This Week in College Football History

Courtesy of the National Football Foundation

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Featured Moment: October 25, 1947

On Oct. 25, 1947, a diving fourth quarter catch by Columbia end Bill Swiacki (pictured) was
pivotal in halting Army's unbeaten streak at 32 games. (Image courtesy of the NFF)

This report courtesy of the National Football Foundation.

Published by Bonesville on Oct. 19, 2013


Oct. 25, 1947: Entering its 1947 matchup with Columbia, No. 6 Army and Hall of Fame coach Earl Blaik (Dartmouth, Army) had not lost a game since the end of the 1943 season. The Lions, led by College Football Hall of Fame coach Lou Little (Georgetown, Columbia), came into the game with a 2-2 record and had suffered a 20-point loss to Penn the week prior. Behind Hall of Fame quarterback Arnold Galiffa (Army), the Black Knights held a 20-7 lead at the half. Columbia responded with two rushing touchdowns from halfback Lou Kusserow. The critical play came when Lions quarterback Gene Rossides hit Bill Swiacki with less than six minutes to play. Swiacki completed his route by hanging in the air horizontally with outstretched fingers and making the catch at the Army 3-yard line. The reception set up the touchdown and extra point that ended Army’s 32-game unbeaten streak. The 21-20 upset victory gave the Lions their first win over Army in nine seasons.


Oct. 21, 1989: Florida running back and future College Football Hall of Famer Emmitt Smith had a career day when the Gators hosted New Mexico in 1989. Smith rushed for 316 yards on 31 attempts, setting the record for most rushing yards by a Florida player in a single game and becoming the school’s all-time leading rusher (3,457) — midway through his junior season. He also scored all three Gator touchdowns in Florida’s 27-21 win. By the end of his career at Florida, Smith owned 58 school records, including career yards (3,928), career touchdowns (36) and career 100-yard games (23).

Oct. 22, 1966: Fumbles were the deciding factor in the 1966 Ivy League showdown between Harvard and Dartmouth. The Big Green committed two early fumbles, finding themselves down 7-0 following a 64-yard touchdown run by Harvard halfback Bobby Leo. Dartmouth bounced back on touchdown scampers by quarterback Mickey Beard and halfback Gene Ryzewicz to take a 14-7 lead in the third quarter. However, momentum shifted back to the Crimson with another Big Green fumble that resulted in a 55-yard Harvard TD drive. The Crimson sealed the game on an 80-yard drive with 1:41 remaining and a 19-14 Harvard win.

Oct. 23, 1999: It was a Bowden family showdown as Florida State and College Football Hall of Fame coach Bobby Bowden (Samford, West Virginia, Florida State) squared off against his son Tommy Bowden’s Clemson Tigers. Clemson jumped out to a 14-3 halftime lead, threatening No. 1 Florida State’s undefeated record and national title hopes. The Seminoles rallied in the second half for a 17-14 victory, the 300th win of Bobby Bowden’s career. FSU went on to a perfect 12-0 mark, capturing the national title with a 46-29 defeated of Virginia Tech in the 2000 Sugar Bowl.

Oct. 24, 1970: A come-from-behind win over Boston College in 1970 gave the Air Force its best start in school history. After falling behind 10-7 in the first quarter, the Falcons regained the lead on a touchdown run by tailback Brian Bream just before halftime and never looked back. The Air Force defense shut down the Eagles’ offense, forcing quarterback Frank Harris into four interceptions on the day. Falcon defensive back Jimmy Smith picked off two of the passes, returning one 90 yards for a score. Air Force quarterback Bob Parker threw for 186 yards and connected with wide receiver Ernie Jennings for three touchdowns. The 35-10 victory moved Air Force to a perfect 7-0 on the year.

Oct. 26, 1985: In one of the most surprising upsets of the 1985 season, Texas-El Paso's only win of the year came against defending national champion Brigham Young, a 35-point favorite heading into the game. The Miners went with an unusual defensive scheme, using only two down lineman, to hold Cougar quarterback Robbie Bosco to 151 yards passing while snaring four interceptions, forcing BYU to switch to the run game. UTEP capitalized with long plays, including a 100-yard interception return for a touchdown, a 52-yard touchdown strike and a 50-yard field goal. UTEP’s 23-16 victory snapped BYU and Hall of Fame coach LaVell Edwards’ (BYU) 25-game Western Athletic Conference win streak. The win was only the 14th for the Miners in the past 11 seasons.

Oct. 27, 1984: Future Mississippi Valley State Hall of Famers Willie Totten and Jerry Rice lit up the record books with a 71-6 thrashing of Prairie View A&M in 1984. Totten threw for a school-record 599 yards and was responsible for nine touchdowns (8 passing, 1 rushing) — the latter is still an FCS record. Totten’s 61 touchdown passes and 368 points scored in 1984 also remain FCS marks. Rice averaged 168.2 yards receiving per contest and netted 27 touchdown receptions, setting more FCS records. The school later named its football stadium Rice-Totten Stadium in honor of the legendary duo.

The Bonesville staff contributed to this report.

10/25/2013 10:19 PM