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On this day in sports history


The Greenville Standard

Today I will discuss the Dec. 2, 1978 Iron Bowl.

Alabama needed a win to claim the SEC Title. Alabama was 5-0 in SEC play and Georgia was 5-0-1 in SEC play. Auburn had three real good running backs: Joe Cribbs, James Brooks and William Andrews.

During practice that week, Coach Bryant got out the tower. I knew we were going to win. Jeff Rutledge threw a touchdown pass to Bruce Bolton.

Getting late in the first half, Alabama was behind 13-10. William Andrews fumbled the ball and Murray Legg Recovered the ball. He picked up the ball and ran with it. As you know you could not advance a fumble like you can now.

Two plays later, Rutledge threw a touchdown pass to Bolton to make the score 17-13 at the half. On Alabama’s second drive of the second half, Major Ogilvie ran for 41 yards dragging several Auburn players with him.

A few plays later Rutledge connected with Rick Neal for a touchdown to make the score 24-13. Auburn narrowed the score 24-16 on a Jorge Portella field goal.

Alabama extended its lead to 27-16 on a Alan McElroy field goal. Steadman Shealy led Alabama to its last score by running for 20 yards to make the final 34-16.

The Sugar Bowl officials were happy. They were nervous during the first half. The Sugar Bowl had #1 Penn State vs. #2 Alabama.

Next week I will review the 1978 College Football Season.


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