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. RoadTripSports and College Football America is proud to present this year’s release in its entirety, courtesy of the National Football Foundation.
Sept. 24, 1955
No. 5 Maryland def. No. 1 UCLA, 7-0
College Park, Md.
UCLA sought an early lead on Maryland after a 61-yard quick kick recovery and three completions from tailback Ronnie Knox to Rommie Loudd brought the Bruins to the Terps’ three-yard line. In an attempt to punch the ball in for a score, fullback Doug Peters lost the ball and it was recovered by Maryland linebacker Bob Pellegrini, a College Football Hall of Famer. The Terps’ defense came up strong again in the second quarter, pushing the Bruins back 52 yards in a disastrous three-play sequence for UCLA. After the second-half kickoff, Maryland completed a 79-yard drive when halfback Ed Vereb raced 17 yards for the lone touchdown of the game. Hall of Fame coach Jim Tatum’s Terps ended the 1955 season with a 10-1 record, an ACC title and a No. 3 ranking after a loss to Oklahoma in the Orange Bowl. Tatum left after the 1955 season to coach at his alma mater, North Carolina, after leading Maryland to three three 10-0 regular seasons, three conference titles and two national titles. Hall of Fame coach Red Sanders’ Bruins finished the season with a 9-2 record and a No. 4 spot in the final AP Poll after a loss to Michigan State in the Rose Bowl.
OTHER NOTABLE MOMENTS
Sept. 21, 1974
Navy def. No. 8 Penn State, 7-6
State College, Pa.
Navy’s upset over the No. 8 Nittany Lions was orchestrated by College Football Hall of Fame coach George Welsh, a former assistant at Penn State under Hall of Fame coach Joe Paterno for 10 years. Penn State was unbeaten in their last 13 games and enjoyed a 20-8 advantage on first downs. Costly mistakes by the Nittany Lions, including five lost fumbles and four missed field goals, allowed the Midshipmen to stay within one possession. Navy took the lead in the second quarter when fullback Bob Jackson threw a four-yard touchdown pass to Robin Ameen to cap an 80-yard drive. The Midshipmen included Hall of Fame defensive back Chet Moeller and 1974 NFF National Scholar-Athlete Tim Harden. Penn State featured fellow 1974 NFF National Scholar-Athlete John Baronas. Navy finished the season 4-7 and the defending national champion Nittany Lions finished with a 10-2 record and a No. 7 spot in the final AP Poll after a 41-20 win over Baylor in the Cotton Bowl.
Sept. 22, 2001
Northwestern State def. TCU, 27-24 (OT)
Fort Worth, Texas
Gary Patterson was entering his first full season as TCU’s head coach after taking over the Horned Frogs prior to their 28-21 loss to Southern Miss in the 2000 GMAC Mobile Alabama Bowl. Demon quarterback Craig Nall threw a short touchdown pass to Devon Lockett in the first quarter to give Northwestern State a 7-3 lead after the first quarter, but Horned Frogs quarterback Casey Printers answered in the second quarter with a 23-yard touchdown strike to give TCU a 10-7 lead at halftime. After a Clint Sanford field goal knotted the game at 10-10 heading into the final quarter, Nall and Printers exchanged two touchdowns a piece. Nall connected with Jeremy Lofton for a 14-yard score with 50 seconds remaining that forced overtime. Sanford booted another field goal on the first overtime possession, and Demons’ defensive end Ahmad Willis blocked Nick Browne’s 35-yard field goal attempt to seal the upset for Northwestern State. The Horned Frogs finished the season 6-6 after a loss to Texas A&M in the GalleryFurniture.com Bowl. Northwestern State finished with an 8-4 record.
Sept. 23, 2000
Buffalo def. Bowling Green, 20-17
After losing their first 14 games at the Division I level, the Buffalo Bulls finally earned their first Division I and MAC win with an upset of Bowling Green in 2000, and the Bulls’ victory came despite rushing for only 64 yards the entire game. With less than five minutes left in the first quarter, the Bulls took a 7-0 lead when quarterback Joe Freedy threw a two-yard touchdown pass to tight end Chad Bartoszek. Bowling Green fought back and scored twice in the second quarter to take a 14-7 lead. The Bulls, thirsty for a win, tied the game back up on a one-yard run by wide receiver Andre Ford. After a failed extra point, the Bulls trailed 14-13 going into the half. Following a scoreless third quarter, Bowling Green kicker Mike Knapp nailed a 32-yard field goal in the first two minutes of the fourth quarter, but Buffalo running back Marquis Dwarte answered with a 27-yard touchdown to give the Bulls a 20-17 victory. Both Buffalo and Bowling Green finished the 2000 season with 2-9 records.
Sept. 25, 1954
No. 12 Iowa def. No. 7 Michigan State, 14-10
Iowa City, Iowa
College Football Hall of Fame coach Forest Evashevski and Iowa controlled the first half during Hall of Fame coach Duffy Daugherty’s Michigan State debut, and the Hawkeyes went into the break ahead 7-0. Daugherty had all the right things to say to his players at halftime, and they came out and scored on Leroy Bolden’s touchdown run and a Gerry Planutis field goal. Hawkeye halfback Eldean Matheson fielded a punt from Don Kauth, and he raced 53 yards to the Spartans’ three-yard line. On fourth-and-one at the goal line, Iowa quarterback Jerry Reichow plunged into the end zone behind a line featuring Hall of Fame guard Calvin Jones, giving his team the win. The Hawkeyes finished the season 5-4 and the Spartans finished 3-6.
Sept. 26, 1998
Prairie View A&M (Texas) def. Langston (Okla.), 14-12
Prairie View A&M finally snapped their NCAA record, nine-year, 80-game losing streak with a win over Langston, who handed the Panthers the first loss of the streak in 1989. After a tight battle all game, the Lions cut Prairie View A&M’s lead to 14-6 with 35 seconds remaining in the game. Lions quarterback Archie Craft lobbed a 51-yard pass to wide receiver Ted Roberts who caught it for a touchdown, closing the Panthers’ lead to 14-12. Langston tried a two point conversion for the tie, but Craft was stopped short of the goal on the quarterback sneak. After a failed onside kick attempt, the Panthers finally claimed their first win since 1989. Prairie View A&M enjoyed their only win of the 1998 season against Langston, finishing 1-10. The Lions completed their 1998 season with a record of 2-8.
Sept. 27, 1958
Northwestern def. No. 10 Washington State, 29-28
College Football Hall of Fame coach Ara Parseghian and Northwestern entered their 1958 season opener having not beaten a Pacific Coast Conference team in 10 years. Despite the high-scoring finish, the game remained scoreless deep into the second quarter. Hall of Fame defensive back Ron Burton picked off Washington State quarterback Bobby Newman to set up a five-yard touchdown run by Wildcats’ quarterback Dick Thornton. Burton added touchdown runs of one and 61 yards in the second half to give Northwestern a 29-12 lead. Cougars’ end Gail Cogdill led a fourth-quarter rally, hauling in touchdown passes of 30 and 80 yards and breaking the NCAA single-game receiving yard record. Northwestern’s use of the new two-point conversion rule ended up being the deciding factor as Thornton’s pass to Elbert Kimbrough following Burton’s second touchdown run gave the Wildcats the cushion they needed to hold off Washington State’s comeback. Northwestern finished the season 5-4 and Washington State finished with a 7-3 record.