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This Week in College Football History: Nov. 9-15
This Week in College Football History takes a look back at some of college football's landmark moments over the last 147 years.
Published: 11/6/2015 11:00:00 AM

(Pictured: Michigan State tailback Levi Jackson trots down the sideline for the game-winning touchdown with just 3:30 to play in the Spartans' 16-13 upset of Ohio State on Nov. 9, 1974.)

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 147 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.


Nov. 9, 1974
Michigan State def. No. 1 Ohio State, 16-13
East Lansing, Mich.

Michigan State’s upset of the top-ranked Buckeyes was as controversial as it was stunning. The officials claimed time had expired before Ohio State snapped the ball and scored what would have been the winning touchdown. Referee Gene Calhoun also said that the offense had committed a game-ending penalty as well, which had College Football Hall of Fame coach Woody Hayes livid. Moments before the final play, the Spartans were upset over a pass ruled incomplete that appeared to have been intercepted by linebacker Terry McClowry. After the schools exchanged field goals in the first half, the Buckeyes scored 10 unanswered points and led 13-3. Michigan State cut the lead to four on a 44-yard touchdown strike to Mike Jones and took a 16-13 lead when Spartan tailback Levi Jackson broke off an 88-yard scoring run with 3:30 on the clock. The Buckeyes won their final two games to clinch their sixth Big Ten title in seven seasons, but they fell to USC in the Rose Bowl to end the season with a 10-2 mark and a No. 4 ranking. Hall of Fame Archie Griffin won the first of his two Heisman Trophies at the end of the season. The Spartans finished with a 7-3-1 record. 



Nov. 10, 1973
No. 17 Miami (Ohio) def. No. 19 Kent State, 20-10
Kent, Ohio 

The matchup between Miami (Ohio) and Kent State in 1973 marked the first-ever meeting of ranked MAC teams, serving as a virtual MAC title game. Redhawks fullback Chuck Varner fueled the offense with a two-yard touchdown plunge and a nine-yard touchdown reception to help Miami establish a 17-10 lead. Kicker David Draudt finished off the defending MAC champion Golden Flashes with a school-record 52-yard field goal in the final quarter. Miami finished the season with an 11-0 record, their first perfect season since 1955 and a No. 15 ranking after a 16-7 win over Florida in the Tangerine Bowl. Led by College Football Hall of Fame coach Don James, Kent State wrapped up the season with a 9-2 record. It would be another 30 years before a pair of ranked MAC teams would meet. 

Nov. 11, 1989
No. 9 Southern California def. No. 25 Arizona, 24-3
Tucson, Ariz. 

With the win over Arizona, USC coach Larry Smith joined former Stanford coach Tiny Thornhill (1933-35) as the only coaches to open their careers with a trio of Rose Bowl berths. Quarterback Todd Marinovich (11-for-19, 168 yards, one touchdown) and tailback Ricky Ervins (21 carries for 151 yards, one touchdown) paced the Trojan offense, while the defense, led by linebacker Junior Seau and defensive tackle Tim Ryan (17 tackles, two sacks), held the Wildcats to 158 yards on the ground and 16 through the air. With its 19th straight conference win, USC captured its third straight Pac-10 title. The Trojans achieved a 9-2-1 record and a No. 8 ranking with a 17-10 victory over Michigan in the Rose Bowl. USC also featured wide receiver and 1989 NFF National Scholar-Athlete John Jackson. Arizona sealed an 8-4 record and a No. 25 ranking with a 17-10 win over N.C. State in the Copper Bowl.

