BY COLIN “BIG C” MACGUIRE
The Greenville Standard
Alabama entered the 1975 season ranked No. 2 behind Oklahoma. Alabama finished the 1974 season 11-1 winning the SEC for the fourth year in a row. Alabama finished No. 5 the AP Poll and No. 2 in the Coaches Poll.
Alabama opened the season on Monday, Sept. 8 vs Missouri at Legion Field on national television. It was a rough start with Missouri winning 20-7. It was a major upset.
RB Tony Galbreath gained 120 yards rushing. Missouri jumped out to a 20-0 halftime lead. Alabama scored on a Todd-Newsome pass. LB Conley Duncan intercepted a Missouri pass. Alabama had a chance to close the gap but didn’t.
On Sept. 20, Clemson came to Denny Stadium in Tuscaloosa. It was a night game. Mark Prudhomme blocked a punt for a safety. That opened the floodgates. Alabama won 56-0.
On Sept. 27, Alabama faced Vanderbilt at Nashville’s Dudley Field. Alabama scored four touchdowns and four field goals. Danny Ridgeway kicked one and Bucky Berrey kicked three. The final was Alabama 40-7.
On Oct. 4, Ole Miss visited Legion Field in Birmingham. It was scoreless first quarter, 16 points second quarter, six in the third, and ten in the fourth. Ole Miss was held to 78 yards rushing. The final score was Alabama 32-6.
On Oct. 11, Washington came to Denny Stadium. The 1925 Alabama and Washington Rose Bowl Teams were honored with 50th anniversary. This game was never close. It was Alabama 38-0 at the half. They scored 14 in the third to win 52-0.
On Oct. 18, Tennessee visited Legion Field. Alabama was No. 6 and Tennessee No. 16. QB Richard Todd played a great game and rushed for three touchdowns and passed for one. Alabama gained 318 yards rushing to Tennessee’s 12. Total yards Alabama 380 Tennessee 117. Final Alabama 30, Tennessee 7.
On Oct. 25, TCU visited Legion Field. Alabama started slow. It was 7-0 in the first and 21-0 at the half. They scored 24 in the third to go up 45-0 which was the final.
On Nov. 1, Alabama played Mississippi State in Jackson. It was a night game. Alabama trailed 10-7 at the half. State had a chance in the third quarter to go 17-7 but a goal line stand prevented that from happenings. Late in the third quarter, Tyrone King intercepted a State pass and returned it for a touchdown. Alabama added another touchdown to make the final 21-10.
On Nov. 8, Alabama faced LSU in Baton Rouge. Alabama scored on runs two yards by Willie Shelby and seven by Richard Todd. Bucky Berrey kicked field goals of 50, 42, and 25 yards. Alabama intercepted five passes which led the way to a 23-10 win.
On Nov. 15, Southern Miss came to Denny Stadium. It was Homecoming. Sela Ward was the Homecoming Queen. Richard Todd threw two touchdown passes to Ozzie Newsome for 32 and 35 yards. Duffy Boles scored on five yard run. Danny Ridgeway kicked a 23 yard field goal. Bucky Berrey kicked a 39-yard field goal. It was win number 600 for the program.
On Nov. 29, Alabama faced Auburn at Legion Field. Alabama was ranked No. 4. Alabama led 7-0 at the half on a Todd to Jerry Brown 17-yard pass. In the third quarter, Todd scored on runs of 33 and 14 yards. In the fourth quarter, there was a Todd to Newsome 24 yards. The final was Alabama 28 Auburn 0. This was Coach Ralph (Shug) Jordan’s last game as head coach at Auburn. Coach Jordan tenure was from 1951-75 with one National Championship and SEC Championship.
On Dec. 31, Alabama played Penn State in the Sugar Bowl in New Orleans. It was the first Sugar Bowl played in the Superdome. Alabama was No. 3 and Penn State was No. 7. Alabama led 3-0 at the half on a 25-yard field goal by Ridgeway. Penn State tied it 3-3 in the third quarter. Alabama scored on a 14- yard run by Mike Stock to go up 10-3. Ridgeway kicked a 26-yard field goal to go up 13-6 which turned out to be the final. QB Richard Todd was the game MVP. Todd was 10-12 for 210 yards. The win broke a bowl winless streak 0-7-1. The last bowl win was on Jan. 2, 1967 at the Sugar Bowl Alabama, 34-7.
Alabama led the nation in scoring defense giving up 6.0 ppg with a total of 72 points. Alabama finished at No. 3. Arizona State was 12-0 and finished No. 2. Oklahoma at 11-1 won the national championship.