This Week in College Football History

Courtesy of the National Football Foundation

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Featured Moment: Nov. 8, 1980

Georgia quarterback Buck Belue and wide receiver Lindsay Scott (left frame) celebrate after connecting on a long touchdown pass (right frame) with less than two minutes remaining in a comeback win over Florida on Nov. 8, 1980. (Image courtesy of the National Football Foundation)

This report courtesy of the National Football Foundation.

Published by Bonesville on Nov. 2, 2013


NOV. 8, 1980: The Florida-Georgia rivalry more than lived up to expectations when the teams faced off in Jacksonville, FL. Hall of Fame running back Herschel Walker (Georgia) rushed 37 times for 238 yards, including a 72-yard touchdown to give the Bulldogs a 7-0 lead. Georgia held a 20-10 advantage late in the third before the Gator offense found its stride, tallying a touchdown, two-point conversion and field goal to go up 21-20 with 6:52 remaining. On third down from his own seven yard line with just over a minute left to play, Georgia quarterback Buck Belue scrambled out of the pocket and found wide receiver Lindsay Scott at the Bulldog 26. Scott raced downfield, eluding several defenders en route to a 93-yard touchdown reception and a 26-21 Georgia lead. On the ensuing possession, Bulldog cornerback Mike Fisher intercepted a Gator pass to secure the win. Georgia, led by Hall of Fame coach Vince Dooley went on to a perfect 12-0 season, defeating No. 7 Notre Dame, 17-10, in the Sugar Bowl to claim the national title.


NOV. 4, 1972: It took one of the greatest comebacks in college football history for Utah to edge Arizona. The Wildcats controlled play through the first three quarters of the game, methodically building a 27-0 lead thanks to 183 yards rushing by halfback Bobby McCall and a pair of touchdown runs by fullback Marty Shuford. The Utes overcame four interceptions by quarterback Don Van Galder to put on a scoring clinic in the final frame. Van Galder found receiver Steve Odom for quick scores of 52 and 36 yards. Arizona stumbled on opportunities to pad its lead, missing a field goal and throwing an interception that Utah defensive back Steve Marshall returned 68 yards for a TD. Van Galder spearheaded the final charge of 66-yards, capping it off with a quarterback keeper into the end zone with 10 seconds remaining for a 28-27 Utah win.

NOV. 5, 1960: No. 1 Iowa fell to No. 3 Minnesota, 27-10, in Minneapolis. The Gophers forced three turnovers which resulted in two touchdowns on a cold and windy afternoon. A bad punt snap in the early going gave Minnesota excellent field position and a 7-0 lead. Iowa battled back, taking a 10-7 lead in the third quarter. The Gophers responded with an 81-yard drive, capped by a quarterback sneak by future Hall of Famer Sandy Stephens. The Gophers then added two more touchdowns after Hawkeye turnovers, sealing the victory. The 17-point loss remains one of the largest margins of defeat by a number one team in NCAA history. Minnesota lost in the Rose Bowl, 17-7, to Washington, and Iowa finished the season 8-1 without a bowl appearance.

NOV. 6, 1869: The first college football game was played between Rutgers and Princeton on Nov. 6, 1869, in New Brunswick, NJ. The game pitted two teams of 25 against one another, with the rules determined by the home team, Rutgers. Play simulated more of a cross between rugby and soccer than modern American football as throwing and running with the ball was not allowed. Play lasted for 10 “games,” or scores, with Rutgers scoring six times and Princeton scoring four times. Members of this game were honored for its 50th anniversary during Rutgers’ 1918 Homecoming festivities.

NOV. 7, 1959: Vanderbilt’s Russ Morris made huge plays on all sides of the ball when the Commodores faced Kentucky in an SEC showdown in 1959. Morris, who played quarterback, defensive back and kicker, put Vanderbilt on top 3-0 with a 21-yard first quarter field goal. A 62-yard touchdown run by teammate Tom Moore and a successful two-point conversion gave the home team a 10-0 lead in the third. Kentucky’s offense found life in the fourth quarter, but Morris helped keep the Wildcats at bay by intercepting one pass and causing another pick late in the quarter. Morris’s final big play came when he recovered a Kentucky on-side kick with 1:36 remaining, sealing an 11-6 Vanderbilt win.

NOV. 9, 2002: With a 3-6 record, Syracuse played the spoiler when it upended No. 8 Virginia Tech 50-42 in three overtimes. The Hokies had a banner day from quarterback and 2004 NFF National Scholar-Athlete Bryan Randall, who passed for 504 yards and a school-record five touchdowns, and wide receiver Ernest Wilford, who netted a school-best 279 yards receiving with four TDs. However, the Orange battled back behind quarterback Troy Nunes (career-high 403 yards, one TD) and tailback Walter Reyes (118 yards, three TDs). Freshman tailback Damien Rhodes was Syracuse’s savior, rushing for 67 yards and scoring the game’s biggest points. Rhodes forced overtime with a 3-yard touchdown scamper late in the fourth before running in the game-winning touchdown and decisive two-point conversion in triple overtime. An interception by Randall ended the game in triple overtime.

NOV. 10, 1956: Texas-El Paso (then known as Texas Western) locked up its only Border Conference title with an upset win over previously undefeated Arizona State and Hall of Fame coach Dan Devine (Arizona State, Missouri, Notre Dame). Behind the halfback trio of Jimmy Bevers (106 yards), Bob Coleman (two touchdowns) and Don Maynard, the Miners racked up 288 yards on the ground. The Sun Devils were not short of offensive yards, either, gaining 404 on the day. ASU made eight trips deep into UTEP territory, coming as close as the one-yard line, but the Sun Devils never crossed the end zone as a result of three interceptions, one fumble and stout red zone defense by the Miners. UTEP completed the shutout, 28-0, handing Arizona State (9-1) its only loss of the season.

The Bonesville staff contributed to this report.

11/09/2013 12:45 AM