Special to College Sports Journal
ATLANTA — As part of an ongoing series throughout the fall, The National Football Foundation & College Hall of Fame posts This Week in College Football History, which takes a look back at some of college football’s landmark moments over the last 147 years.
Sept. 8, 1990
No. 14 Virginia defeated No. 9 Clemson, 20-7
Virginia entered this game winless in their previous 29 meetings with Clemson. The Cavaliers’ defense allowed 304 yards, but only allowed one score on an early 80-yard scoring drive capped off by a 25-yard rollout to the end zone by Tiger quarterback DeChance Cameron. Virginia defensive end Chris Slade stopped Cameron later in the second quarter and forced a fumble that led to the Cavaliers’ second field goal and a 7-6 score at halftime. Defensive back Jason Wallace became the real hero after returning a Clemson punt 79 yards to the Tigers’ eight yard line that led to a clinching touchdown pass from Virginia quarterback Shawn Moore. College Football Hall of Fame coach George Welsh’s Cavaliers would eventually reach No. 1 in the country but finished the season with an 8-4 record and a No. 23 ranking in the final AP Poll after a narrow loss to Tennessee in the Sugar Bowl. Clemson achieved its fourth consecutive 10-2 record and a No. 9 ranking after a 27-7 victory over West Virginia in the Gator Bowl.
OTHER NOTABLE MOMENTS
Sept. 7, 1974
No. 15 Arizona State defeated No. 11 Houston, 30-9
Arizona State was expected to rebuild its offense after losing the backfield pair of halfback Woody Green and College Football Hall of Fame quarterback Danny White, but Sun Devils fullback Freddie Williams silenced the critics, rushing for 178 yards and two touchdowns. Arizona State’s defense pitched in as well on a 17-yard interception return for a touchdown by cornerback Bo Warren and a 25-yard fumble recovery for a score by linebacker Bob Breunig, a 2015 Hall of Fame inductee. Houston suffered seven turnovers to a Sun Devil defense that also featured Hall of Fame cornerback Michael Haynes. A tie with North Carolina State in the Bluebonnet Bowl capped an 8-3-1 season for Hall of Fame head coach Bill Yeoman’s Cougars and earned them a No. 19 ranking in the final AP Poll. Arizona State finished with a 7-5 record under Hall of Fame coach Frank Kush.
Sept. 9, 2000
Ohio defeated Minnesota, 23-17
When coach Jim Grobe and Ohio rolled into Minneapolis in September 2000, nobody expected much competition from the Bobcats, as they had not defeated a Big Ten opponent since they toppled Northwestern in 1973. The upset was solidified by the performance of Ohio halfback Chad Brinker, who ran for 119 yards, threw for one touchdown and caught a 50-yard pass for another score. Ohio completed only three passes the entire game, but it was enough to defeat the Gophers. After 27 years, the Bobcats seized a Big Ten victory and maintained some of the momentum, ending their season 7-4. The Gophers completed their season with a 6-6 record after a loss to North Carolina State in the Micron PC.com Bowl.
Sept. 10, 1994
No. 6 Michigan defeated No. 3 Notre Dame, 26-24
South Bend, Ind.
Notre Dame was left with a bitter taste in its mouth after losing in the final seconds in their previous home game at the end of the 1993 season, and Michigan gave them a double dosage to start off the 1994 season. A botched snap and two fumbles by Fighting Irish tailback Lee Becton set up three field goals for Wolverine kicker Remy Hamilton who helped put Michigan on top 23-7 in the fourth quarter. Notre Dame quarterback Ron Powlus threw a seven-yard touchdown pass to Derrick Mayes with just under a minute remaining to give the Irish a 24-23 lead. However, Michigan signal-caller Todd Collins scrambled for 15 yards and completed three passes to set up Hamilton for his fourth field goal of the day to clinch the upset. The Wolverines capped off an 8-4 season with a victory over Colorado State in the Holiday Bowl and a No. 12 ranking in the final AP Poll. College Football Hall of Fame coach Lou Holtz and the Irish finished with their lowest win total (6-5-1) since his first year in South Bend. Notre Dame lost to Colorado in the Fiesta Bowl.
Sept. 11, 1976
Mississippi defeated No. 6 Alabama, 10-7
Freshman Mississippi kicker Hoppy Langley single-footedly ended Alabama’s 20-game SEC win streak with a 34-yard field goal to upset the No. 6 Crimson Tide. Rebel defensive end Gary Turner returned one of Alabama’s three interceptions for a touchdown and an early 7-0 lead that stuck until the third quarter. Tide halfback Calvin Culliver capped a 55-yard drive with a short touchdown run to level the score before Langley’s game-winner. College Football Hall of Fame coach Bear Bryant’s Alabama team finished the season with a 9-3 record and a No. 11 spot in the final AP Poll after a victory over UCLA in the Liberty Bowl, its 18th consecutive bowl game. The 1976 Crimson Tide featured Hall of Fame tight end Ozzie Newsome and Hall of Fame defensive tackle Marty Lyons. Ole Miss finished the season with a 5-6 record.
Sept. 12, 1970
No. 10 Stanford defeated No. 4 Arkansas, 34-28
In a battle of College Football Hall of Fame coaches, John Ralston’s Stanford Cardinal and Frank Broyles’ Arkansas Razorbacks met for the first and only time in history. The game got off to a quick start with Stanford taking an easy 21-0 lead by the end of the first quarter. College Football Hall of Fame quarterback Jim Plunkett got quick and precise passes off to his running back Jackie Brown thanks to excellent blocking by the Cardinal offensive line, led by center and 1970 NFF National Scholar-Athlete John Sande. On defense, linebackers Jeff Siemon, a Hall of Famer, and Mike Simone handled Arkansas’ offensive line flawlessly. In the second quarter, a 71-yard punt return by Cardinal wide receiver Eric Cross secured a 27-0 lead. Just before halftime, the Razorbacks rallied behind quarterback Bill Montgomery’s two touchdowns on fourth down plays to cut Stanford’s lead to 27-14. Early in the third quarter, Cardinal fullback Hillary Shockley completed an 86-yard drive with his third touchdown run to increase the lead to 34-14. Despite two long touchdown receptions by Arkansas wide receiver and College Football Hall of Famer Chuck Dicus, the Razorbacks were unable to pull off the comeback. Arkansas finished the 1970 season with a record of 9-2 and a No. 11 spot in the final AP Poll. The Cardinal finished with a 9-3 record, a Pac-8 title and the No. 8 ranking after a win over Ohio State in the Rose Bowl.
Sept. 13, 2003
UNLV defeated No. 14 Wisconsin, 23-5
College Football Hall of Fame coach Barry Alvarez and Wisconsin outgained UNLV 291-187, but the Rebels had the edge on defense, led by a career day for safety Jamaal Brimmer. He turned in an 11-tackle, two-sack performance and returned a fumble 55 yards for a touchdown to extend UNLV’s lead to 10-0 in the first quarter. Brimmer also recorded two interceptions in the second and third quarters, which set up two touchdown receptions by Earvin Johnson. Hall of Fame coach John Robinson’s Rebels finished the season with an even 6-6 record. Wisconsin and 2004 NFF National Scholar-Athlete Jim Leonhard’s 7-6 season came to an end with a loss to Auburn in the Music City Bowl.