Michigan State's Spartans, their Rose Bowl reservations confirmed last week, took care of one more important detail--they beat Wisconsin, 30-9, Saturday in Madison, Wis., to finish unbeaten in the Big Ten Conference.
"It was difficult to keep our concentration today, difficult for the coaches and the players," Coach George Perles said of the 11th-ranked Spartans. "We had to be careful about running away with all of our thoughts of Pasadena."
The Spartans accomplished that with two first-half touchdown runs by Lorenzo White, three field goals by John Langeloh and their typically strong defense that held Wisconsin to 75 yards in the second half.
Michigan State finished 8-2-1 overall and 7-0-1 in the Big Ten. Wisconsin finished 3-8 and 1-7 in its first season under Coach Don Morton.
White, despite suffering from a pulled hamstring, scored on runs of 23 yards and 1 yard, and Langeloh kicked three second-quarter field goals as the Spartans took a 23-9 halftime lead on a windy, chilly day at Camp Randall Stadium.
Blake Ezor, who alternated at tailback with White throughout the first half, ran 9 yards for a touchdown with 1:02 to go in the third quarter, completing the scoring.
White, who carried 56 times for 292 yards in a victory over Indiana last week, did not play after the first series of the second half and finished with 92 yards in 19 carries. He finished the season with 1,459 yards in 322 carries.
Indiana 35, Purdue 14--Anthony Thompson rushed for three touchdowns as the 20th-ranked Hoosiers scored five times after Purdue turnovers to beat the Boilermakers at Bloomington, Ind.
Thompson scored on runs of one, three, and five yards and quarterback Dave Kramme dived one yard for another touchdown to help the Hoosiers finish the regular season 8-3, their best record since 1967.
By winning the annual "Old Oaken Bucket" game, Indiana ended a four-year losing streak to Purdue and received a Jan. 2 Peach Bowl date in Atlanta against Tennessee.
Indiana finished second to Michigan State in the Big Ten with a 6-2 conference record. Purdue finished 3-7-1 overall and 3-5 in the conference.
Iowa 34, Minnesota 20--Chuck Hartlieb passed for two touchdowns and surpassed the 300-yard mark for the fifth time in the last six games to lead the 18th-ranked Hawkeyes past the Gophers at Iowa City, Iowa.
Iowa finished the regular season 9-3 with its fifth straight victory, tied for second in the conference at 6-2 and was to accept an invitation to play in the Dec. 30 Holiday Bowl at San Diego.
Minnesota finished 6-5 and 3-5.
Hartlieb completed 14 straight passes during one stretch in the first half and finished 26 of 41 for 328 yards. That improved his season total to 2,855 yards, the third-best figure in Iowa history.
Northwestern 28, Illinois 10--At Evanston, Ill., Mike Greenfield set up one touchdown with a 27-yard run and passed 29 yards to Bob Driscoll for another to lead the underdog Wildcats to a season-ending victory over the Illini.
Northwestern's Jeff Robinson intercepted an Illinois pass and returned 73 yards for a clinching touchdown with 21 seconds left.
The Wildcats broke a three-game losing streak and finished 2-6 in the Big Ten and 2-8-1 overall. Illinois, losing its third straight, fell to 2-5-1 and 3-7-1 overall.