Sept. 12, 2008
FRIDAY FLASHBACK: ONE-HIT WONDERS
TUSCALOOSA, Ala. - With the University of Alabama and Western Kentucky meeting for the first time in football this Saturday night in Bryant-Denny Stadium, there are no prior games to relive between the Tide and Hilltoppers. This week's edition of Friday Flashback looks at some of the Crimson Tide's "one-hit wonders", recapping of some of the one-time meetings in Crimson Tide lore.
Western Kentucky will be the Tide's 126th different football opponent and the 43rd team the Tide has played just once. Army, Brigham Young, East Carolina, Illinois, Iowa State, Minnesota, North Carolina, Oklahoma State, Penn, Texas Tech and Wisconsin are some of the more notable teams Alabama has faced just once. The Tide's monumental win over Eastern power Penn in 1922, David Smith's record-setting Sun Bowl performance against Army in 1988, Shaun Alexander's school-record five rushing touchdowns against BYU in 1998 and Javier Arenas' first career punt return for a touchdown against Florida International in 2006 are some of the memorable moments from these games.
Here is a look at some of the Tide's memorable one-time meetings on the gridiron.
Alabama 9, Penn 7 - November 4, 1922 - Franklin Field - Philadelphia, Penn.
In one of the landmark wins in Crimson Tide football history, Alabama traveled to Philadelphia and posted a 9-7 win over Penn at historic Franklin Field. Due to the foresight of Charles Bernier, the UA Athletic Director, the Crimson Tide witnessed the game between Navy and Penn State the previous day in Washington. After watching those two teams perform, the Alabama boys concluded that the large Eastern teams were only human. Alabama scored first when L.O. Wesley booted a 27-yard field goal to give the Tide a 3-0 lead in the first quarter. Penn answered in the second quarter and took a 7-3 lead into halftime thanks to a nifty 35-yard run by G.H. Sullivan. The teams exchanged a series of punts in the third quarter, before Alabama broke through with its second lead of the game. After a nice drive, Pooley Hubert fumbled on the Penn goal line, but Shorty Propst was there to fall on the football in the end zone to give the Tide a 9-7 lead. Wesley's extra point attempt was no good. Alabama missed a field goal attempt in the fourth quarter, but a stern defensive effort preserved the win.
Alabama 24, Washington State 0 - January 1, 1931 - Rose Bowl - Pasadena, Calif.
Alabama shut out Washington State 24-0 in the 1931 Rose Bowl, in what was the final game for Tide coaching legend Wallace Wade. On New Year's Eve, Wade announced he was going to start his second-teamers against the Cougars. He felt Alabama was two touchdowns better than WSU and was determined to prove it. After a scoreless first quarter, Wade sent the first unit into the game and the Cougars were dominated. After 13 straight running plays, Alabama threw its first pass and scored on a 61-yard strike from left end Jimmy Moore to John Henry Suther to put the Tide in front. Monk Campbell then scored on runs of 1 and 43 yards and the Tide led 21-0 at the half. All 21 points came within a six-minute stretch in the second quarter. J.B. Whitworth's 30-yard field goal in the third quarter was all the scoring in the second half.
Alabama 22, Illinois 15 - December 29, 1982 - Liberty Bowl - Memphis, Tenn.
Alabama sent Paul "Bear" Bryant out in grand fashion with a 21-15 victory over Illinois at the Liberty Bowl on a cold, frigid night in Memphis, Tenn. Alabama saw fullback Ricky Moore (four-yard run), flanker Jesse Bendross (eight-yard run) and Craig Turner (one-yard run) scored touchdowns in Bryant's final battle to earn the victory over Illinois' potent offensive attack. UA cornerback Jeremiah Castille ended an illustrious career at Alabama by tying a school and Liberty Bowl record with three interceptions to preserve the win over the Fighting Illini.
Alabama 29, Army 28 - December 24, 1988 - Sun Bowll - El Paso, Texas
Resilient Alabama, behind a record-setting performance by senior quarterback David Smith, rallied to defeat upset-minded Army 29-28 in the 55th annual Sun Bowl Classic. Smith shattered UA bowl passing records set by Joe Namath and Steve Sloan in guiding the Tide to its win on Christmas Eve afternoon in El Paso. Smith, the game's MVP, completed 33 of 52 passes for 412 yards, each setting an Alabama bowl record. He engineered the winning drive late in the fourth quarter, completing a key 19-yard pass to Todd Richardson. David Casteal capped the winning drive with a one-yard run to give the Tide a come-from-behind win. Army, despite zero passing yards in the game, held a 14-6 second quarter lead and missed a cinch score when Calvin Cass' halfback pass missed a wide open Otto Leone. The Black Knights had to settle for a field goal, which was blocked by Derrick Thomas. Smith led the Tide to a quick touchdown, moving 76 yards in just over one minute to trim the lead to 14-13. Army answered right back and lined up for a 44-yard field goal attempt, but Keith Walker's kick was again thwarted by the omnipresent Thomas.
