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 141 years.
December 5, 1992– In the first-ever SEC Championship Game, 2010 College Football Hall of Fame inductee coach Gene Stallings led second-ranked Alabama past College Football Hall of Famer Steve Spurrier and No. 12 Florida, 28-21 in Birmingham. The Crimson Tide would go on to capture the national title later that season.
OTHER NOTABLE DATES:
November 29, 1996– Virginia set an NCAA record by intercepting a pass in their 39th consecutive game as the No. 20 Cavaliers fell to No. 17 Virginia Tech 26-9 in Blacksburg. The streak dated back to Nov. 6, 1993.
November 30, 1940– Washington’s Ernie Steele became the first player in college football history to return two kickoffs for a touchdown in a single game. The 12th-ranked Huskies defeated Washington State and won the Apple Cup 33-9 in Seattle.
December 1, 2001– No. 10 Colorado won its first Big 12 Championship by upsetting No. 3 Texas 39-37 in Irving, Tex. The Buffaloes forced four first-half turnovers and built a 29-10 halftime lead. The Longhorns inserted back-up quarterback Major Applewhite, who promptly threw a 79-yard touchdown strike on his second play from scrimmage. Texas pulled within 36-30 when cornerback Rod Babers stepped in front of a fake punt pass and returned it 54 yards for a score. The Buffaloes notched the game-clinching score when Jeremy Flores booted a 43-yard field goal.
December 2, 1972– In Philadelphia, Army won its first Commander-in-Chief Trophy with a 23-15 victory over Navy. Trailing 12-6, Army linebacker Tim Pfister blocked a punt that cornerback Scott Beaty returned 83 yards to put the Black Knights on top. Navy mounted a responding drive, but was stopped on fourth down at the Army five yard-line. The Midshipmen’s bright spot was running back Cleveland Cooper, who trotted for 135 yards and became Navy’s first 1,000-yard rusher.
December 3, 1966– Following 19 consecutive losses to their intrastate rivals, Oklahoma State topped Oklahoma for the second consecutive season 15-14 in Stillwater. Quarterback Ronnie Johnson notched two touchdowns and a two-point pass to lead the Cowboys. Oklahoma found paydirt with 1:29 to play and elected to go for two and the win, but tailback Ron Shotts was stopped short on the ensuing pass.
December 4, 2004– Sam Houston State rallied from a 20-point fourth-quarter deficit to defeat Eastern Washington, 35-34 in Cheney, Wash. Trailing 34-14 entering the final frame, quarterback Dustin Long awoke the Sam Houston State offense with a 34-yard touchdown strike. The Bearkats’ deficit dropped to six when Eastern Washington lined up for 37-yard field goal attempt with under one minute left, but the try was blocked. With no timeouts remaining, Long rallied the Bearkats with a 75-yard drive in just 43 seconds, hitting receiver Jason Mathenia on four consecutive passes to close the drive, including the clinching seven-yard touchdown toss with just two seconds to play. The win pushed Sam Houston State into its first trip to the Division I-AA semifinals.
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, a non-profit educational organization, runs programs designed to use the power of amateur football in developing scholarship, citizenship and athletic achievement in young people. With 121 chapters and 12,000 members nationwide, NFF programs include the College Football Hall of Fame, Play It Smart, the NFF Hampshire Honor Society, the NFF National Scholar-Athlete Alumni Association, the NFF Gridiron Clubs of New York City, Dallas, and Los Angeles, and annual scholarships of more than $1.3 million for college and high school scholar-athletes. The NFF presents the MacArthur Bowl, the Campbell Trophy, endowed by HealthSouth, and releases the Bowl Championship Series (BCS) Standings.