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Tuesday, Apr. 21, 2015

More college gridiron history for your inspection

Posted Wednesday, September 14, 2011, at 7:28 PM

The college football season makes it way into another week and once again courtesy our friends at the National Football Foundation, I've found a couple of things that might be of interest to area fans.

September 17, 1988 -- No. 10 Florida State upset No. 3 Clemson 24-21 in Clemson, S.C. Deion Sanders, a 2011 College Football Hall of Fame inductee, sparked the Seminoles by taking a punt back 76 yards for a touchdown in the second quarter. With the game knotted at 21 with 1:31 to play, College Football Hall of Fame coach Bobby Bowden called for a fake punt from his own 21 yard line. Cornerback LeRoy Butler took the fake 76 yards, setting up Richie Andrews' game- winning 19-yard field goal with 32 seconds remaining.

The reason I find this tidbit so interesting is that the Seminoles are back in the spotlight after a couple of years with less than standard performances. And they find themselves locking horns with a very tough team, No. 1 ranked Oklahoma.

At least the game's in Tallahassee.

Some other notable bits from the past include the following:

*September 12, 1981 -- Vanderbilt christened Vanderbilt Stadium with a 23-17 upset of Maryland in Nashville, Tenn. The 41,000-seat venue was constructed on top of previously existing Dudley Field, where the Commodores had played since 1922. Vanderbilt quarterback Whit Taylor, who passed for 259 yards and two touchdowns on the day, orchestrated an 86-yard scoring drive, capped with a 5-yard touchdown pass to wide receiver Phil Roach with 5:11 to play, to secure the victory.

*September 13, 2003 -- College Football Hall of Fame coach John Robinson and UNLV sprung a 23-5 upset of College Football Hall of Fame coach Barry Alvarez and No. 15 Wisconsin in Madison, Wisc. Rebels safety Jamaal Brimmer single-handedly led the upset effort when he posted 11 tackles, two sacks, returned a fumble 55 yards for a touchdown and intercepted two passes that set up two more UNLV scores. The win was UNLV's first over a ranked non-conference opponent since 1981.

*September 14, 1991 -- Greg Hill had the greatest debut by a freshman running back in college football history when the Texas A&M tailback ran for 212 yards and two touchdowns on 30 carries. The 20th-ranked Aggies topped LSU 45-7 in College Station, Tex. Hill compiled 1,216 rushing yards that season, a school record for a freshman and ranks third in Texas A&M history with 3,262 career rushing yards.

*September 15, 2001 -- Stadiums were empty across the nation as college football paused for a week in respect to the 9/11 terrorist attacks suffered by the United States earlier that week. At the Division I-A level (now FBS), 58 games were either canceled or postponed until later in the season.

*September 15, 1973 -- College Football Hall of Fame coach Barry Switzer made his debut at Oklahoma. Switzer's Sooners topped Baylor 42-14 in Waco, Tex., en route to a 10-0-1 record and a Big 8 championship. Switzer garnered a 157-29-4 record with three national championships and 12 Big 8 titles in 16 seasons. His .837 winning percentage still ranks as the best in school history and 11th-best in college football history.

*September 16, 1967 -- College Football Hall of Fame coach Tommy Prothro and No. 8 UCLA topped College Football Hall of Fame coach Doug Dickey and No. 9 Tennessee 20-16 in Los Angeles. Tennessee capitalized on early Bruins mistakes to claim a 13-3 lead with touchdown runs by Charles Fulton and Richard Pickens. Trailing 16-13 late in the fourth quarter, UCLA quarterback and future College Football Hall of Famer Gary Beban converted a fourth -and-two into a game-winning 27-yard touchdown dash.

*September 18, 1965 -- Chuck Hughes set an NCAA record when he hauled in 10 passes for 349 yards. Hughes' 34.9 yards per reception average is the most in college football history for players with 10 or more receptions. UTEP toppled North Texas, 61-15, in El Paso, Tex.

Enjoy this week's college football action.

Rick is a sport writer for the Greene County Daily. He can be reached at (812) 847-4487, ext. 20. He can be reached by Email at rcurl@gcdailyworld.com.

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