The Official Website of the Southeastern Conference
The Official Website of the Southeastern Conference

SEC x CFB 150: 1979-1983

115 days ago
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As part of the recognition of the 150th anniversary of college football, the Southeastern Conference is recognizing 150 of the greatest games and moments in the history of the 14 institutions of the SEC.

Each of the SEC's 14 members submitted to the Conference Office 10 great games or moments, and the SEC added 10 conference-wide highlights to produce a total of 150 great moments to be celebrated throughout the 2019 football season. To view the other weeks, click here.

Week 7 - SEC Football 150 Greatest Moments (1979-1983)

Final Score: Alabama 14, Penn State 7
Date: January 1, 1979
Site: Superdome, New Orleans, Louisiana
Head Coach: Paul "Bear" Bryant
Title: Goal Line Stand
Bear Bryant's 1978 Alabama Crimson Tide squad started off the season with a convincing 20-3 win over the Nebraska Cornhuskers in front of a packed house in Birmingham. Alabama went on to win 11 games in 1978. The only loss of the season came at the hands of the USC Trojans in Birmingham in a 28-14 battle. Alabama then tore through eight straight opponents on its way to a No. 2 ranking and a bid to play in the 1979 Sugar Bowl against Joe Paterno's No. 1-ranked Penn State Nittany Lions. The game was close and physical all the way to the end with Alabama outgaining Penn State on the ground 208-19 and Penn State outgaining Alabama through the air 163-91. Crimson Tide running back Major Ogilvie was quoted after the game as saying, "It was, by far, the hardest-hitting game I've participated in. There's not even a close second." Alabama secured the win and the national championship on one of the most legendary plays in Crimson Tide history. On a fourth down and inches play from the Alabama goal line, Joe Paterno called on tailback Matt Guman to take the ball up the middle into the heart of the Crimson Tide defense. Guman was met head on by a host of Alabama defenders, led by All-America linebacker Barry Krauss who stopped Guman inches shy of the goal line to lock up the 14-7 Sugar Bowl victory and the national title.

Final Score: South Carolina 17, Michigan 14
Date: September 27, 1980
Site: Michigan Stadium, Ann Arbor, Michigan
Head Coach: Jim Carlen
Title: George Rogers enters the Heisman race
The Gamecocks recorded one of the biggest national wins in the history of the school at Michigan before 104,213 fans, the most ever to see a Carolina team play. George Rogers led the offense with 142 yards on 36 carries. Defensive back Mark Bridges snuffed out one Michigan drive late in the game with an interception. Walt Kater recovered two fumbles deep in Carolina territory. The victory caught the eye of the nation's sportswriters and propelled Rogers to the 1980 Heisman Trophy.

Final score: Mississippi State 6, Alabama 3
Date: November 1, 1980
Site: Veterans Memorial Stadium, Jackson, Mississippi
Head coach: Emory Bellard
Title: MSU Shocks No. 1 Alabama, Ends Tide 28-Game Win Streak
Paul "Bear" Bryant's Alabama team came into Jackson with a 7-0 record, a No. 1 ranking, a 28-game winning streak and it looked like it was well on its way to a third straight national title. What resulted was one of the biggest upsets in SEC history. Mississippi State took a 6-3 lead on a pair of Dana Moore field goals and benefited from four Crimson Tide fumbles. Alabama had a chance to win at the end after taking over at its 47 with 2:13 to play. Quarterback Don Jacobs completed three long passes, moving the ball down to the MSU 3-yard line with 25 seconds to go. However, Jacobs fumbled on the ensuing play after a big hit from MSU defensive end Tyrone Keys. All-American Billy Jackson recovered with six seconds left and State was ready to run out the clock. The Bulldogs nearly gave the game away when quarterback John Bond fumbled on the final play of the game, but Donald Ray King recovered inside the five as time expired. The win was MSU's first over Alabama in 23 years, handing the Crimson Tide its first loss since early in the 1978 season. The win remains the only time the Bulldogs have defeated a No. 1 ranked team.

Final Score: Georgia 26, Florida 21
Date: November 8, 1980
Site: Gator Bowl Stadium, Jacksonville, Florida
Head coach: Vince Dooley
Title: "Belue to Scott"
Trailing 9-3, No. 2 ranked Georgia quarterback Buck Belue threw a 93-yard touchdown pass to wide receiver Lindsay Scott with 1:04 remaining to bring victory to the Bulldogs in the annual neutral site game in Jacksonville. The win propelled the undefeated Bulldogs to the No. 1 national ranking which they maintained through the final two regular season games and win over Notre Dame in the Sugar Bowl securing the unanimous national championship in all the major polls.

