SMU beat Rice 31-17, scoring 17 points in the second quarter as the Owls shanked punts of 13 and 18 yards and lost a fumble at their own 19.
Despite the valiant efforts of Chuck Long, Iowa's Rose Bowl hopes were dashed 17-16 by visiting Michigan State. The Hawkeyes trailed 17-3 entering the last quarter. Then Long, who didn't play until the third period because" of a bruised knee, completed 12 consecutive throws. His last throw of the day was a three-yarder to Jonathan Hayes with 44 seconds left that whittled the Spartans' lead to one point. With Iowa needing a win to remain the Big Ten's top contender for the Rose Bowl, Long tried to run for the two-point conversion, but he came up eight inches short.
Wisconsin's 30-13 defeat of Purdue kept the Boilermakers from supplanting Iowa as the Pasadena front-runner. Marck Harrison led the Badgers' ground assault by rushing for more than 200 yards for the second time in his three weeks as the starting tailback. He ground out 225 yards in 38 carries. Mike Howard took care of Wisconsin's air attack, completing 20 of 30 passes for 290 yards and three touchdowns.
A 52-3 drubbing of Northwestern put Ohio State atop the Big Ten and set up this week's war with Michigan: If Ohio State wins, it goes to the Rose Bowl. Keith Byars of the Buckeyes rumbled for 151 yards and two TDs and then sat out the fourth quarter, resting his sore left ankle. Even with the reserves playing that final period, Ohio State tacked on another 27 points.
Kansas kicked off to start its game with Nebraska, because coach Mike Gottfried hoped the Huskers might be slowed in the opening period by gusting winds of as much as 30 mph. Wind or not, the Huskers breezed to a 21-0 first-quarter lead, a 41-7 triumph and no worse than a share of the Big Eight championship. Nebraska, which entered the game ranked first in Division I-A in total defense (198.8 yards a game) and second in rushing defense (77.8 yards), gave up 246 yards in all, only 24 on the ground.
Colorado tried some Black Magic against Oklahoma, suiting up in black jerseys instead of its usual blues. The Buffaloes, however, were left black and blue by the Sooners, who won 42-17. If there was any magic, it was the speed with which Oklahoma scored. Four Sooner touchdown drives took a total of only 3:10, starting with an 80-yarder that required a mere 48 seconds; Lydell Carr, who carried 15 times for 143 yards, ended that rapid assault with a 64-yard scoring burst.
Missouri led 13-10 at Oklahoma State with 10:45 to go in the third period before falling apart. The first critical Tiger mistake came when linebacker Bo Sherrill, frustrated because he'd missed a block on Cowboy offensive tackle Paul Blair, ripped off Blair's helmet and then kicked it. This led to an unsportsmanlike conduct penalty that moved the ball to the Tiger two. Three plays later, Oklahoma State running back Thurman Thomas barged in from the one. Early in the fourth quarter, Cowboy quarterback Rusty Hilger handed off to Thomas, who pitched back to Hilger, who threw a 36-yard scoring strike to Jamie Harris. Oklahoma State won 31-13.
Indiana State rooters waved their Horrible Hankies, but in the end their Sycamores had to wave goodby to dreams of an unbeaten season and the Missouri Valley Conference title. Nonetheless, Indiana State, a I-AA team, put up a rousing fight before losing 24-17 to I-A Tulsa. Quarterback Richie Stephenson, who stepped in for Steve Gage on Sept. 29 when Gage suffered a broken jaw against Oklahoma State, guided the Golden Hurricane to its fifth straight first-place finish. Stephenson was on the mark with 13 of 20 passes for 227 yards and a TD, ran 25 yards for another TD and leaped one yard for a third.
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