Nov. 12, 1988
Houston def. No. 10 Wyoming, 34-10

Houston defensive tackle Glen Montgomery recorded six of the his team’s 16 sacks and made 14 tackles to lead the Cougars in knocking undefeated Wyoming out of the top 10. Cowboy quarterback Randy Welniak went down nine times in the first half alone as Wyoming, the nation’s leader in total offense, finished with -37 yards rushing. Houston cornerback Reggie Burnette turned in three sacks, an interception and a fumble recovery. The Cougars attained a 28-3 lead behind College Football Hall of Fame quarterback Andre Ware’s touchdown passes to Patrick Cooper and Brian Williams. Kicker Roman Anderson added a career-high four field goals to fuel the Cougar offense. The Cowboys finished the season as WAC champions with an 11-2 record after a loss to Oklahoma State in the Holiday Bowl. Hall of Fame player-turned-coach Jack Pardee’s Cougars wrapped up a 9-3 season with a loss to Washington State in the Aloha Bowl. 

Nov. 13, 1965
UTEP def. Utah, 20-19
Salt Lake City 

Not many games are immortalized on canvas, but Tom Lea’s painting The Turning Point captures UTEP’s (then Texas Western) 20-19 win at Utah in 1965. On the final play of the game, Miners quarterback Billy Stevens tossed a miraculous 92-yard touchdown pass to Bob Wallace with 16 seconds remaining. Wallace scored the first points of the game on an 89-yard punt return for a touchdown in the second quarter before the Utes leapt to a 19-7 edge on two rushing touchdowns by tailback Ben Woodson. On the defensive side of the ball, Fred Carr led the Miners with 15 tackles. UTEP won their next three games, including a 13-12 win over TCU in the Sun Bowl, to finish with an 8-3 record. The struggling Utes wrapped up the season with a 3-7 record. 

Nov. 14, 1959
No. 12 Georgia def. No. 8 Auburn, 14-13
Athens, Ga. 

Georgia’s victory over Auburn was its first over College Football Hall of Fame coach Ralph “Shug” Jordan and the Tigers in seven seasons and clinched the Bulldogs’ first SEC title since 1949. Auburn built a 13-7 lead on two long field goals by Hall of Famer and 1960 NFF National Scholar-Athlete Ed Dyas and a quarterback sneak by Bryant Harvard. Georgia’s comeback began with less than three minutes to play when Hall of Famer Fran Tarkenton hit Don Soberdash for two crucial completions to set up a touchdown pass to Bill Herron with 30 seconds left. Kicker Durwood Pennington became the real hero with the game-winning point after. The Tigers finished the season 7-3. After four consecutive losing seasons, Hall of Fame coach Wally Butts led Georgia to a 10-1 record and a No. 5 ranking in 1959, capped off by a 14-0 win over Missouri in the Orange Bowl. 

Nov. 15, 1958
Texas A&M def. No. 17 Rice, 28-21

Texas A&M’s upset of Rice knocked College Football Hall of Fame coach Jess Neely’s Owls off their first-place perch atop the Southwest Conference. After Aggie end John Tracey caught a fourth-down touchdown pass in the first quarter, Rice stormed back for a 14-7 second-quarter lead. Deadlocked at 14-14 in the third quarter, Texas A&M’s Gordon LeBoeuf corralled a punt blocked by Don Smith and sped 55 yards for the go-ahead touchdown. Tailback Charlie Milstead extended the Aggie lead to 28-14 shortly after with his second touchdown run of the day. Rice’s All-America end Buddy Dial, a 1993 College Football Hall of Fame inductee, scored a late touchdown on a four-yard reception from Bobby Wright, but it would not be enough for the Owls, who went on to finish 5-5 in 1958. Jim Myers, who was in his first year as head coach after inheriting the program from Hall of Fame coach Bear Bryant, led the Aggies to a 4-6 record.

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 William V. Campbell Trophy presented by Fidelity Investments, annual scholarships of more than $1.3 million and a series of initiatives to honor the legends of the past and inspire the leaders of the future. NFF corporate partners include the Chick-fil-A Peach Bowl, Fidelity Investments, Herff Jones, New York Athletic Club, Pasadena Tournament of Roses, PrimeSport, SKP, the Sports Business Journal and Under Armour. Learn more at

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