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This Week in College Football History: Oct. 27-Nov. 2
This Week in College Football History takes a look back at some of college football's landmark moments over the last 146 years.
Published: 10/24/2014 1:50:00 PM
(Pictured: Steve Spurrier (right), a College Football Hall of Famer as a player at Florida now coaching his alma mater, discusses a play with quarterback Shane Matthews, who threw for 301 yards and two touchdowns to help lead the Gators to an upset over No. 7 Georgia on Oct. 31, 1992. Photo courtesy of Florida Athletics.)

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.


Oct. 31, 1992
No. 20 Florida def. No. 7 Georgia, 26-24
Jacksonville, Fla.

On a rainy Halloween, Steve Spurrier, a College Football Hall of Famer as a player at Florida, coached his alma mater to an upset over No. 7 Georgia. The key to the Gators’ win was holding Georgia tailback Garrison Hearst, the nation’s leading rusher and eventual Doak Walker Award winner, to only 41 yards on 14 carries. Bulldog fullback Frank Harvey got his team on the board early with an 80-yard scoring run, after breaking two tackles at the line of scrimmage. The 7-3 lead was short-lived, as a blocked punt by Florida cornerback Larry Kennedy and the passing of quarterback Shane Matthews, who threw for 301 yards and two touchdowns in the game, helped the Gators to a 23-7 lead. Georgia quarterback Eric Zeier responded with two scoring drives to cut the lead to 23-17 before halftime. With four minutes left, Georgia trimmed the lead to two points with a scoring strike to Brian Bohannon, but the Gators held on for the upset. The Bulldogs finished No. 8 in the final AP Poll after defeating Ohio State in the Citrus Bowl to finish 10-2. Florida began a run of five-straight SEC East titles in 1992 and appeared in the first ever SEC Championship game, where it would fall to Alabama. No. 10 in the final AP poll, the Gators would defeat North Carolina State in the Gator Bowl to finish 9-4.


Oct. 27, 1979
No. 18 Wake Forest def. No. 13 Auburn, 42-38
Winston-Salem, N.C.

After winning only two games in its previous two seasons, Wake Forest entered this top-25 showdown with a 6-1 record. The Tigers erupted for 38 points in the first half behind tailbacks Joe Cribbs and James Brooks, who combined for 205 rushing yards and two scores. The Demon Deacons headed into halftime trailing 38-20, but tailback James McDougald rushed for three second half touchdowns to eliminate the deficit. On defense, Wake Forest linebacker Carlos Bradley recovered a fumble deep in his own territory, and defensive back Larry Ingram intercepted an Auburn pass to fend off the Tigers. Auburn finished the season with an 8-3 record and a No. 16 ranking in the final AP Poll. Wake Forest earned a trip to its first bowl game since 1948, losing to LSU in the Tangerine Bowl to end up 8-4.

Oct. 28, 1989
Ohio State def. Minnesota, 41-37
Minneapolis, Minn.

After trailing 31-0, College Football Hall of Fame coach John Cooper’s Buckeyes tied the NCAA record for the largest comeback in a Big Ten shootout with Minnesota. The Gophers built a 17-0 first-quarter lead on a 12-yard scoring run by tailback Darrell Thompson, an 85-yard fumble recovery for a touchdown by safety Sean Lumpkin and the first of Brent Berglund’s three field goals. The Gophers added two more scores before the Buckeyes finally found the end zone on tailback Carlos Snow’s one-yard plunge. Ohio State quarterback and 1990 National Scholar-Athlete Greg Frey had a rough first half, completing only two-of-eight passes for 35 yards, but bounced back in the second half with 327 yards and four touchdowns. Frey’s final touchdown came on a 15-yard connection with Jeff Graham with 41 seconds left. The Buckeyes’ 8-4 season ended with a loss to Auburn in the Hall of Fame Bowl and a No. 24 ranking in the final AP Poll. Minnesota finished the season with a 6-5 record.

Oct. 29, 1960
No. 18 New Mexico State def. Arizona State, 27-24
Tempe, Ariz.

