1979 Alabama Crimson Tide football team

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1979 Alabama Crimson Tide football
AlabamaFootballClassicLogo.png
Consensus national champion
SEC champion
Sugar Bowl champion
Sugar Bowl, W 24–9 vs. Arkansas
Conference Southeastern Conference
Ranking
Coaches No. 1
AP No. 1
1979 record 12–0 (6–0 SEC)
Head coach Bear Bryant (22nd year)
Offensive coordinator Mal Moore
Defensive coordinator Ken Donahue
Captain Don McNeal
Captain Steve Whitman
Home stadium Bryant–Denny Stadium
Legion Field
Seasons
← 1978
1980 →
1979 SEC football standings
Conf     Overall
Team W   L   T     W   L   T
#1 Alabama $ 6 0 0     12 0 0
Georgia 5 1 0     6 5 0
#16 Auburn 4 2 0     8 3 0
LSU 4 2 0     7 5 0
Tennessee 3 3 0     7 5 0
Kentucky 3 3 0     5 6 0
Ole Miss 3 3 0     4 7 0
Mississippi State 2 4 0     3 8 0
Vanderbilt 0 6 0     1 10 0
Florida 0 6 0     0 10 1
  • $ – Conference champion
Rankings from AP Poll

The 1979 Alabama Crimson Tide football team (variously "Alabama", "UA" or "Bama") represented the University of Alabama in the 1979 NCAA Division I-A football season. It was the Crimson Tide's 85th overall and 46th season as a member of the Southeastern Conference (SEC). The team was led by head coach Bear Bryant, in his 22nd year, and played their home games at Bryant–Denny Stadium in Tuscaloosa and Legion Field in Birmingham, Alabama. They finished the season undefeated (12–0 overall, 6–0 in the SEC) and with a victory over Arkansas in the Sugar Bowl. For their collective efforts, the Crimson Tide were recognized as consensus national champions for the 1979 season.

In 1979 the Alabama Crimson Tide capped off a decade of remarkable success with the program's seventh perfect season in college history after 1925, 1930, 1934, 1945, 1961, and 1966 (discounting the 1897 “season” in which Bama played and won only one game).[1] The Tide defense recorded five shutouts and allowed only two teams to score in double digits. The offense scored thirty points or more seven times.

Despite this dominance Alabama had three close calls. Against Tennessee on October 20, Alabama fell behind 17–0 in the second quarter before rallying to win 27–17. Three weeks later, against LSU, all the Tide offense could scrape up was a single field goal, but it was enough to win 3–0. In the regular season finale against Auburn, after leading 14–3 at the half Alabama let Auburn take an 18–17 fourth quarter lead before winning 25–18. The Auburn and Tennessee games were the only two times in the 1979 season that Alabama trailed.[2] A 24–9 victory over Arkansas capped a 12–0 season and a unanimous national championship, Alabama’s sixth wire service national title.

Schedule[edit]

Date Opponent# Rank# Site TV Result Attendance
September 8 at Georgia Tech* No. 2 Grant FieldAtlanta, GA ABC W 30–6   57,621
September 22 Baylor* No. 2 Legion FieldBirmingham, AL W 45–0   77,512
September 29 at Vanderbilt No. 2 Dudley FieldNashville, TN W 66–3   34,694
October 6 Wichita State* No. 2 Bryant–Denny StadiumTuscaloosa, AL W 38–0   51,000
October 13 at Florida No. 2 Florida FieldGainesville, FL W 40–0   64,552
October 20 No. 18 Tennessee No. 1 Legion Field • Birmingham, AL (Third Saturday in October) ESPN W 27–17   77,665
October 27 Virginia Tech*dagger No. 1 Bryant–Denny Stadium • Tuscaloosa, AL W 31–7   60,210
November 3 Mississippi State No. 1 Bryant–Denny Stadium • Tuscaloosa, AL (Rivalry) W 24–7   60,210
November 10 at LSU No. 1 Tiger StadiumBaton Rouge, LA (Rivalry) W 3–0   73,708
November 17 Miami* No. 1 Bryant–Denny Stadium • Tuscaloosa, AL ABC W 30–0   54,500
December 1 vs. No. 14 Auburn No. 1 Legion Field • Birmingham, AL (Iron Bowl) W 25–18   77,918
January 1, 1980 vs. No. 6 Arkansas* No. 2 Louisiana SuperdomeNew Orleans, LA (Sugar Bowl) ABC W 24–9   77,846
*Non-conference game. daggerHomecoming. #Rankings from AP Poll.
  • Source: Rolltide.com: 1979 Alabama football schedule[3]

