Michael Norseth of the University of Kansas passed for 228 yards and one touchdown to lift the Blue team to a 27-20 victory over the Gray in the 48th annual All-Star Football Classic before 18,500 fans today.
Navy's Napoleon McCallum, who gained 106 yards in 14 carries and caught two passes for 25 more, was named the Gray's outstanding offensive player.
Norseth, who shared time at quarterback with Indiana's Steve Bradley, was named the game's most valuable player. He passed for 168 yards in the first half but his team trailed, 20-19, at halftime.
Norseth provided the rest of the points in the game, passing to Purdue's Steve Griffin for a 17-yard touchdown in the third quarter, then throwing a two-point conversion.
Running back Allen Pinkett of Notre Dame and Sterling, Va., who scored two touchdowns in the first half, was named the Blue's outstanding offensive player. Willie Pless of Kansas, who recovered a fumble, was named outstanding defensive player for the Blue.
Mississippi State's Aaron Pearson was the Gray's top defender.
Norseth, who said he had admired Purdue's pass-oriented offense, got his chance to try it today because Purdue's Leon Burtnett coached the Blue offense.
"We came out throwing, and that's the kind of offense I like," Norseth said. "I knew Coach Burtnett liked to pass the ball. He told us at practice that that was exactly what we were going to do."
"We started out throwing a lot to the backs," Burtnett said, "but after the Gray adjusted, Michael did a great job of hitting the wideouts.
"It's awful hard to adopt to an offense you've never seen in just a few days, but Michael did amazingly well."
Don McAulay of Syracuse kicked two field goals in the first half for the Blue team's other points.
Ken Karcher of Tulane gave the Gray team the early lead by throwing two touchdown passes in the first quarter. Florida running back Neal Anderson scored the other touchdown for the Gray in the second quarter.
The Gray drove deep into Blue territory twice in the fourth quarter, but couldn't score.
The Blue scored first on McAulay's 41-yard kick. After Louisiana Tech's Douglas Landry intercepted Norseth to kill another Blue threat, the Gray drove 62 yards, with Karcher passing to Kent Hagood for a 19-yard touchdown. Rice's James Hamrick kicked the extra point to put the Gray ahead by 7-3.
The Blue's Erroll Tucker fumbled the next kickoff and Pearson recovered at the Blue 15-yard line. Karcher passed to Anderson to get the touchdown and Hamrick provided the extra point.
After McAulay's 25-yard field goal cut the gap to 14-6, the Blue drew closer still when Pinkett ended a 66-yard drive with a one-yard touchdown run. But the try for a two-point conversion failed.
The Blue went ahead when Bradley directed a 60-yard drive that ended with Pinkett running a yard. McAulay's extra point gave the Blue a 19-14 lead.
The Gray regained the lead on Anderson's one-yard run with 3:50 left in the half.