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This Week in College Football History: Dec. 15-21
This Week in College Football History takes a look back at some of college football's landmark moments over the last 146 years.
Published: 12/12/2014 4:05:00 PM
(Pictured: 2014 College Football Hall of Fame inductee Coach Jerry Moore guided Appalachian State to its second FCS Championship in a row with a 28-17 win over UMass on Dec. 15, 2006.)

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.


Dec. 15, 2006
Appalachian State def. Massachusetts, 28-17
FCS Championship Game – Chattanooga, Tenn.

2014 College Football Hall of Fame inductee Coach Jerry Moore guided Appalachian State to its second FCS Championship in a row with a 28-17 win over UMass. Running back Kevin Richardson led the way for the Mountaineers, rushing for 179 yards and four touchdowns. Richardson’s third score put Appalachian State ahead 21-14 at the start of the fourth quarter, while his fourth touchdown came with 1:51 left to seal the win and give him the FCS record for rushing touchdowns in a season with 30. The Minutemen, who were hoping to win their first title since 1998, had cut their deficit to 21-17 on Chris Koepplin’s 42-yard field goal with 8:46 left, but the Mountaineers responded with a 6:46 drive culminating with Richardson’s game-winning touchdown. UMass got the ball back, but Appalachian State's Corey Lynch had an interception to seal the win. Appalachian State became the first team to win consecutive FCS crowns in six years, and Moore would become the first coach to lead a team to three consecutive FCS titles when the Mountaineers won again a year later. 


Dec. 16, 1974
Tennessee def. No. 10 Maryland, 7-3
Liberty Bowl – Memphis, Tenn.

Maryland was coming off their first ACC Championship and undefeated conference record since 1955, but Tennessee was able to hold off the Terrapins and pesky College Football Hall of Fame defensive tackle Randy White. Maryland got on the board early with a field goal following a 63-yard punt return by Bob Smith. Late in the game, still up 3-0, the Terrapins tried a punt, but the snap went over the head of Phil Wagenheim and Tennessee recovered the ball at the Maryland seven-yard line. White and the Maryland defense made it as difficult for the Vols to score as possible, but a Randy Wallace touchdown pass gave Tennessee the lead. Cornerback Mike Mauck, a 1976 National Scholar-Athlete, led a Vols defense that held Maryland to the fewest points since 1970. At 8-4, the Terrapins fell to No. 13 in the final AP Poll. Tennessee squeaked into the final rankings at No. 20 with a record of 7-3-2.


Dec. 17, 2011
Ohio def. Utah State, 24-23
Famous Idaho Potato Bowl – Boise, Idaho

Ohio earned its first bowl win in school history and the first 10-win season since 1968 in the 2011 Famous Idaho Potato Bowl. A Bobcat safety and an Adam Kennedy touchdown pass gave Utah State an early 9-0 lead. Ohio quarterback Tyler Tettleton responded in the second quarter with the first of his three scores on a 26-yard strike to Derek Roback. Utah State running back Michael Smith busted out two third-quarter touchdown runs that gave his squad a 23-10 lead. Tettleton answered again with a 44-yard connection to LaVonn Brazill to make it a one-possession game. At the end of a quiet fourth quarter, Tettleton led a two-minute drive that culminated with a quarterback sneak into the end zone with only 13 seconds remaining to capture the win for the Bobcats. Ohio finished 10-4, while Utah State fell to 7-6.

Dec. 18, 1981
No. 14 BYU def. No. 20 Washington State, 38-36
Holiday Bowl – San Diego

Washington State finished its best regular season in history with a trip to its first bowl game since 1930. This all-Cougar matchup had the added pressure of the last three Holiday bowls being decided by four points. After a shootout victory over SMU in the 1980 Holiday Bowl, BYU and College Football Hall of Fame quarterback Jim McMahon established a commanding 31-7 lead at the half. Washington State responded with a trio of third-quarter touchdowns to cut the deficit to three. McMahon swung the momentum with a crucial third-and-12 pass to tight end and fellow Hall of Famer Gordon Hudson for 45 yards, leading to the clinching touchdown. Washington State fought back in the final minutes, but was outlasted by the superior Cougars. Hall of Fame head coach LaVell Edwards’ squad finished 11-2 and No. 13 in the final AP Poll. Washington State finished 8-3-1.

Dec. 19, 1964
Tulsa def. Mississippi, 14-7
Bluebonnet Bowl – Houston

The Bluebonnet Bowl bid ended an 18-year bowl drought for Tulsa, while College Football Hall of Fame head coach Johnny Vaught’s Mississippi Rebels were in the middle of what would be a string of 16 bowl trips in 17 years, a national record at the time. Golden Hurricane quarterback and College Football Hall of Famer Jerry Rhome played a vital role in the win, appearing in 58 offensive plays for the Golden Hurricane. Ole Miss quarterback Jim Weatherly sneaked into the end zone to finish off a 54-yard drive that gave the Rebels a 7-0 lead before Rhome responded in similar fashion on a one-yard plunge to tie the game. The winning drive happened in a mere four plays: a 14-yard run for Rhome, a 10-yard pass to Brent Roberts, a 35-yard pass to Bob Daugherty and 35-yard touchdown pass to Eddie Fletcher. Tulsa finished the year 9-2, its best record since 1951, while Ole Miss finished 5-5-1.

Dec. 20, 1978
Texas A&M def. No. 19 Iowa State, 28-12
Hall of Fame Classic – Birmingham, Ala.

Texas A&M upset College Football Hall of Fame coach Earle Bruce during his last game at Iowa State in the Hall of Fame Classic, which was put on by the National Football Foundation & College Hall of Fame in Birmingham, Ala., from 1977-85. Aggie running back Curtis Dickey ran all over the Cyclones defense, rushing for a massive 276 yards and a touchdown while setting up three others. Iowa State got off to a 6-0 lead in the second quarter after quarterback Walter Grant’s touchdown pass to tailback Dexter Green. The Cyclones later pulled within two points in the third when Green scored again on a 28-yard run before ultimately falling short. Both teams would finish the season 8-4, but Texas A&M would take over the No. 19 spot vacated by Iowa State following the loss.

Dec. 21, 2008
Southern Miss def. Troy, 30-27 (OT)
R+L Carriers New Orleans Bowl – New Orleans

Coach Larry Fedora’s Southern Miss Eagles overcame a 10-point fourth quarter deficit to beat Troy in overtime in the 2008 New Orleans Bowl. The Sun Belt Conference champion Trojans led 27-17 after Jerrel Jernigan’s six-yard touchdown run late in the third quarter before the Golden Eagles began their comeback. With 7:20 left in regulation, Southern Miss quarterback Austin Davis rolled out on fourth-and-two and lofted a 35-yard touchdown to tight end Jonathan Massey. After forcing a punt on Troy’s next possession, Southern Miss tied the game on Britt Barefoot’s 46-yard field goal, sending the action into overtime. The Trojans held the Golden Eagles to just a 39-yard field goal by Barefoot in the first OT, but three points proved to be all Southern Miss needed. Troy looked to tie the game with a chip shot by kicker Sam Glusman on its OT possession, but the kick was blocked by Michael McGee, giving Southern Miss the victory. The win was the fifth straight for Southern Miss, which finished the season with a 7-6 record. The Golden Eagles needed the first four of those wins to qualify for a bowl and the last one to extend the school’s streak of consecutive winning seasons to 15, the fourth-longest active streak in the FBS at the time. Troy finished 8-5.
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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, the Pasadena Tournament of Roses, the Sports Business Journal and Under Armour. Learn more at

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