Roster[edit]

1979 Alabama Crimson Tide football team roster
Players Coaches
Offense
Pos. # Name Class
OG Allison, ScottScott Allison Jr
OT 78 Freeman, JackJack Freeman Sr
OT Barnes, WileyWiley Barnes Sr
OT Boler, ThomasThomas Boler Jr
SE Booker, DavidDavid Booker Jr
OG 60 Boothe, VinceVince Boothe Sr
OG Bramblett, GaryGary Bramblett RFr
OG 70 Brock, MikeMike Brock Sr
TE 83 Brown III, LaurenceLaurence Brown III Sr
OT 63 Bunch, JimJim Bunch Sr
TE Cayavec, BobBob Cayavec RFr
SE 80 Clark, TimTim Clark So
OG 67 Cowell, VinceVince Cowell Jr
C Dasher, BobBob Dasher RFr
RB Dyess, JohnJohn Dyess So
OT Faust, RustyRusty Faust So
RB 41 Ferguson, MitchMitch Ferguson Jr
QB Folmar, PatPat Folmar Jr
OG Glass, BillBill Glass So
QB-RB 14 Gray, AlanAlan Gray So
RB 21 Haney, JamesJames Haney So
DB 9 Harris, Jim BobJim Bob Harris So
FB 44 Hill, JohnJohn Hill Jr
RB Hill, TimTim Hill So
TE-P 1 Holt, BuddyBuddy Holt Sr
RB 33 Jackson, BillyBilly Jackson Jr
RB Jones, AmosAmos Jones So
RB 24 Jones, JoeJoe Jones Jr
FB Johnson, BobbyBobby Johnson So
FB Kennedy, MikeMike Kennedy So
TE 87 Krout, BartBart Krout So
SE Mallard, JamesJames Mallard Jr
SE 82 Marks, KeithKeith Marks RFr
OT 72 McCombs, EddieEddie McCombs Jr
OT Merritt, DennyDenny Merritt RFr
OT Miller, JeffJeff Miller RFr
OT Montgomery, FarrarFarrar Montgomery Jr
SE Moss, ClayClay Moss Fr
RB-DB 48 Nix, MarkMark Nix So
RB 42 Ogilvie, MajorMajor Ogilvie Jr
RB-DB 29 Orcutt, BenBen Orcutt So
RB Prater, DougDoug Prater Jr
SE 4 Pugh, KeithKeith Pugh Sr
QB Rhoden, SteveSteve Rhoden So
C Robbins, JoeJoe Robbins Jr
SE Sazera, FrankFrank Sazera Jr
OG 69 Searcey, BillBill Searcey Jr
QB 10 Shealy, Steadman S.Steadman S. Shealy Sr
SE Sherrill, DavidDavid Sherrill So
C 52 Smith, BarryBarry Smith Sr
OT Smith, MarvinMarvin Smith So
C 57 Stephenson, DwightDwight Stephenson Sr
TE 88 Travis, TimTim Travis Sr
FB 45 Whitman, SteveSteve Whitman Sr
FB 38 Williams, CharlieCharlie Williams RFr
Defense
Pos. # Name Class
DT Beazley, JoeJoe Beazley RFr
LB 60 Boyd, TomTom Boyd So
DT 47 Braggs, ByronByron Braggs Jr
DB Brown, BillBill Brown So
