National Football Foundation

News Detail

This Week in College Football History: Sept. 22-28
This Week in College Football History takes a look back at some of college football's landmark moments over the last 146 years.
Published: 9/19/2014 5:35:00 PM
(Pictured: On Sept. 27, 2008, quarterback Jevan Snead led Mississippi to a big upset for the school's 600th win in a game that spawned one of the most memorable postgame speeches in college football history by 2009 Campbell Trophy winner and Florida quarterback Tim Tebow.)

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.

FEATURED MOMENT

Sept. 27, 2008
Mississippi def. No. 4 Florida, 31-30
Gainesville, Fla.

Quarterback Jevan Snead led Mississippi to a big upset for the school’s 600th win in a game that spawned one of the most memorable postgame speeches in college football history by 2009 Campbell Trophy winner and Florida quarterback Tim Tebow. Snead, who threw for 185 yards in the game, came up big with his second touchdown pass to give the Rebels a 31-24 lead with six minutes left in the game. The No. 4 Gators responded quickly with a drive culminating in a 15-yard run by Percy Harvin for a touchdown, but Ole Miss defensive end Kentrell Lockett blocked the potential game-tying extra point. On Florida’s next possession, Tebow led the Gators into Rebels’ territory, but the offense stalled and faced a tough decision on fourth-and-one. Coach Urban Meyer had faith in his defending Heisman Trophy-winning quarterback and decided to go for it. The Ole Miss defense held the line, forcing the turnover on downs to clinch the victory. Tebow shouldered the blame in the postgame news conference, telling the media they would not see a player or team work harder than the he and the Gators would the rest of the season. They delivered on his message, going undefeated the rest of the season and beating No. 1 Oklahoma in the BCS National Championship Game. The Rebels would finish 9-4 after knocking off Texas Tech in the Cotton Bowl.

OTHER NOTABLE MOMENTS

Sept. 22, 1979
Texas A&M def. No. 6 Penn State, 27-14
University Park, Pa.

Texas A&M handed College Football Hall of Fame coach Joe Paterno his first ever loss to a Southwest Conference team in a 27-14 road win. Penn State got off to an early 7-0 lead on a touchdown run by tailback Booker Moore, but the Aggies took control from there. Texas A&M tailback Curtis Dickey ran for 184 yards and three touchdowns, including a 69-yard run that started a streak of 27 unanswered points. College Football Hall of Fame running back Curt Warner was held to 65 yards after amassing 281 in his debut against Rutgers the previous week. Penn State finished the season 8-4 after a win over Tulane in the Liberty Bowl, while the Aggies finished 6-5.

Sept. 23, 1989
Stanford def. No. 22 Oregon, 18-17
Stanford, Calif.

Stanford narrowly defeated No. 22 Oregon in this memorable Pac-10 matchup. Oregon dominated the first three quarters behind NFF National Scholar-Athlete quarterback Bill Musgrave, who threw for 213 yards and two touchdowns. Trailing 17-0 at the start of the fourth quarter, Stanford quarterback Brian Johnson threw the Cardinal’s first touchdown pass to running back Gary Taylor before a shoulder injury took him out of the game. Backup quarterback Steve Smith replaced Johnson, and he ran for a one-yard touchdown, followed by a crucial two-point conversion pass. Stanford tight end (and future New Jersey U.S. Senator) Cory Booker recovered the onside kick, allowing Smith to put the Cardinal in field goal range. When the game was over, Stanford had outgained the Ducks 414 yards to 272. The game marked Stanford’s biggest win of the season as it would finish with a record of 3-8. Oregon ended its season 8-4 after defeating Tulsa in the Independence Bowl.

Sept. 24, 1966
No. 2 UCLA def. Syracuse, 31-12
Syracuse, N.Y.

