Although Mark Vlasic, starting his first game since taking over for All-American Chuck Long, threw for 288 yards and Jim Mauro caught a record-tying 3 touchdown passes Saturday, Coach Hayden Fry said his defense held the key to a season-opening 43-7 victory over Iowa State.
While Iowa's offense was amassing 580 total yards, the defense held the Cyclones to 125 yards, including minus-11 rushing. The Hawkeyes also had 7 sacks and gave up only 8 first downs.
"We shut down their running game," said Fry, assessing the victory that made him the winningest coach in the school's history. Fry, whose 25-year career record is 142-119-5, is 53-30-1 in eight seasons at Iowa, surpassing Forrest Evashevski, who compiled a 52-27-4 mark from 1952-60.
Mauro caught 5 passes for 149 yards, and Hawkeye sophomore fullback David Hudson rushed for 119 yards and a touchdown before a Kinnick Stadium-record crowd of 67,700 at Iowa City.
Mauro, a senior who entered the game with 4 catches for 114 yards in his Hawkeye career, caught touchdown passes of 43 and 47 yards from Vlasic, who completed 15 of 25 attempts in his first Iowa start. Mauro also caught a 17-yard scoring toss from wide receiver Robert Smith on a reverse option.
Minnesota 31, Bowling Green 7--Freshman tailback Darrell Thompson rushed for 205 yards and scored 4 touchdowns in the second half to power the Gophers to a season-opening victory at Minneapolis.
Thompson, who averaged 10.8 yards in 19 carries, scored on runs of 12, 10, 3 and 60 yards. His yardage was the most by a Minnesota back since Gary White rushed for 230 in 1979. Thompson's four touchdowns tied a school record.
The loss dropped Bowling Green to 1-1 as the Falcons had their 15-game, regular-season winning streak snapped.
Wisconsin, 35, N. Illinois 20--At Madison, Wis., Mike Howard threw touchdown passes of 8, 12, 28 and 79 yards, completing 11 of 17 attempts for 191 yards. His 4 touchdown passes tied a school record set by Neil Graff in 1969 and matched by Randy Wright in 1983, both times against Indiana.
The victory was the first for Jim Hilles, a longtime assistant to Dave McClain, who died last spring of a heart attack.
The Badgers are 1-1. Northern Illinois is 0-3.
Purdue 20, Ball State 3--Boilermaker freshman Jeff George, recognized as the national high school player of the year in 1985, passed for 225 yards, completing 23 of 40 attempts in his college debut at West Lafayette, Ind.
The 6-3, 195-pound George found Rick Brunner open in the end zone and lofted the ball over the only defender near him for a 30-yard touchdown. Rod Woodson returned a kickoff 97 yards for another touchdown.
Indiana 21, Louisville 0--At Bloomington, Ind., Spud Washington, Damon Sweazy and freshman Dan Boggan ran for second-half touchdowns as the Hoosiers snapped their seven-game losing streak.
It was Indiana's first shutout since a 30-0 victory over Northwestern in the first game of the 1982 season. It was made possible by the punting Dan Stryzinski, who averaged better than 50 yards on his 5 kicks.
Indiana is 1-0. Louisville is 0-2.