1978 Alabama Crimson Tide football team

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1978 Alabama Crimson Tide football
National champion (AP)
SEC champion
Sugar Bowl champion
Sugar Bowl, W 14–7 vs. Penn State
Conference Southeastern Conference
Ranking
Coaches No. 2
AP No. 1
1978 record 11–1 (6–0 SEC)
Head coach Bear Bryant (21st year)
Captain Marty Lyons
Captain Jeff Rutledge
Captain Tony Nathan
Home stadium Bryant–Denny Stadium
Legion Field
Seasons
« 1977 1979 »
1978 SEC football standings
Conf     Overall
Team W   L   T     W   L   T
#1 Alabama $ 6 0 0     11 1 0
#16 Georgia 5 0 1     9 2 1
Auburn 3 2 1     6 4 1
LSU 3 3 0     8 4 0
Tennessee 3 3 0     5 5 1
Florida 3 3 0     4 7 0
Mississippi State 2 4 0     6 5 0
Ole Miss 2 4 0     5 6 0
Kentucky 2 4 0     4 6 1
Vanderbilt 0 6 0     2 9 0
  • $ – Conference champion
Rankings from AP Poll

The 1978 Alabama Crimson Tide football team (variously "Alabama", "UA" or "Bama") represented the University of Alabama in the 1978 NCAA Division I-A football season. It was the Crimson Tide's 84th overall and 45th season as a member of the Southeastern Conference (SEC). The team was led by head coach Bear Bryant, in his 21st year, and played their home games at Bryant–Denny Stadium in Tuscaloosa and Legion Field in Birmingham, Alabama. They finished season with eleven wins and one loss (11–1 overall, 6–0 in the SEC), as SEC champions and as national champions after a victory over Penn State in the Sugar Bowl. Alabama's costumed "Big Al" mascot officially debuted this season, appearing at the Sugar Bowl.

Schedule[edit]

Date Opponent# Rank# Site TV Result Attendance
September 2 No. 10 Nebraska* No. 1 Legion FieldBirmingham, AL ABC W 20–3   77,023
September 16 at No. 11 Missouri* No. 1 Memorial StadiumColumbia, MO W 38–20   73,655
September 23 No. 7 USC* No. 1 Legion Field • Birmingham, AL ABC L 14–24   77,313
September 30 Vanderbilt No. 7 Bryant–Denny StadiumTuscaloosa, AL W 51–28   56,910
October 7 at Washington* No. 8 Husky StadiumSeattle, WA W 20–17   60,975
October 14 Florida No. 7 Bryant–Denny Stadium • Tuscaloosa, AL W 23–12   60,210
October 21 at Tennessee No. 4 Neyland StadiumKnoxville, TN (Third Saturday in October) W 30–17   85,436
October 28 Virginia Tech*dagger No. 3 Bryant–Denny Stadium • Tuscaloosa, AL W 35–0   60,210
November 4 Mississippi State No. 3 Legion Field • Birmingham, AL (Rivalry) W 35–14   74,217
November 11 No. 10 LSU No. 3 Legion Field • Birmingham, AL (Rivalry) ABC W 31–10   76,831
December 2 vs. Auburn No. 2 Legion Field • Birmingham, AL (Iron Bowl) W 34–16   79,218
January 1, 1979 vs. No. 1 Penn State* No. 2 Louisiana SuperdomeNew Orleans, LA (Sugar Bowl) ABC W 14–7   76,824
*Non-conference game. daggerHomecoming. #Rankings from AP Poll.
  • Source: Rolltide.com: 1978 Alabama football schedule[1]

Sugar Bowl[edit]

The 1979 Sugar Bowl against Penn State would go down as a classic.[2] Alabama scored in the second quarter, then Penn State answered in the third, then Alabama took a 14–7 lead on a touchdown set up by a 62-yard punt return. Penn State had a chance to tie in the fourth, but quarterback Chuck Fusina threw an interception into the Alabama end zone.[3] Then Alabama had a chance to put the game away, but fumbled the football back to Penn State at the Nittany Lion 19-yard-line with four minutes to go.[2] Penn State drove to a first and goal at the Alabama eight. On third and goal from the one, Fusina asked Bama defensive lineman Marty Lyons "What do you think we should do?", and Lyons answered "You'd better pass."[4] On third down, Penn State was stopped inches short of the goal line. On fourth down, Penn State was stopped again, Barry Krauss meeting Mike Guman and throwing him back for no gain. Alabama held on for a 14–7 victory. The Crimson Tide split the national championship, winning the AP poll while Southern California won the UPI Coaches' poll. It was Alabama's fifth wire service national championship.

References[edit]

General

Specific

  1. ^ "1978 Alabama football schedule". RollTide.com. University of Alabama Department of Intercollegiate Athletics. Retrieved July 15, 2015. 
  2. ^ a b Greatest Bowl Games
  3. ^ Penn State Daily Collegian, 3 January 1979
  4. ^ "Sugar Bowl Memories", Tuscaloosa News