DT Casteel, DannyDanny Casteel RFr
DB 53 Clements, MikeMike Clements Jr
DT 98 Cline, JackieJackie Cline RFr
DB Colley, PrincePrince Colley So
DT Connell, AllenAllen Connell Jr
DE 51 DeNiro, GaryGary DeNiro Jr
DB Freeman, MarvisMarvis Freeman Jr
DE Gaines, RobertRobert Gaines Fr
LB Glass, SteveSteve Glass Fr
DE 94 Hamilton, WayneWayne Hamilton Sr
DT 74 Hannah, DavidDavid Hannah Sr
DE Harkness, ButchButch Harkness Jr
DB 37 Haynes, GregGreg Haynes RFr
DB Henderson, JoshJosh Henderson RFr
DT 93 Homan, ScottScott Homan RFr
LB Hughes, JamesJames Hughes So
DT 95 Inman, MikeMike Inman Jr
DB 5 Jacobs, DonDon Jacobs Jr
LB 97 Jones, RobbieRobbie Jones RFr
DE 39 Junior, E. J.E. J. Junior Jr
DE Lancaster, JohnJohn Lancaster Jr
DB Landers, GregGreg Landers Fr
DB 57 Lowe, EddieEddie Lowe So
NG 91 Lyles, WarrenWarren Lyles So
DB Marks, BobbyBobby Marks RSo
DE 84 Mauro, JohnJohn Mauro Jr
LB McCarty, DavidDavid McCarty So
DT 96 McGriff, CurtisCurtis McGriff Sr
DB 28 McNeal, DonDon McNeal Sr
DB 23 Perrin, BennyBenny Perrin So
DE 81 Pitts, MikeMike Pitts RFr
DB 16 Reeves, DavidDavid Reeves So
DB Robinson, BillBill Robinson So
DB Rogers, DavidDavid Rogers So
LB 36 Rozzell, RickyRicky Rozzell RFr
DE Rumbley, RoyRoy Rumbley So
NG 99 Shinn, RichardRichard Shinn So
DB 49 Smith, BobbyBobby Smith Sr
DB Smith, PeterPeter Smith Jr
DB 27 Spencer, TomTom Spencer Jr
DB 7 Sprinkle, JerrillJerrill Sprinkle RFr
DE Theis, JohnJohn Theis So
DB 18 Tucker, RickyRicky Tucker Jr
DB 15 Wilcox, TommyTommy Wilcox RFr
Special teams
Pos. # Name Class
PK Brooker, JohnnyJohnny Brooker So
P Bunn, ButchButch Bunn Jr
PK Mardini, GeorgeGeorge Mardini So
PK 6 McElroy, AlanAlan McElroy Sr
P 2 Umphrey, WoodyWoody Umphrey Jr
Head coach
Coordinators/assistant coaches
  • Mal Moore (Offensive coordinator / quarterbacks)
  • Ken Donahue (Defensive coordinator)
  • Sylvester Croom (Inside linebackers)
  • K. J. Lazenby
  • Bobby Marks
  • Bill Oliver (Defensive backs)
  • Bryant Pool
  • Dee Powell
  • Jeff Rouzie
  • Jack Rutledge
  • George "Shorty" White
  • Perry Willis[4]

