This Week in College Football History

Courtesy of the National Football Foundation

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Featured Moment: October 15, 1988

On Oct. 15, 1988, Coach Lou Holtz guided Notre Dame to a 31-30 upset of No. 1 Miami as the
Irish batted down a two-point conversion pass attempt by the Hurricanes with 45 seconds left.
(Image courtesy of the NFF)

This report courtesy of the National Football Foundation.

Published by Bonesville on Oct. 12, 2013


Oct. 15, 1988: No. 4 Notre Dame and top-ranked and defending national champion Miami (FL) headed into the game with perfect records in 1988 under Hall of Fame coaches Lou Holtz (William & Mary, North Carolina State, Arkansas, Minnesota, Notre Dame, South Carolina) and Jimmy Johnson (Oklahoma State, Miami (FL)). The game was closely contested, with the teams trading scores and the lead. A Miami touchdown with 45 seconds remaining put the Hurricanes down by one, and Johnson opted to go for the win with a two-point conversion. However, the two-point pass was knocked down, giving Notre Dame a one-point victory and snapping Miami’s 37-regular season game win streak. The Hurricanes went 11-1 on the season, earning a 23-3 Orange Bowl victory over No. 6 Nebraska and HOF coach Tom Osborne. The Fighting Irish won the national title with a 12-0 mark and a 34-21 win against West Virginia in the Fiesta Bowl.


Oct. 14, 1955: Hall of Fame halfback Jon Arnett (Southern California) was all over the field as he led the Trojans to a thrilling, 33-21, win over Wisconsin. Arnett carried the ball 13 times for 134 yards and two touchdowns, threw a four-yard pass, caught a 14-yard pass, recovered three fumbles and had 87 yards as a return man. In a game that saw five lead changes, Arnett opened the scoring with a 55-yard TD, but Wisconsin responded, holding a 7-6 halftime advantage. The teams traded scores in the second half, and USC was up 26-14 when the Badgers connected for a 78-yard TD bomb to close the score to 26-21. It was not enough, though, as the Trojans ran off the last six minutes driving to Arnett’s second score and a USC victory.

Oct. 16, 1897: Oct. 16, 1897, marked the first meeting between storied rivals Ohio State and Michigan. Taking place in Ann Arbor, the Wolverines defeated the Buckeyes, 34-0. Michigan leads the all-time series 58-45-6. Each team has played spoiler to the other numerous times; the Wolverines have broken up six perfect seasons (1906, 1926, 1933, 1969, 1973, 1996) and two undefeated seasons (1932, 1993) for Ohio State, while the Buckeyes have prevented four perfect seasons (1970, 1972, 1973, 1974) and two undefeated seasons (1921, 1931) for Michigan. The two schools have combined to produce 12 Hall of Fame coaches and 53 Hall of Fame players, including 2013 inductee Orlando Pace (Ohio State).

Oct. 17, 1959: Iowa State’s 1959 “Dirt Thirty” team, named because the Cyclones shrank from 55 to 30 players before the start of the season, gained fame with its 27-0 shutout of Big 8 rival Colorado in Boulder. Team captain and tailback Dwight Nichols led the squad, going 5-6 for 80 yards passing with one touchdown, and carried the ball 21 times for 72 yards and two rushing scores. Wingback Mike Fitzgerald rushed six times for 98 yards and a TD, while catching two passes for 58 yards and a TD reception in Iowa State’s single wing offense. Colorado never got going offensively as quarterback Gale Weidner was just 2-10 passing for five yards and an interception in the 27-0 loss. The undersized Cyclones showed big heart and determination throughout the season, finishing with a 7-3 record, posting four shutouts and outscoring opponents 248-80.

Oct. 18, 2003: Locked in a close matchup, the 2003 tilt between Pac-10 rivals California and UCLA came down to the kicking game as the Golden Bears missed a pair of field goals and had two more attempts blocked. The Bruins held a 14-3 lead early in the second half on a pair of touchdown passes by quarterback Drew Olson and a blocked FG by linebacker Spencer Havner. Cal responded with 10 straight points to close the score to 14-12 before Havner blocked his second kick, and Brandon Chillar returned it for a TD and a 20-12 advantage. The Golden Bears tied the game at 20 all on a 35-yard touchdown pass and successful two-point conversion by quarterback Aaron Rogers as time expired. In the extra period, Bruin kicker Justin Medlock converted a 41-yard kick that held up as the game-winner after Cal’s Tyler Frederickson’s, who missed a 51-yarder in the first quarter, sent a 50-yard attempt off the left upright, giving UCLA a 23-20 victory.

Oct. 19, 2001: Boise State took on No. 8 Fresno State at Bulldog Stadium in a nationally-televised Friday night game in 2001. The Bulldogs, who entered the game at 6-0, were stopped short of their BCS pursuit after blowing a 28-14 lead to the Broncos. Under first-year head coach Dan Hawkins, Boise State defeated Fresno State, 35-30, marking the team’s first ever win over a ranked opponent. The victory also snapped Fresno’s 17-game home win streak, the second longest active home win streak in the nation.

Oct. 20, 1973: Hall of Fame quarterback Danny White (Arizona State) led the Sun Devils’ high-powered offense to a then-school regular-season record of 709 total yards in a 51-12 rout of BYU in 95 degree heat. White was 17-25 passing for 303 yards and three touchdowns, adding 66 yards rushing and a TD scamper. ASU halfback Woody Green rushed for 128 yards and had two TD receptions, and fullback Ben Malone ran for two scores of his own. The Sun Devils finished the season 11-1 under Hall of Fame coach Frank Kush, topping Pitt 28-7 in the Fiesta Bowl.

The Bonesville staff contributed to this report.

10/18/2013 11:26 AM