As part of an ongoing series throughout the fall, The National Football Foundation & College Hall of Fame shares “This Week in College Football History,” which looks back at some of college football’s landmark moments over the last 147 years.
Featured this week are some of the many notable games played over the decades during the week of Sept. 5-Sept. 11, including a clash between Boston College and Alabama that launched a historical season for Eagles quarterback Doug Flutie.
Sept. 5, 1992
No. 1 Miami (Fla.) def. No. 16 Iowa, 24-7
Iowa City, Iowa
Miami defeated Iowa to bring much needed relief in the aftermath of Hurricane Andrew, which had devastated South Florida and leveled the homes of head coach Dennis Erickson and several players’ families. Hall of Fame quarterback Gino Toretta led the way, throwing for 433 yards and two touchdowns. The Hurricanes defense shut out the Hawkeyes until a 35-yard touchdown pass from quarterback Jim Hartlieb to receiver Harold Jasper pulled Iowa within 17-7 late in the game. Miami quickly responded with a five-play drive that led to Toretta’s second touchdown pass, a 35-yarder to running back Darryl Spencer, which sealed the victory. The Hurricanes would finish the season 11-1, with their lone loss coming in the Sugar Bowl to national champion Alabama. Hall of Fame coach Hayden Fry’s Hawkeyes finished the year at 5-7.
Sept. 6, 1975
Grambling State def. Alcorn State, 27-3
In the first-ever college football game at the New Orleans Superdome, Hall of Fame quarterback Doug Williams tossed for 171 yards and four touchdowns as Grambling coasted to a 27-3 victory. Alcorn State contributed to their own downfall with six turnovers, with the Tigers intercepting more passes (4) than the Braves had receptions (2). With the win, Hall of Fame coach Eddie Robinson and Grambling State avenged their only loss from the previous season. The Tigers would finish 1975 with a 10-2 record and a first place tie for the SWAC title. Hall of Fame coach Marino Casem and Alcorn State finished at 6-3-1.
Sept. 7, 2006
Boise State def. Oregon State, 42-14
With a win over BCS-conference team Oregon State, Boise State began emerging as one of the elite teams in the country. It was the Beavers that got things started with an 85-yard opening drive that ended in a touchdown pass by quarterback Matt Moore. It looked like Oregon State would pull away early as receiver Sammie Stroughter followed with a 64-yard punt return for a touchdown to give the Beavers a 14-0 lead in the first quarter. However, Oregon State was kept off of the scoreboard the rest of the way as Boise State’s offense exploded behind running back Ian Johnson, who scored three touchdowns in the first half to give the Broncos a 28-14 lead. He would go on to add two more touchdown runs in the second half, tying a Boise State record with five touchdowns in a single game. The Broncos would end their incredible 2006 season at No. 5 in the AP Poll with a perfect 13-0 record after defeating Oklahoma in a dramatic overtime thriller in the Fiesta Bowl. Oregon State would defeat Missouri in the Sun Bowl to finish 10-4 at No. 21.
Sept. 8, 1984
No. 18 Boston College def. No. 9 Alabama, 38-31
Hall of Fame quarterback and NFF National Scholar-Athlete Doug Flutie began his Heisman Trophy season in style, accounting for three touchdowns while leading Boston College back from a 31-14 deficit despite playing the final 20 minutes with an injured shoulder. Alabama had set up its large lead behind tailback Kerry Goode’s three touchdowns, including a 99-yard kickoff return to open the second half, but it was all Eagles from there. Safety Tony Thurman’s interception set up Flutie’s five-yard touchdown run, which was followed by a field goal to tie the game at 31 apiece. Boston College tailback Troy Stradford supplied the winning points with a 42-yard touchdown run, and Thurman sealed the victory with an interception in the end zone, his third of the game. Boston College would finish 10-2 and ranked No. 5 after a Cotton Bowl victory over Houston while Alabama ended the year at 5-6.
Sept. 9, 2011
Florida International def. Louisville, 24-17
Florida International marched into Louisville motivated and left elated, taking down the Cardinals and marking the Panthers’ first win over a team from a BCS conference. Panthers quarterback Wesley Carroll gashed the Louisville defensive backfield repeatedly, passing for 248 yards, and wide receiver T.Y. Hilton caught touchdowns of 74 and 83 yards on his first two grabs. Hilton’s seven catches for 201 yards set a school record. With 1:49 remaining in the game, Cardinals quarterback Will Stein hit receiver DeVante Parker for a 26-yard score to pull within one possession, but Louisville couldn’t get their hands on the ensuing onside kick. FIU punted the ball with 38 seconds left, but recovered a Cardinal fumble as time expired. Florida International finished the season 8-5 after losing in the Beef O’Brady’s Bowl to Marshall. Louisville finished 7-6, with a loss to N.C. State in the Belk Bowl.
Sept. 10, 1988
No. 5 UCLA def. No. 2 Nebraska, 41-28
College Football Hall of Fame coach Terry Donahue earned his 100th victory in surprisingly easy fashion over No. 2 Nebraska at the Rose Bowl. UCLA jumped out to a 28-0 lead in the first quarter behind Hall of Fame quarterback Troy Aikman, who threw for 101 yards and two touchdowns during the early outburst. The Bruins made one big scoring play after another, including a 57-yard reception by tight end Charles Arbuckle, a 50-yard run by tailback Shawn Wills and a 75-yard punt return by Darryl Henley. The Huskers finally managed to find some luck as the refs missed safety Mark Blazek’s knee touching the ground before he returned an interception 75 yards for a touchdown, but the Bruins maintained a 38-14 lead at halftime. Quarterback Steve Taylor did all he could to try to rally Nebraska, rushing for 95 yards and passing for 125 yards and two touchdowns in the second half, but it would not be enough. UCLA’s 41 points were the most allowed by a team coached by Hall of Famer Tom Osborne. The Bruins would finish the season ranked No. 6 with a 10-2 record after a Cotton Bowl victory over Arkansas. Nebraska lost to Miami (Fla.) in the Orange Bowl to finish 11-2 at No. 10.
Sept. 11, 1965
Tulsa def. Houston, 14-0
In the first game played indoors at a major venue in football history, 37,000 people filed into the Astrodome in Houston to see the Cougars face the Tulsa Golden Hurricane. It was a defensive stalemate to begin the game, as College Football Hall of Fame head coach Bill Yeoman focused his defense on stopping Tulsa’s coach, College Hall of Fame player Glenn Dobbs, and his new signal-caller, Bill Anderson. However, Anderson accrued 230 yards passing in the game, including two scoring passes, one of which went to College Football Hall of Fame split end Howard Twilley, to account for the only points of the game. Houston finished its season 4-5-1, while Tulsa went 8-3 with a loss in the Bluebonnet Bowl to Tennessee..
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