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Get ready college football fans, here we goPosted Tuesday, August 30, 2011, at 4:54 PM
Well, it's certainly been a while, but the college football season is almost upon us.
So with that in mind and with a little help from our friends at the National Football Foundation who supplied most of the details, let's take a look at what happened in college football history for the week of Aug. 29 to Sept. 4.
*August 31, 1996 -- Following a special pregame ceremony featuring Big 12 Commissioner Steve Hatcell, Texas Tech Athletics Director Gerald Myers and Kansas State Athletics Director Max Urick, complete with daytime fireworks, No. 18 Kansas State topped Texas Tech 21-14 in Manhattan, Kans., in the inaugural Big 12 Conference game. The Red Raiders mounted a fourth-quarter rally behind a touchdown pass from quarterback Zebbie Lethridge, a two-point conversion, and a field goal to pull within seven. The rally fell short when Kansas State safety Mario Smith broke up a fourth down pass deep in Wildcat territory with 44 seconds remaining.
How ironic is this piece of history considering the Big 12 is back down to 10 teams and if reports are correct, nine teams as the new season begins.
*August 29, 1991-- College Football Hall of Fame coach Bobby Bowden led No. 1 Florida State to a 44-28 victory over College Football Hall of Fame coach LaVell Edwards and No. 19 BYU in the Pigskin Classic in Anaheim, Calif. The Seminoles limited reigning Heisman Trophy winner Ty Detmer to under 300 passing yards for the first time in 25 outings, while his counterpart Casey Weldon submitted an efficient 21 of 28 passing for 268 yards and two scores to lead Florida State.
*August 30, 1987-- The fifth Annual Kickoff Classic saw its first down-to-the-wire finish as No. 17 Tennessee downed College Football Hall of Fame coach Hayden Fry and No. 16 Iowa 23-22 in East Rutherford, N.J. The Volunteers grabbed a 14-10 third quarter lead when linebacker Darrin Miller returned a fumble 96 yards for a score. The Hawkeyes raced back into the lead, scoring nine straight points but failed to convert a two-point conversion, opening the door for Tennessee's comeback. Freshman tailback Reggie Cobb led the Volunteers with a 142-yard performance in his debut.
*September 1, 2007 -- In one of the biggest upsets in college football history, Appalachian State shocked No. 5 Michigan 34-32 in Ann Arbor, Mich. Trailing 31-20 in the third quarter, tailback Mike Hart (23 rushes for 188 yards) scored the second of his three touchdowns to pull the Wolverines within five with 24 seconds left in the third quarter. Hart struck again with 4:36 to play, racing in from 54 yards to put Michigan on top 32-31. With no timeouts available, quarterback Armanti Edwards led the Mountaineers 69 yards in 71 seconds for a 24-yard field goal with 26 seconds left. Michigan again responded, advancing to Appalachian State's 20-yard line with six seconds left, but the ensuing field goal was blocked, making the Mountaineers the first FCS squad to ever defeat an FBS AP top 5 opponent.
And just for the record, the Wolverines will tempt fate a second time when they host the Mountaineers for a game at the horseshoe in 2014.
Will it be deja vu all over again, we'll wait and see.
*September 2, 1978 -- College Football Hall of Fame coach Joe Paterno and No. 3 Penn State survived a 10-7 opening day scare from Temple in Philadelphia. Trailing 7-0 with 10:49 remaining, Owls quarterback Brian Broomell knotted the score with a 21-yard touchdown pass to wide receiver Zachary Dixon. Temple's upset bid was diminished with a lost fumble at its own 42-yard line, their only turnover of the day. The Nittany Lions mounted a methodical drive that culminated with a game-winning 23-yard Matt Bahr field goal with just 10 seconds to play.
*September 3, 1994 -- On the day Pittsburgh celebrated College Football Hall of Fame running back Tony Dorsett, Panthers tailback Curtis Martin emulated the Heisman Trophy winner by running for 251 yards and a touchdown on 28 carries versus No. 18 Texas in Pittsburgh. It was Panthers quarterback Sean Fitzgerald, however, that provided late-game heroics with a 16-yard touchdown pass to Mark Butler to pull Pittsburgh within two at 30-28 with 36 seconds remaining. Pittsburgh elected not to put the ball in Martin's hands on the ensuing two-point try, and Texas defender Taje Allen batted down Fitzgerald's pass to save the victory for the Longhorns.
*September 4, 1989 -- In a game originally slated to take place in Moscow, USSR, No. 22 Illinois stunned No. 5 USC, 14-13 in Los Angeles. Fighting Illini quarterback Jeff George, who completed 27 of 43 passes for 248 yards, fired a 53-yard touchdown pass to Jeff Wax off of a deflection and a 20-yard score to Steven Williams to lead Illinois to the upset. USC's comeback effort was spoiled when freshman quarterback Todd Marinovich was intercepted by Illinois safety Henry Jones late in the fourth quarter.
There you have the first installment of what I hope will become a regular part of my column writing, at least during the football season.
I also plan to write on Indiana's football exploits as time and conditions allow. Bet you never expected hear that from a sports writer did ya?
Rick is a sports writer for the Daily World. He can be reached at (812) 847-4487, ext. 20. He can be reached by email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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