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This Week in College Football History: Sept. 2-8
This Week in College Football History takes a look back at some of college football's landmark moments over the last 145 years.
Published: 8/30/2013 2:00:00 PM
(Pictured: Hall of Fame linebacker Pat Fitzgerald (Northwestern) and the unranked Wildcats stunned No. 9 Notre Dame in the 1995 season opener.)

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 145 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.


Sept. 2, 1995
Northwestern def. No. 9 Notre Dame, 17-15
South Bend, Ind.

Associated Press called it “one of the biggest upsets in college football history” as unranked and unsuspecting Northwestern stunned future Hall of Famer Lou Holtz and No. 9 Notre Dame in their first game of the year. Hall of Fame linebacker Pat Fitzgerald (Northwestern) led the 28-point underdog Wildcats, recovering a midfield fumble. The Irish battled back, scoring a touchdown with minutes left in the game, but the two-point conversion failed, giving Northwestern a 17-15 victory. The Wildcats proved the game was not a fluke, winning the Big Ten and earning a trip to the 1996 Rose Bowl.


Sept. 3, 2005
TCU def. Oklahoma, 17-10
Norman, Okla.

Turnovers were the theme of the game for No. 7 Oklahoma as they were taken down by TCU in Norman, ending the Sooners’ 19-game home win streak. The 17-10 victory over the Sooners was TCU’s biggest upset victory in 45 years. The defensive game plan rested on stopping Heisman Trophy finalist
Adrian Peterson and forcing Oklahoma to throw. TCU held Peterson to 63 yards on 22 carries and managed to take advantage of four fumbles, including the game-saving turnover with a minute to play.

Sept. 4, 2005
No. 12 Louisville def. Kentucky, 31-24
Lexington, Ky.

In the 12
th contest for the Governor’s Cup and the 18th overall between Louisville and Kentucky, senior defensive end Elvis Dumervil would shine for the Cardinals. Dumervil led the No. 12 Cardinals to a 31-24 win, setting an NCAA single-game record with six sacks. Dumervil’s day included 12 total tackles, seven for-loss and two forced fumbles. His record-setting six sacks would help him achieve another NCAA record for most sacks in consecutive games when he added three more against Oregon State two weeks later.

Sept. 5, 1906
St. Louis University def. Carroll College (Wisc.), 22-0
Waukesha, Wisc.

Although the origin of the forward pass is occasionally disputed, the 1906 matchup between St. Louis University and Carroll College (Wisc.) was the first recorded instance during collegiate game play. The game was a scoreless tie, and after futile efforts to run the ball against the Carroll defense, head coach
Eddie Cochems told quarterback Bradbury Johnson to execute the recently practiced “projectile pass.” Because the rules were still in their earliest stages, incomplete passes were recognized as turnovers and St. Louis gave up the ball. After regaining possession, Cochems and his team attempted the pass again, resulting in the first ever touchdown reception in college football history.

Sept. 6, 1997
No. 2 Florida def. Central Michigan, 82-6
Gainesville, Fla.

The No. 2 Florida Gators, led by coach
Steve Spurrier, unleashed their offense and the arm of quarterback Doug Johnson on Central Michigan. The Chippewas could only watch as Johnson threw an unbelievable seven touchdowns in the first half alone, tying the NCAA record. The Gators would go on to pass for nine touchdowns on the day, setting an SEC record to go with the victory.

Sept. 7, 1991
No. 4 Washington def. Stanford, 42-7
Stanford, Calif.

No. 4 Washington and Hall of Fame coach
Don James opened the 1991 season on the road with a 42-7 drilling of Pac-10-rival Stanford. Sophomore quarterback Billy Joe Hobert shined in his first collegiate start, going 21-31 passing with two touchdowns. The stout Husky defense held Stanford to only 28 yards on the ground and forced five turnovers, including an interception by future Hall of Fame defensive tackle Steve Emtman. The game was the first win in a perfect 12-0 season for Washington. The Huskies would go on to win the Pac-10 title and the National Championship in a 34-14 defeat of No. 4 Michigan in the Rose Bowl.

Sept. 8, 1990
No. 14 Virginia def. No. 9 Clemson, 20-7
Charlottesville, Va.

No. 14 Virginia snapped a 29-game losing streak to No. 9 Clemson, earning the first win in program history over the Tigers, 35 years after the schools’ initial meeting. An all-out-effort, the Cavaliers combined strong defensive play, a 79-yard punt return that set up a score and solid offensive output to earn the victory. Clemson only managed to put together one scoring drive on the day and Virginia, under future Hall of Fame coach
George Welsh (Navy, Virginia), won 20-7.

About The National Football Foundation & College Hall of Fame
Founded in 1947 with early leadership from General Douglas MacArthur, legendary Army coach Earl "Red" Blaik and immortal journalist Grantland Rice, The National Football Foundation & College Hall of Fame is a non-profit educational organization that runs programs designed to use the power of amateur football in developing scholarship, citizenship and athletic achievement in young people. With 120 chapters and 12,000 members nationwide, NFF programs include the College Football Hall of Fame, the NFF Scholar-Athlete Awards presented by Fidelity Investments, Play It Smart, the NFF Hampshire Honor Society, the NFF National Scholar-Athlete Alumni Association, and scholarships of more than $1.3 million for college and high school scholar-athletes. The NFF presents the MacArthur Bowl, the William V. Campbell Trophy endowed by HealthSouth, and releases the Bowl Championship Series (BCS) Standings. NFF corporate partners include the Allstate Sugar Bowl, the BCS, Fidelity Investments, Herff Jones, Liberty Mutual Insurance, NCAA Football, and Under Armour. For more information, please visit

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