Legend
  • (C) Team captain
  • (S) Suspended
  • (I) Ineligible
  • Injured Injured
  • Redshirt Redshirt

Roster
Last update: October 15, 2013

Game summaries[edit]

Georgia Tech[edit]

1 2 3 4 Total
#2 Alabama 6 6 15 3 30
Georgia Tech 0 0 0 6 6
  • Date: September 8
  • Location: Grant Field
    Atlanta, GA
  • Game attendance: 57,621

As they entered the 1979 season, Alabama was ranked as the No. 2 team in the first AP Poll prior to their season opener against Georgia Tech. Playing before a nationally televised audience, the Crimson Tide rushed for over 300 yards in this 30–6 victory over the Yellow Jackets.[5][6] Alabama took a 6–0 lead in the first quarter after E. J. Junior intercepted a Mike Kelley pass and returned it 59-yards for a touchdown. Major Ogilvie then extended their lead to 12–0 with his one-yard touchdown run late in the second quarter.[5][6]

The Crimson Tide took control of the game with a pair of third quarter touchdowns that extended their lead to 27–0. Steve Whitman scored first on a thirteen-yard run and this was followed by an eleven-yard Steadman S. Shealy touchdown run.[5][6] After a late Gary DeNiro interception setup a 31-yard Alan McElroy field goal, Georgia Tech scored on a 36-yard Kelley touchdown pass to Leon Chadwick that made the final score 30–6 and prevented a shutout.[5][6] The victory improved Alabama's all-time record against Georgia Tech to 25–19–3.[7]

Baylor[edit]

1 2 3 4 Total
Baylor 0 0 0 0 0
#2 Alabama 6 8 3 28 45
  • Date: September 22
  • Location: Legion Field
    Birmingham, AL
  • Game attendance: 77,512

Coming off their bye week, Alabama was still ranked as the No. 2 team in the AP Poll prior to their home opener against Baylor.[10] Playing at Legion Field, the Crimson Tide shutout the Bears of the Southwest Conference 45–0 in what was the first all-time meeting between the schools.[8][9][11] After taking a 6–0 lead on a pair of Alan McElroy field goals, Alabama led 14–0 at halftime after Major Ogilvie scored om a one-yard touchdown run in the second quarter.[8][9] A 33-yard McElroy field goal in the third brought the Crimson Tide lead to 17–0 before Alabama scored four touchdowns in the fourth quarter and made the final score 45–0. Mark Nix scored the first pair on runs of two and eight-yards, followed by a one-yard Joe Jones run and John Hill scored the final points with his ten-yard touchdown run in the final minute of the game.[8][9]

Vanderbilt[edit]

1 2 3 4 Total
#2 Alabama 14 18 13 21 66
Vanderbilt 0 3 0 0 3
  • Date: September 29
  • Location: Dudley Field
    Nashville, TN
  • Game attendance: 34,694

After their victory over Baylor, Alabama was still ranked as the No. 2 team in the AP Poll prior to their game against Vanderbilt.[14] Playing at Nashville, the Crimson Tide defeated the Commodores by a blowout score of 66–3 in the conference opener.[12][13] The Crimson Tide took a 14–0 first quarter lead behind touchdown runs of 65 and eight-yards by Steadman S. Shealy and Major Ogilvie. After Mike Woodard scored the only Vandy points with his 47-yard field goal, Alabama extended their lead to 32–3 at the half after Alan McElroy connected on a 21-yard field goal and touchdowns were scored on runs of 19 and one-yard by Shealy and Mark Nix.[12][13]

The Crimson Tide continued their strong play into the second half as they scored five touchdowns and kept the Commodores scoreless on defense. Touchdowns were scored in the third on runs of three and one-yards by Steve Whitman and Joe Jones and in the fourth on a pair of three and a 14-yard run by Jones, Michael Landrum and John Hill.[12][13] The victory improved Alabama's all-time record against Vanderbilt to 36–17–4.[15]

Wichita State[edit]

1 2 3 4 Total
Wichita State 0 0 0 0 0
#2 Alabama 14 14 7 3 38
  • Date: October 6
  • Location: Bryant–Denny Stadium
    Tuscaloosa, AL
  • Game attendance: 55,068

As they prepared for their first Tuscaloosa game of the season, Alabama retained their No. 2 position in AP Poll prior to their game against Wichita State.[18] In what was the only game ever played against the Shockers, the Crimson Tide won with this 38–0 shutout at Bryant–Denny Stadium.[16][17][19] Alabama took a 28–0 lead into halftime behind a pair of touchdowns scored in each of the first two quarters. After Steadman S. Shealy connected with Keith Pugh on a 27-yard touchdown pass, Shealy scored on a three-yard run for a 14–0 first quarter lead. Major Ogilvie then gave the Crimson Tide a 28–0 halftime lead after he scored on touchdown runs of six and four-yards in the second.[16][17] Alabama closed the game with an eight-yard Shealy touchdown run in the third and a 40-yard Alan McElroy field goal in the fourth that made the final score 38–0.[16][17]

Miami (FL)[edit]

The contest vs. the Hurricanes marked the first national television broadcast from Bryant-Denny Stadium. Portable light standards had to be brought in by ABC, since the Tuscaloosa stadium lacked permanent fixtures at the time. It also marked the Alabama homecoming for former Crimson Tide assistant Howard Schnellenberger, in his first season at Miami.