Alabama 24, North Carolina 10 - December 31, 1993 - Gator Bowl - Jacksonville, Fla.
The Alabama defense had to come up with a game plan to stop North Carolina's running tandem of Curtis and Leon Johnson, both 1,000-yard rushers in 1993, while the offense had to come up with a game plan for back-up quarterback Brian Burgdorf, who was subbing for the injured Jay Barker. Mission accomplished on both sides as the Tide rolled to a 24-10 win over the Tar Heels in the Gator Bowl. After a scoreless first quarter, both teams scored 10 points in the second quarter. Alabama's points came on Michael Proctor's 22-yard field goal and Burgdorf's 33-yard. William Henderson's 1-yard run gave UNC its only lead of the game at 7-3 before the Tide answered with a score of its own. Tarrant Lynch scored on an 8-yard run in the third quarter and Burgdorf's 10-yard pass to Chad Key capped the scoring in the final quarter.
Alabama 38, BYU 31 - September 5, 1998 - Bryant-Denny Stadium - Tuscaloosa, Ala.
Records fell and new heights were reached as Shaun Alexander had a school-record five rushing touchdowns to lead the Crimson Tide to a 38-31 win over the BYU Cougars in front of an electrified Bryant-Denny Stadium record crowd of 83,818. Alabama scored on runs of 5, 37, 1, 28 and 2 yards in his record-setting performance. Alexander's two first-quarter touchdowns put the Tide in front 14-0. UA and BYU combined for 24 second quarter points as the Cougars cut the deficit to 24-14 at halftime. BYU scored on a 39-yard fumble return by Byron Frisch to open the quarter and then capped the 15-minute period when Kevin Feterik threw a 10-yard TD pass to Tevita Ofahengaue with 2:57 before halftime. BYU tied the game at 24-24 with a pair of third-quarter scores, including Junior Mahe's 6-yard run. Alexander answered with two more rushing touchdowns in the fourth quarter. He gave the Tide the lead for good with a 28-yard scamper with 7:02 left in the game and then sealed the win with a 2-yard run with 1:38 left in the game. Feterik scored on a 15-yard run with 15 seconds left to make the final 38-31.
Alabama 23, East Carolina 22 - October 17, 1998 - Legion Field - Birmingham, Ala.
Alabama held off a furious second-half rally by East Carolina for a 23-22 win over the Pirates at Legion Field. After falling behind 21-0 at halftime, East Carolina scored 19 third-quarter points to and trailed 23-19 entering the final period. Arnie Powell's 35-yard pass to LaMont Chappell put ECU on the board with 7:51 left in the third quarter, but Brantley Rivers' extra point attempt was blocked by Kenny Smith and returned by Kecalf Bailey for a two-point defensive score to give UA a 23-6 lead. On its next possession, ECU went 80 yards in five plays, capped by David Garrard's 45-yard pass to Marcellus Harris cut the lead to 23-13 with 5:27 left. Forrest Foster's 43-yard interception return on UA's next possession capped a wild third quarter and pulled ECU to within 23-19. Andrew Bayes 36-yard field goal with 11:49 left in the game were the only points of the fourth quarter. The Tide defense forced three punts and one turnover on the Pirates final four possessions of the game. Alabama led 21-0 at halftime on a pair of touchdown passes by Andrew Zow to Michael Vaughn (12 yards) and Arvin Richard (29 yards) and a one-yard run by Shaun Alexander.
Alabama 13, Texas Tech 10 - January 2, 2006 - Cotton Bowl - Dallas, Texas
Jamie Christensen's 45-yard field goal on the final play of the game gave the Tide a 13-10 win over Texas Tech in the 2006 AT&T Cotton Bowl Classic and capped the school's 28th 10-win season in the process. With the game tied at 10, Alabama moved from its 14-yard line to the Red Raiders 28-yard line in the final two minutes, where Christensen booted the game winner as time expired. The Crimson Tide scored a touchdown on its second play from scrimmage in the first quarter when Brodie Croyle flicked a 76-yard pass to Keith Brown to put the Tide up 7-0. Tech answered with Alex Trlica's 34-yard field goal and the first quarter ended with UA holding a 7-3 lead. Alabama stretched its lead to 10-3 in the third quarter has Christensen nailed a 31-yard kick. Tech tied the game in the fourth quarter when Jarrett Hicks caught a 12-yard pass from Cody Hodges to make the score 10-10. Alabama answered and drove 50-plus yard in the final two minutes for the win.
Alabama 38, Florida International 3 - October 28, 2006 - Bryant-Denny Stadium - Tuscaloosa, Ala.
Alabama's lone meeting with Florida International was the coming out party for return specialist Javier Arenas, who broke off a 65-yard return in the second half for his first career punt return for a touchdown. Arenas had five punt returns for 81 yards; including a 65-yard punt return with 9:24 left in the third quarter that helped break open a tightly contested game. Arenas' first career punt return gave UA a 17-3 lead and sparked the Tide to three more scores en route to the lopsided win over the Golden Panthers.