On this day in sports history
BY COLIN “BIG C” MACGUIRE
The Greenville Standard
Today I will discuss Oct. 28, 1978. Alabama faced Virginia Tech for Homecoming.
Bill Dooley, younger brother of Vince Dooley, was Tech’s coach. 1978 was his first season. He replaced Jimmy Sharpe, a former Alabama player and assistant coach.
Alabama was ranked # 3 with a 6-1 record. Virginia Tech was unranked with a 3-4 record. Cheerleader Harriet Troxell was elected Homecoming Queen by the student body.
On Friday Night, Coach Bryant and the senior players went to the pep rally and bonfire, which was an annual event.
The game had a slow start. Alabama scored late in the first quarter to go up 7-0. Earlier in the first quarter, Virginia Tech drove to the Alabama red zone. A Virginia Tech pass was intercepted in the end zone by Allen Crumbley and returned to the Alabama 30.
There was a penalty on the play. Alabama was offside. On the next play, Virginia Tech threw another pass. Again it was intercepted by Allen Crumbley and this time returned 44 yards.
After that, Virginia Tech never came close to scoring.
Late in the second quarter the score was still 7-0 and a sensational catch by Keith Pugh for a touchdown made the score 14-0. It also awoke the team and fans.
In the second half, Alabama scored three touchdowns to win 35-0. QB Don Jacobs scored the last touchdown on a 33-yard run.
Alabama gained over 400 yards in offense. It was balanced attack with 200+ rushing, and 200+ passing. Oklahoma and Penn State were ranked ahead of Alabama.
Next week, I will discuss Nov. 4, 1978.