[20]

Miami (FL) at #1 Alabama
1 2 3 4 Total
Miami (FL) 0 0 0 0 0
Alabama 10 0 7 13 30

Auburn[edit]

See also: Iron Bowl
#1 Alabama vs. #14 Auburn
1 2 3 4 Total
Alabama 0 14 3 8 25
Auburn 3 0 9 6 18

[21]

References[edit]

  1. ^ All-time results
  2. ^ 1979 game recaps
  3. ^ "1979 Alabama football schedule". RollTide.com. University of Alabama Department of Intercollegiate Athletics. Retrieved October 15, 2013. 
  4. ^ "1979 Schedule & Results: 1979 National Champions". CBS Interactive. Retrieved October 15, 2013. 
  5. ^ a b c d e Browning, Al (September 9, 1979). "Tide hits Atlanta like Sherman did". The Tuscaloosa News. Google News Archives. p. 1A. Retrieved January 31, 2016. 
  6. ^ a b c d e Meade, Doug (September 9, 1979). "Alabama dominates Georgia Tech in 30–6 breeze". Spartanburg Herald-Journal. Google News Archives. Retrieved January 31, 2016. 
  7. ^ "Rivalry Finder: Alabama vs. Georgia Tech". SR/College Football. Sports Reference LLC. Retrieved January 31, 2016. 
  8. ^ a b c d Browning, Al (September 23, 1979). "Tide massacres hopeful Baylor". The Tuscaloosa News. Google News Archives. p. 1A. Retrieved January 31, 2016. 
  9. ^ a b c d "Tide swamps Baylor, 45–0". Ocala Star-Banner. Google News Archives. Associated Press. September 23, 1979. p. 2C. Retrieved January 31, 2016. 
  10. ^ "Southern Cal holds No. 1, widens lead over UA". The Tuscaloosa News. Google News Archives. Associated Press. September 18, 1979. p. 11. Retrieved January 31, 2016. 
  11. ^ "Rivalry Finder: Alabama vs. Baylor". SR/College Football. Sports Reference LLC. Retrieved January 31, 2016. 
  12. ^ a b c d Browning, Al (September 30, 1979). "Tide waltzes by Vandy, 66–3". The Tuscaloosa News. Google News Archives. p. 1A. Retrieved February 3, 2016. 
  13. ^ a b c d "Tide nails Vanderbilt by 66–3". Sarasota Herald-Tribune. Google News Archives. Associated Press. September 30, 1979. p. 5C. Retrieved February 3, 2016. 
  14. ^ "Leaders hold their spots in AP college football". The Tuscaloosa News. Google News Archives. Associated Press. September 25, 1979. p. 11. Retrieved February 3, 2016. 
  15. ^ "Rivalry Finder: Alabama vs. Vanderbilt". SR/College Football. Sports Reference LLC. Retrieved February 3, 2016. 
  16. ^ a b c d Browning, Al (October 7, 1979). "It's no shocker; Bama wins 38–0". The Tuscaloosa News. Google News Archives. p. 1A. Retrieved February 3, 2016. 
  17. ^ a b c d Goens, Steve (October 7, 1979). "Alabama buries Shockers". The Florence Times. Google News Archives. Retrieved February 3, 2016. 
  18. ^ "USC holds No. 2 in AP Poll". The Tuscaloosa News. Google News Archives. Associated Press. October 2, 1979. p. 12. Retrieved February 3, 2016. 
  19. ^ "Rivalry Finder: Alabama vs. Wichita State". SR/College Football. Sports Reference LLC. Retrieved February 3, 2016. 
  20. ^ Recap
  21. ^ Recap