In this matchup of College Football Hall of Fame coaches, Warren Woodson and New Mexico State took their 10-game winning streak to Tempe to face Frank Kush and Arizona State, who had won 20 of their last 22 games. The Sun Devils struck first with Dornal Nelson diving in to the end zone to cap a 92-yard opening drive before New Mexico State responded with its own long drive, ending with a four-yard scoring run by Bobby Gaiters. Nelson found the end zone again on a 12-yard run early in the fourth quarter to put the Sun Devils ahead 24-14. On the ensuing kickoff, College Football Hall of Famer Pervis Atkins got his Aggies back in the game with a 98-yard kickoff return for a touchdown to cut the lead to 24-20. Arizona State coughed up a fumble at the New Mexico State five-yard line, and Atkins followed it with a 70-yard dash to set up the winning touchdown pass from Charlie Johnson to Bob Kelly. Perkins went on to break the NCAA single-season record for all purpose yards per play (14.7). New Mexico State’s perfect 11-0 season ended with a Border Conference title, a Sun Bowl victory over Utah State and a No. 17 ranking in the final AP Poll. Arizona State finished the season with a 7-3 record.

Oct. 30, 1971
Cornell def. Columbia, 24-21
Ithaca, N.Y.

College Football Hall of Fame tailback Ed Marinaro continued to rewrite record books, rushing for 272 yards and two touchdowns in the 1971 edition of this Ivy League rivalry. Marinaro broke the national career rushing record of Oklahoma’s Hall of Fame and Heisman-winning back Steve Owens, reaching 4,000 career rushing yards in the game. Despite his performance, Cornell could not hold off the Lions until John Killian’s 37-yard field goal in the fourth quarter. Columbia quarterback Don Jackson threw a touchdown and had crucial completions that set up the Lions’ other two scores, but was picked off four times. Cornell’s only defeat of its 8-1 campaign came on the road to the eventual Ivy League champion Dartmouth, while Columbia finished the season 6-3.

Nov. 1, 1980
San Jose State def. No. 10 Baylor, 30-22
Waco, Texas

Baylor, led by College Football Hall of Fame coach Grant Teaff, saw its eight-game winning streak and undefeated season come to a screeching and unexpected halt in a stunning upset to San Jose State. Facing Baylor’s tough defense led by Hall of Famer Mike Singletary, the Spartans entered the game as 27.5-point underdogs. The Bears opened the scoring with a 12-yard touchdown run by fullback Dennis Gentry, followed by a 41-yard strike from quarterback Jay Jeffrey to Mike Fisher. A 22-yard field goal by Tim Strong made it 15-0. San Jose State rallied behind a 201-yard day for quarterback Steve Clarkson and three touchdowns by tailback Gerald Willhite, including a 52-yard touchdown catch off a ricochet from the shoulder pads of a teammate. The Southwest Conference champion Bears finished No. 16 in the final AP Poll at 10-2, after losing to Alabama in the Cotton Bowl. Coach Jack Elway’s Spartans finished the season 7-4.

Nov. 2, 2006
No. 5 Louisville def. No. 3 West Virginia, 44-34
Louisville, Ky.

In front of a national television audience on a Thursday night, this Big East battle of unbeatens was an offensive frenzy with more than 1,000 yards of offense combined. Louisville led 16-14 at halftime, but was frustrated by its inability to score and having to settle for field goals on three occasions. Just as the Cardinals’ offense began to click, half of the lights in Papa John’s Stadium went out. The teams traded turnovers in semidarkness, and with the ball at his 13-yard line, West Virginia running back Steve Slaton coughed the ball up. The fumble was scooped up by Louisville linebacker Malik Jackson and taken to the end zone for a 23-14 lead. The Cardinals struck again shortly after with a 40-yard punt return for a touchdown by Trent Guy. Mountaineer quarterback Pat White used mostly his legs to marshal a 92-yard scoring drive to make it 30-21. White scored his third rushing touchdown in the fourth quarter to keep his team in the game, but Louisville freshman Anthony Allen answered with a 5-yard plunge to put the Cardinals ahead for good. Louisville’s only blemish in their 12-1 season was a loss to Rutgers, but the Cardinals took home a Big East title and an Orange Bowl win over Wake Forest to finish No. 6 in the AP poll. West Virginia finished No. 10 in the final AP Poll with an 11-2 record, after beating Georgia Tech in the Gator 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 prominently displayed at its official home inside 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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