Final Score: Georgia 17, Notre Dame 10
Date: January 1, 1981
Site: Sugar Bowl, Louisiana Superdome, New Orleans, Louisiana
Head coach: Vince Dooley
Undefeated and untied Georgia defeated Notre Dame, 17-10, to secure the undisputed national championship. Herschel Walker was named MVP after rushing 36 times for 150 yards and two touchdowns. The Bulldogs completed only one pass in the game-a crucial third down late in the game to help run out the clock.

Final score: Arkansas 42, Texas 11
Date: October 17, 1981
Site: Razorback Stadium, Fayetteville, Arkansas
Head Coach: Lou Holtz
Title: Hogs Crush No. 1 Longhorns
The Razorbacks welcomed No. 1 Texas to Fayetteville for the teams' annual showdown under stormy skies in the Ozarks. Arkansas forced seven turnovers to crush Texas 42-11 that day, handing the Longhorns their worst loss ever in the series. Arkansas' defense was the difference, picking off four passes and picking up three fumbles. Texas' defense entered the game allowing only 8.5 points per game and 196.3 yards per game. The Hogs had blown all of those numbers out of the water by halftime, leading 25-3 at the break. The rout continued in the second half along with the Arkansas defense dominating. QB Tom Jones ran for a pair of scores and added a touchdown pass while RB Gary Anderson ran for one and caught Jones' TD pass. The Arkansas fans could not wait to celebrate, storming the field and to take down the goal post in the south end zone with 14 seconds remaining in the game.

Final Score: Alabama 28, Auburn 17
Date: November 28, 1981
Site: Legion Field, Birmingham, Alabama
Head Coach: Paul "Bear" Bryant
Title: Bryant Becomes College Football's Winningest Head Coach Paul "Bear" Bryant notched career victory No. 315 to become the NCAA's winningest head football coach on Nov. 28, 1981. The Tide rallied from a 17-14 fourth-quarter deficit against Auburn to beat the Tigers in the Iron Bowl, 28-17. The win marked the ninth in a row in the series for Alabama, which is the longest streak for either team to date.

Final score: Auburn 23, Alabama 22
Date: November 27, 1982
Site: Legion Field, Birmingham, Alabama
Head coach: Pat Dye
Title: Bo Over The Top
Entering the 1982 campaign, Alabama had won nine straight Iron Bowls at Legion Field, but Auburn had a new head coach in Pat Dye. Trailing 22-17 in the fourth quarter, Auburn's defense finally stymied Alabama's triple-option attack and the Tigers took possession with seven minutes to play. Quarterback Randy Campbell drove the Tigers downfield, landing Auburn on the 1 behind the running of freshman sensation Bo Jackson. On fourth-and-goal at the 1, Jackson - a former star high jumper - leaped over the line into the endzone to lead Auburn to a stunning 23-22 upset victory.

Final score: Vanderbilt 28, Tennessee 21
Date: November 27, 1982
Site: Vanderbilt Stadium, Nashville, Tennessee
Head Coach: George MacIntyre
Title: "The Correct Option"
In a cold and soaking rain, QB Whit Taylor scored on an option rush with 3:00 left to give Vanderbilt a game-clinching lead in a 28-21 victory over Tennessee. The win was the Commodores' fifth straight and ensured a bid to the Hall of Fame Bowl in Birmingham, Alabama. At that time the game at Dudley Field was said to be the largest crowd (41,683) ever to witness a football game in Nashville as Vanderbilt wore all gold uniforms with black helmets. It was the first win for Vanderbilt over Tennessee since 1975. After the final play, Vanderbilt fans rushed onto the field and attempted to tear down the north end goal post. Security personnel surrounded the goal post to discourage the fans. The fans simply turned around and raced towards the south goal post. There they were successful in bringing down the post.

Final Score: Ole Miss 24, Mississippi State 23
Date: November 19, 1983
Site: Mississippi Memorial Stadium, Jackson, Mississippi
Head Coach: Billy Brewer
Title: Immaculate Deflection
Summary: In one of the series' most memorable battles, Ole Miss claimed a pulsating 24-23 victory over Mississippi State in Jackson, but it took some heroics on the part of the Rebels and a 40 miles-per-hour crosswind to decide the outcome. Down 17-0, Ole Miss got on the board when Timmy Moffett returned a punt 66 yards for a touchdown with 1:21 remaining in the first half. However, the Bulldogs added to their lead after the break, and the Rebels found themselves trailing 23-7 to start the fourth quarter. With the wind now at its back, Ole Miss utilized two fumble recoveries and an interception to take a late 24-23 advantage. But State made one last try and moved the ball to the Rebel 10-yard line with 24 seconds left. On fourth down, MSU kicker Artie Cosby attempted a 27-yard field goal, but as true as it was between the uprights, the ball never got there as the wind just slapped it down to give Ole Miss its first on-the-field winning season in eight years at 6-5 and a berth in the Independence Bowl.