In rainy conditions, the aerial strike of College Football Hall of Famer and 1967 NFF National Scholar-Athlete Gary Beban and end Harold Busby led UCLA to a road win over Syracuse. UCLA had a 31-0 lead in the first half as Beban ran for a touchdown and tossed another one to Busby, who received 121 of Beban’s 178 passing yards on the day. Hall of Fame halfback Floyd Little struggled to gain yards, but scored both of Syracuse’s touchdowns, including a 65-yard punt return in the fourth quarter. However, it was too late for College Football Hall of Fame coach Ben Schwartzwalder and the Orange as the Bruins had already put the game away behind a 21-point second quarter and Ray Armstrong’s 62-yard punt return for a touchdown in the third. Hall of Fame coach Tommy Prothro would lead UCLA to the No. 5 ranking and a 9-1 record in 1966, while Syracuse would finish 8-3 after falling to Tennessee in the Gator Bowl.

Sept. 25, 2004
Texas Tech def. Kansas, 31-30
Lawrence, Kan.

Texas Tech came back from a 25-point first-half deficit to beat Kansas in this Big 12 matchup. The Jayhawks built a 30-5 lead late in the first half behind quarterback Adam Barmann’s two touchdown passes, but the momentum swung in Texas Tech’s favor when quarterback Sonny Cumbie found receiver Trey Haverty for a 32-yard touchdown right before halftime. It was all Red Raiders from there, as Kansas would not score in the second half. Fullback Taurean Henderson led the way, finishing the day with 169 rushing yards and two touchdowns. With 2:37 left in the game, Henderson raced 70 yards for the winning touchdown, and cornerback Jabari Smith would seal the come-from-behind win for Texas Tech with an interception on Kansas’ next possession. The Red Raiders finished the season with an 8-4 record after beating California in the Holiday Bowl, while Kansas would finish 4-7.

Sept. 26, 1959
No. 12 Ohio State def. Duke, 14-13
Columbus, Ohio

In a matchup of College Football Hall of Fame coaches, Woody Hayes Ohio State Buckeyes held off Bill Murray’s Duke Blue Devils 14-13. Hall of Fame halfback Bob Ferguson capped an opening, 58-yard drive with a 15-yard touchdown run that gave the Buckeyes a 7-0 lead that would hold until the fourth quarter. Duke halfback Jack Wilson plunged two yards into the end zone, but a failed two-point conversion left the Blue Devils a point behind. Tom Matte, another Buckeye halfback, fumbled the ensuing kickoff, but Duke could not capitalize on the great field position. Duke missed a 33-yard field goal, but end Bob Fetzko managed to reach the loose ball at the one yard line, setting halfback Jerry McGee up for the touchdown and a 13-7 Blue Devil lead with under five minutes to play. Matte redeemed himself, filling in for injured quarterback Jerry Fields. He led the Buckeyes 67 yards down the field, tossing the winning touchdown to Chuck Bryant. Ohio State would finish 1959 with a record of 3-5-1, while Duke would finish 4-6.

Sept. 28, 1991
No. 1 Florida State def. No. 3 Michigan, 51-31
Ann Arbor, Mich.

In this battle of top five teams, the Seminoles started strong with an early interception and touchdown by defensive back Terrell Buckley. College Football Hall of Fame wide receiver Desmond Howard quickly responded with a touchdown to tie the game at seven apiece before College Football Hall of Fame coach Bobby Bowden decided to pull out a few tricks. FSU quarterbacks Charlie Ward and Casey Weldon executed the “Crocodile” play, where College Football Hall of Famer Ward flanked left, taking a lateral from Weldon who received the ball back for a 29-yard gain. The play set up the Seminoles perfectly for a fake field goal, which fullback William Floyd turned into a touchdown. Michigan could never regain their footing, and lost by double digits. Despite the tough loss, Howard would go on to win the Heisman that year while helping the Wolverines to a 10-2 record and a trip to the Rose Bowl. Florida State would go 11-2 and defeat Texas A&M in the Cotton 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; awards the William V. Campbell Trophy presented by Fidelity Investments 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 www.footballfoundation.org.

FootballMatters.org


Created by the National Football Foundation, FootballMatters.org is the home for storytelling that promotes the power of amateur football.

corporate partners