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This Week in College Football History: Sept. 1-7
This Week in College Football History takes a look back at some of college football's landmark moments over the last 146 years.
Published: 8/29/2014 4:18:00 PM
(Pictured: 2014 College Football Hall of Fame inductee Shane Conlan led No. 19 Penn State to an upset over No. 7 Maryland in 1985. The Nittany Lions would finish the regular season No. 1 in the AP Poll before falling to Oklahoma in the Orange Bowl in the de facto national championship game.)

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 146 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 can be downloaded by clicking here.


Sept. 7, 1985
No. 19 Penn State def. No. 7 Maryland, 20-18
Byrd Stadium – College Park, Md.

Maryland, ranked No. 7 and selected by many as the No. 1 team in the nation, faltered early in the season, losing its 21st straight meeting with Penn State. The Nittany Lions defense, led by 2014 College Football Hall of Fame inductee Shane Conlan, pounced early. On the second play of the game, Penn State safety Mike Zordich ran back an interception 32 yards to give the Lions an early 7-0 lead. Penn State added another touchdown on a two-yard pass from quarterback John Shaffer to tight end Bob Williams at the end of an impressive 80-yard drive. The Terps rallied behind fullback Rick Badanjek’s two touchdown runs, taking an 18-17 lead after a two-point conversion. Still in the third quarter, Lions kicker Massimo Manca would connect on a 30-yard field goal, which would prove enough as Maryland would miss two field goals and fumble the ball on Penn State’s 22-yard line late in the game. Hall of Fame coach Joe Paterno’s Nittany Lions would finish the regular season No. 1 in the AP Poll before falling to Oklahoma in the Orange Bowl in the de facto national championship game.


Sept. 1, 2007
No. 4 Texas def. Arkansas State, 21-13
Darrell K. Royal–Texas Memorial Stadium – Austin, Texas

It wasn’t a pretty win for the Longhorns, featuring 2007 Campbell Trophy winner Dallas Griffin and 2009 National Scholar-Athlete Colt McCoy, but it was a win. McCoy got Texas out to a comfortable 14-3 lead at the end of the first quarter with touchdown passes to Limas Sweed and Antwan Cobb. After a scoreless second quarter, Jamaal Charles put the Longhorns ahead 21-3 with a 10-yard scoring run. McCoy finished with 223 yards through the air, and Charles amassed 112 yards on 27 carries. Arkansas State kicker John Arauco added his second field goal of the day early in the fourth quarter, and a Reggie Arnold touchdown with a minute to play made it a one possession game. However, the Red Wolves failed to convert the ensuing onside kick, and the Longhorns walked away relatively unscathed.

Sept. 2, 1993
Pittsburgh def. Southern Mississippi, 14-10
M.M. Roberts Stadium – Hattiesburg, Miss.

After a 15-year head coaching stint at his alma mater Tennessee, College Football Hall of Fame halfback Johnny Majors began his second tour as the head coach at Pittsburgh with a victory in the season opener. Pittsburgh running back Curtis Martin played a huge role in the turnover-free Panther offense, and he scored the first touchdown early on a two-yard plunge. Golden Eagle tailback Myreon McKinney responded on the following drive with his own short score, and Southern Miss kicker Johnny Lomoro tacked on a field goal before the half, giving the Golden Eagles a 10-7 lead at the break. A fourth-quarter John Ryan touchdown pass to Martin and a late interception at the hands of linebacker Tom Tumulty sealed the win for the Panthers.

Sept. 3, 1983
No. 15 Georgia def. No. 20 UCLA, 19-8
Sanford Stadium – Athens, Ga.

With the departure of Heisman Trophy winner and College Football Hall of Fame running back Herschel Walker, No. 15 Georgia held off No. 20 UCLA in its season opener thanks to its stout defense led by Hall of Fame safety and 1983 NFF National Scholar-Athlete Terry Hoage. Hall of Fame coach Vince Dooley’s Bulldogs intercepted Bruins quarterback Rick Neuheisel four times, including a late pick by Charles Dean that he returned 69 yards for a touchdown. Georgia’s offense, including a pair of field goals by Hall of Famer Kevin Butler, was enough to hold off Hall of Fame coach Terry Donahue’s Bruins. The Bulldogs would finish the season 10-1-1 and defeat Texas in the Cotton Bowl, ranking fourth in the final AP poll.

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

Louisville defensive end Elvis Dumervil would haunt Wildcat dreams after collecting six sacks and two forced fumbles against Kentucky in the 2005 Governor’s Cup. On the other side of the ball, Cardinals running back Michael Bush ran for 128 yards and two touchdowns, and quarterback Brian Brohm ran in two touchdowns as well. Louisville got out to a 28-7 halftime lead, but Kentucky quarterback Andre Woodson tried to lead the Wildcats to a comeback with touchdown passes to Scott Mitchell and 2007 National Scholar-Athlete Jacob Tamme. However, late in the fourth, Woodson lost a crucial fumble on the Louisville two-yard line that frustrated Kentucky coach Rich Brooks because the refs did not review the play. The Cardinals converted three third downs on their final drive to run out the clock for the win against rival Kentucky in the season opener.  

Sept. 5, 1981
Lamar def. Baylor, 18-17
Floyd Casey Stadium – Waco, Texas

The defending Southwest Conference champion Bears led by College Football Hall of Fame coach Grant Teaff opened the season with an unexpected loss at home to the underdog Cardinals. Baylor struggled on offense, scoring both of their touchdowns off Lamar turnovers and, at one point, Baylor running back Walter Abercrombie fumbled the ball at the Lamar one-yard line. Abercrombie rushed for 50 yards on 16 carries and quarterback Jay Jeffrey mustered up 16 yards through the air. Baylor went ahead 17-15 on a Marty Jimmerson field goal with less than three minutes to play, but Lamar was able to drive down the field, leading to a Mike Marlow field goal with three ticks remaining.

Sept. 6, 2003
Bowling Green def. No. 16 Purdue, 27-26
Ross-Ade Stadium – West Lafayette, Ind.

Bowling Green upset No. 16 Purdue 27-26, winning its first game against a ranked team since defeating the Boilermakers in 1972. Bowling Green quarterback Josh Harris threw for 357 yards and three touchdowns against a tough Purdue defense returning nine starters. With 2:08 left in the game, Harris avoided a sack and threw a 32-yard pass to wide receiver Charles Sharon for what would be the game-winning touchdown. Quarterback Kyle Orton, who finished the day throwing for 255 yards and three touchdowns, led the Boilermakers on one last drive, but Purdue could not convert on fourth down at the Falcons’ 33-yard line. Bowling Green would finish the season ranked No. 23 with an 11-3 record and a victory over Northwestern in the Motor City Bowl.

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 in Atlanta, the NFF Leadership Hall of Fame, the NFF Scholar-Athlete Awards presented by Fidelity Investments, the NFF High School Showcases, the NFF Hampshire Honor Society, the NFF Faculty Salute Initiative presented by Fidelity Investments, the NFF National Scholar-Athlete Alumni Association, and scholarships of more than $1.3 million for college and high school scholar-athletes. The NFF also collaborates with the Football Writers Association of America (FWAA) to release the FWAA-NFF Grantland Rice Super 16 Poll; presents the William V. Campbell Trophy endowed by HealthSouth and hosted at the New York Athletic Club; and bestows several other major awards at the NFF Annual Awards Dinner. NFF corporate partners include the Allstate Sugar Bowl, Fidelity Investments, Herff Jones, PrimeSport, the Sports Business Journal, and Under Armour. Learn more at

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