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This Week in College Football History: Oct. 29 – Nov. 4
As part of an ongoing series throughout the fall, The National Football Foundation & College Hall of
Published: 10/26/2012 10:30:00 AM

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 144 years. If you choose to use this content in whole or in part, as a courtesy, please credit The National Football Foundation and use the NFF logo, which is available upon request.


November 2, 1935:  In the original “Game of the Century” and the first meeting ever between Ohio State and Notre Dame, the undefeated Fighting Irish scored 18 unanswered points in the fourth quarter to stun unbeaten Ohio State 18-13 in front of 80,000 fans in Columbus, ending the Buckeyes’ ten game winning streak. Trailing 13-6 with 90 seconds left, Irish QB Andy Pilney threw a TD pass to Mike Layden, but the extra point failed. After a failed onside kick, Ohio State began to run out the clock, but Pilney forced a fumble. The Irish recovered at their own 45 yard line, and on the next play, Pilney scrambled to the Ohio State 19. He injured his knee, and reserve QB and future Hall of Famer Bill Shakespeare stepped in. After an incompletion, he hit future Hall of Famer Wayne Milner with the game winning TD pass with 32 seconds left to secure the miraculous comeback. The Buckeyes would end the season as Big Ten Champions with a 7-1 record. The Irish were stunned the next week by Northwestern and finished 7-1-1. Irish head coach Elmer Layden and Buckeye head coach Francis Schmidt would both end their careers as members of the College Football Hall of Fame, Layden as a player and Schmidt as a coach. CLICK HERE TO WATCH A VIDEO RECP OF THIS GAME ON THE NFF DIGITAL NETWORK.


October 29, 1966: Before he became a national championship winning coach, Hall of Famer Steve Spurrier won the Heisman Trophy largely on the strength of his passing arm.  But in a contest against Auburn, the Florida quarterback beat the Tigers with his leg as he booted a 40-yard game winning field goal with two minutes remaining as the No.7 Gators beat Auburn in Gainesville 30-27. Hall of Fame Coach Ray Graves and the Gators would go onto to win the Orange Bowl and finish 9-2.

October 30, 1954: With NFF co-founder General Douglas MacArthur watching from the sidelines, visiting Virginia fans tore down the goal posts and carried their coach Ned McDonald off the field after losing 21-20 to Army at West Point.  The moral victory against the No. 5 ranked Cadets was a near win as the last play of the game, a pass into the end zone, was knocked down by an Army defender. The Cadets would end the season ranked No. 7.

October 31, 1959:  In the game of the year, top ranked LSU defeated third ranked Mississippi 7-3 in Baton Rouge. Ole Miss took an early 3-0 lead on a Bob Khayat field goal. But with ten minutes to play, Tiger HB Billy Cannon made his legendary Halloween Night 89-yard punt return for the game winning score. LSU stuffed Ole Miss at the one-yard line with 48 seconds left to seal the win.  The No. 2 Rebels and the No. 3 Tigers met again in the Sugar Bowl with Ole Miss dominating with a 21-0 victory. Cannon would go on to win the Heisman Trophy and be inducted into the Hall of Fame while Khayat would go on to become his alma mater's chancellor and win the NFF’s 2003 Distinguished American Award.

November 1, 2008: In a matchup of undefeated cross state rivals, No. 1 Texas battled No. 5 Texas Tech in Lubbock. The Longhorns twice rallied from 16-point deficits, and QB Colt McCoy led Texas to a 33-32 lead with a minute and a half to play. A dropped interception kept the final Tech drive alive as Red Raider QB Graham Harrell hit Michael Crabtree along the sideline for the game winner with a second left on the clock in the 39-33 Tech victory. Both quarterbacks would earn NFF National Scholar-Athlete Awards, Harrell in 2008 and McCoy in 2009. The Longhorns ended the season ranked No. 3, while the Red Raiders finished No. 12.

Nov. 3, 1979: In its' 107th season, Yale becomes the first school to ever reach 700 victories with a 23-20 win over Cornell in Ithaca, NY. QB John Rogan's 12-yard touchdown pass to TE Bob Rostomily with 47 seconds left clinches the comeback win for the eventual Ivy League champions.

November 4, 1972:  UCLA quarterback Mark Harmon, who would claim a 1973 NFF National Scholar-Athlete Award, led the No. 8 Bruins on a late 75-yard scoring drive, capped by an 11-yard touchdown run by the signal caller that proved to be the game winner in a 28-23 victory over Stanford in Los Angeles. The drive came after Stanford scored twice in the fourth quarter to take a 23-21 lead.

This report was researched and written by College Football Hall of Fame Acting Executive Director Kent Stephens.

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