BY COLIN “BIG C” MACGUIRE
The Greenville Standard
Today I will discuss Nov. 11, 1978.
The top four teams starting that day were #1 Oklahoma (9-0); #2 Penn State(9-0); #3 Alabama (8-1) and #4 Nebraska (8-1).
Alabama was playing #10 LSU (6-1) at Legion Field in what was called a super regional telecast. Eighty percent of the country was able to watch the game.
Oklahoma played Nebraska. Penn State played unranked N.C. State at home. During warm ups, I was underneath the wood bleachers.
The reason was when the kickers were kicking extra points and field goals. If the kicks fell under the wooden bleachers I was able to get the ball. While under the bleachers, I heard cheering going on.
I came out to find #4 Nebraska beat # 1 Oklahoma 17-14. Oklahoma who looked unbeatable was beaten. Running back Billy Sims fumbled the ball inside the Nebraska 15-yard line and was recovered by the Cornhuskers for the win.
The door was opened for Alabama. LSU scored on a 25-yard pass to go up 7-0. Alabama got the ball and was driving. Jeff Rutledge overthrew Keith Pugh, it was intercepted by Willie Teal of LSU. I noticed Keith Pugh was clipped.
Teel ran to his left, and then cut back to the right. Next thing you know, Teel had scored. Thankfully it was called back. A friend told me later, he wanted to jump thru the TV set.
Alabama was driving again, I heard Coach Rutledge hollering for the punter Woody Umphrey. Usually Coach Rutledge would say punt team. It was fourth down and they were lined up to punt.
The ball was snapped, Woody threw the ball to Lou Ikner for a 16-yard completion and it was first down at the LSU 29.
On the next play, Steadman Shealy scored on a 29-yard run. The way the play unfolded looked like how it was drawn up on a chalk board. The LSU end got blocked by the running back, the split end blocked the defensive back. Now the score was 7-7.
Running back Major Ogilvie scored on a short run to go up 14-7. Before the half, LSU kicked a field goal to make the score 14-10. On the first drive for LSU in the second half, things went from good to bad.
LSU kicked a field goal but it was called back, because LSU had 12 men on the field. The penalty backed LSU out of field goal position. The field goal kicker was also the punter.
He was so mad about the field goal being called back, he shanked the punt. It went for four yards. After that play the game was over for LSU. Alabama had to punt; LSU fumbled the punt inside its five yard line. It was recovered by Lou Ikner.
Alabama scored on a pass to make the score 24-10.The offensive line took over the game. It was brutal. There were gashing holes for the running backs. Major Ogilvie was breaking tackles and dragging tacklers before going down.
Jeff Rutledge connected with Keith Pugh on a long pass to set up the last touchdown. Alabama won 31-10. It was a complete team win. Special teams were a big factor in the win.
Next week, I will talk about the rankings going into the games of Nov. 18, 1978.