Story courtesy of the National Football Foundation
Photo courtesy of Alabama Athletics
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 144 years.
October 24, 2009: The battle began in Tuscaloosa, and Alabama quarterback and NFF National Scholar-Athlete Greg McElroy led the Crimson Tide on four scoring drives, all ending with field goals and giving his team a slight 12-10 advantage against Tennessee. At the beginning of the fourth quarter, Crimson Tide 350-pound nose guard Terrence Cody preserved the lead by blocking the Vol’s 43–yard field goal attempt. With the game entering the last seconds, Tennessee would again attempt another game-winning kick from the 44, which would have ended Alabama’s undefeated season. But Cody, who had never blocked a kick in his career until this contest, once again burst through the Volunteer line and stuffed the potential game-winner. CLICK HERE TO WATCH A VIDEO HIGHLIGHTS OF THIS GAME ON THE NFF DIGITAL NETWORK.
OTHER NOTABLE DATES
October 22, 1949: In a battle of Hall of Fame coaches, Matty Bell's Southern Methodist squad upset Bear Bryant's undefeated Kentucky Wildcats 20-7 at the Cotton Bowl in Dallas. SMU took the field without injured Hall of Fame HB Doak Walker, relying instead on Hall of Fame HB Kyle Rote, who rushed for two touchdowns as the Mustangs completely dominated the second half. SMU would finish the season 5-4-1. Kentucky would finish 9-3, losing to Santa Clara in the Orange Bowl.
October 23, 1976: In a 45-0 defeat of Navy in Annapolis, Md., Pittsburgh Panthers running back Tony Dorsett breaks the all-time college rushing record of fellow Hall of Fame back Archie Griffin of Ohio State. Dorsett broke the record on a 32-yard touchdown run. On the day, Dorsett would gain180 yards and also become the first player to run for over 1,000 in four different seasons. Dorsett would go on to win the Heisman Trophy later that year.
October 25, 1980: College football’s all-time passing record was set by Purdue quarterback Mark Herrmann in West Lafayette, Ind. Midway through the second quarter against Michigan State, Herrmann passed the record held by “The Throwin’ Samoan,” Washington State’s Jack Thompson. Herrmann would finish with 340 yards in the 36-25 win over the Spartans, increasing his career total to 8,087 yards. Herrmann was inducted into the College Football Hall of Fame in 2010.
October 26, 1991: Purple was the color of the day. For the first time since 1939 in Clemson, S.C, the Tigers wore purple jerseys in a 29-19 win over North Carolina State. While in Evanston, Ill., Northwestern wore purple pants against Illinois. Coach Francis Peay remarked that the Wildcats “looked like grapes,” while the players were fired up by the new pants in their 17-11 upset of the No. 17 Fighting Illini, marking the first defeat of a ranked team by Northwestern in 20 years.
October 27, 1956: No.7 Texas A&M, led by Hall of Fame HB John David Crow, turned back unbeaten and No. 8 ranked Baylor 19-13 in Waco, Texas. Crow threw a five-yard touchdown pass to John Tracey, and in the 4th quarter, Crow scored the game-winning touchdown on a two-yard run. Led by Hall of Fame coach Bear Bryant, the Aggies won the Southwest Conference and finished with a 9-0-1 record and a No. 5 AP ranking. Baylor finished the season ranked No. 11 in the AP Poll, posting 9-2 record and upsetting Tennessee in the Sugar Bowl.
October 28, 1989: Ohio State, led by Hall of Fame coach John Cooper, tied an NCAA record for biggest point margin comeback, overcoming a 31-0 second quarter deficit to beat Minnesota 41-37 in Minneapolis. Greg Fry’s 15-yard touchdown pass to Jeff Graham with 41 seconds left completed the rally. Both teams finished the season with winning records, the Buckeyes 8-3 and the Gophers 6-5.