This Week in College Football History: Dec. 5 – Dec. 11
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 143 years
December 7, 1996 - For the first time in 33 years, No. 23 Army and Navy came to Philadelphia both sporting winning records. With President Bill Clinton in attendance, the Midshipmen built an early 21-3 lead behind a seven-yard touchdown run by Patrick McGrew and two touchdowns from quarterback Chris McCoy. The Black Knights trimmed the lead to 21-13 by halftime, and Bobby Williams galloped 81 yards to bring Army within two in the third quarter. Army then drove 75 yards to take a 25-21 lead, culminating the largest comeback in the 96-game history of the series. After trading field goals, Navy twice threw into the end zone late but both attempts were unsuccessful, allowing Army to preserve a 28-24 win. The win allowed Army to achieve the first and only 10-win season in the history of the academy and win their sixth Commander-in-Chief’s Trophy. CLICK HERE TO SEE VIDEO OF THIS GAME.
OTHER NOTABLE DATES:
December 5, 1998 - In a game rescheduled from September due to Hurricane Georges, Miami ended the national championship hopes of No. 3 UCLA, 49-45 in Miami. Unbeknownst to the Bruins at the time, but a loss later in the day by No. 1 Kansas State would have opened the door for UCLA to play for the first BCS title with a victory. The Hurricanes were led by tailback Edgerrin James’ 39 rushes for 299 yards and three touchdowns. Bruins quarterback Cade McNown connected on 26-of-35 attempts for 513 yards and five touchdowns with an additional rushing score on the day, guiding UCLA to a seemingly-safe 38-21 lead late in the third quarter. However, two costly fumbles by UCLA brought Miami back to life, when Hurricanes quarterback Scott Covington (318 passing yards) threw two fourth-quarter touchdown passes, and James’ one-yard plunge with less than a minute to play made the comeback complete. McNown drove the Bruins to the Hurricanes’ 30 on the ensuing drive, but his final pass sailed out of the end zone as time expired.
December 6, 1975 - In Fayetteville, Ark., College Football Hall of Fame coach Frank Broyles and No. 18 Arkansas upended No. 2 Texas A&M 31-6. The Razorbacks defense limited the Aggies to 149 total yards and forced six turnovers, while Hogs quarterback Scott Bull accounted for a touchdown on the ground and through the air. Texas A&M came into the contest outscoring opponents 259-73 in 10 previous games, but Arkansas scored the upset and secured their first trip to the Cotton Bowl since 1966.
December 8, 2001 - Hawaii ended No. 8 BYU’s undefeated season in a 72-45 shootout in Honolulu, Hawaii. The teams combined to tie an NCAA record with 13 total touchdown passes, led by Hawaii quarterback Nick Rolovich, whose eight touchdown passes and 543 passing yards both set single-game school records. Hawaii’s Chad Owens also set NCAA records with 342 yards on kick returns and 249 kickoff return yards. He took a punt back 74 yards for a score and notched a 100-yard kickoff return, becoming one of just nine players in college football history to score on a punt and kickoff return in the same game. The teams combined for 1,258 yards from scrimmage and 69 first downs on the day.
December 9, 1989 - Fresno State defeated Ball State 27-6 in the California Bowl – a game played at Fresno State’s Bulldog Stadium. With Ball State leading 6-3 in the third quarter, the Bulldogs took the lead for good on a 91-yard touchdown pass from Mark Barsotti to Steve Shelley. The hometown Bulldogs won five of the 11 California Bowls, which was last held in 1991.
December 10, 1983 - In the earliest edition ever of the 36-year old Independence Bowl in Shreveport, La., No. 16 Air Force stifled Ole Miss 9-3. Despite rushing for 277 yards and connecting on 6-of-7 passes for 71 yards, Air Force was limited to three Sean Pavlich field goals to provide the winning margin. Following the game, Air Force head coach Ken Hatfield assumed the head coaching role at Arkansas and the academy promoted College Football Hall of Fame inductee Fisher DeBerry from offensive coordinator to head coach.
December 11, 1977 – Under College Football Hall of Fame coach Eddie Robinson, Grambling downed Temple 35-32 in the Tokyo Bowl in Tokyo, Japan. The Tigers’ victory marked one of the first wins by a historically black college over a Division I opponent.
Correction: Last week, This Week in College Football History used a note incorrectly referencing Colorado quarterback Koy Detmer as his brother, Ty. The NFF apologizes for the error.Print This Post