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This Week in College Football History: Oct. 21-27
This Week in College Football History takes a look back at some of college football's landmark moments over the last 145 years.
Published: 10/18/2013 1:00:00 PM
(Pictured: Columbia's Bill Swiacki made a diving catch to set up the Lions' game-winning touchdown against Army in 1947.)

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.


Oct. 25, 1947
Columbia def. No. 6 Army, 21-20
New York City

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 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
No. 20 Florida def. New Mexico, 27-21
Gainesville, Fla.

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
Harvard def. Dartmouth, 19-14
Cambridge, Mass.

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
No. 1 Florida State def. Clemson, 17-14
Clemson, S.C.

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
No. 7 Air Force def. Boston College, 35-10
Colorado Springs, Colo.

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
UTEP def. No. 7 BYU, 23-16
El Paso, Texas

In one of the most surprising upsets of the 1985 season, UTEP’s only win of the year came against defending national champion BYU, 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 and 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 WAC win streak. The win was only the Miners’ 14th win in the past 11 seasons.

Oct. 27, 1984
Mississippi Valley State def. Prairie View A&M, 71-6
Itta Bena, Miss.

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.

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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