold and went on to win 21-20.
"It was like tackling had been declared illegal for the afternoon," Delaware Coach Tubby Raymond said after a 51-45 win over Youngstown ( Ohio) State. The Blue Hens had trailed 31-7 at halftime in this matchup of teams tied for first in the Division II ratings. But then Delaware poured across four touchdowns in 8:42 of the third period, and Ed Wood scored from a yard out with 24 seconds left to negate 264 yards rushing by Robby Robson of the Penguins.
A 37-14 win over Eastern Michigan helped Central Michigan clinch the MAC title.
1. NEBRASKA (9-0)
2. OKLAHOMA (8-1)
3. OHIO STATE (10-0)