Posts Tagged ‘Houston 100 – Tulsa 6 (1968)’

1968: About That Houston 100-Points Game

September 15, 2013
The 100-6 UH football victory over Tulsa in the Astrodome on 11/13/1968 is one for the ages.

The 100-6 UH football victory over Tulsa in the Astrodome on 11/23/1968 was one for the ages.

It was a game that either should have been rescheduled or declared a TKO at halftime. Instead, it played out as one of the most lopsided college football games in history and certainly the scoring record game for any football team, pro, college, or high school that ever put on the pads to duke ’em out in the Astrodome.

It was Saturday evening, November 23, 1968, and the site was the Astrodome. The 11th ranked UH Cougars were scheduled to play a ho-hum game against the Golden Hurricane of Tulsa University, but nobody really gave the Oklahomans much of a chance that season against the highly regarded cats from Houston. Doubly aced by a fast and strong running back named Paul Gipson and a hip-gyrating speedy wide receiver known as Elmo Wright, the Cougars were prepared to attack by ground or air in the Yeoman veer offense as well or better than most clubs that year. And they also had two better than adequate QB’s in 1968 in starter Ken Bailey and back up Rusty Clark.

Although they never used it as an excuse, to my knowledge, Tulsa had a good excuse for what was about to unfold that night in Houston. The Tulsa team had been hit with a flu epidemic during the week leading up to the UH game. Some players were too ill to make the trip to Houston and others who did travel may have been either still too ill to play or just coming down with the bug on game day. As a witness to this incredible shocker, I had never seen a team play with less energy, speed, strength, or drive. Tulsa that night was a team that was only technically present.

Contrary to our UH haters mythology, the Cougars caching staff did not really try to embarrass or run up the score. By the early fourth quarter, UH Head Coach Bill Yeoman had removed his first string offensive starters, but the guys who took their places weren’t trained to lay down when they ran through a club that made almost no effort to tackle. Late in the game, it looked as though the final score was going to be 86-6, a bad enough differential tally with only three to four minutes left on the clock. I forget the exact time that remained, but not what happened next.

Larry Gatlin C&W Singer UF Football 1968

Larry Gatlin
C&W Singer
UH Football 1968

Larry Gatlin, normally a defensive back, and much later a Country and Western SInger and composer, was inserted into the game as a wide receiver with the ball on the Tulsa 25 yard line. They were supposed to just grind it out, but the rare chance for Gatlin was apparently too fat to miss. He and back up QB Rusty Clark teamed up for an easy 25 yard TD pass, which I think may have been the only TD of Gatlin’s college career. I’m not sure about that, but he sure acted as though it were.

On the sidelines afterward, you see Coach Yeoman talking hard and fast to both Clark and Gatlin and he didn’t appear to be congratulating either of them

93-6. Ouch. Tulsa again gets pushed back for another punt from deep in their own territory with about one minute left in the game.

Unbelievable. A special teams guy named Simpson corrals the ball on the fly about the Cougars 40 yard line. Some people on the UH sidelines are flashing palms to the ground, as if to say “just go down”.

Simpson doesn’t go down. The next thing we see is Simpson weaving himself through a field of “zombie tacklers” and taking the ball all the way to the house, almost with no time left. – It is now UH by 99-6 and blood lust time.

The Cougar fans are chanting in unison to UH kicker Terry Lieweke:  “MAKE THAT KICK! – MAKE THAT KICK! – MAKE THAT KICK!” – It isn’t the proudest moment in sportsmanship history, but that is the path that voyeur gratification travels when the energy of the mob gets fully behind the idea of witnessing a triple digit football score.

Lieweke makes it. The historic final score is Houston 100 – Tulsa 6.

Here are the box score stats and facts on scoring in the game:

Field Activity TULSA HOUSTON
First Downs 12 37
Yards Rushing 86 555
Yards Passing 78 207
Return Yardage 0 111
Passes-Caught-Int 20-11-4 16-10-0
Punts-Average Yards 9-27 1-40
Fumbles Lost 2 0
Yards Penalized 25 102
Score by Quarters First Second Third Fourth Final Total
TULSA 0 0 6 0 6
HOUSTON 14 10 27 49 100
Scoring by Quarter Scoring Details
First Quarter
HOU – Gipson 35 Run (Lieweke kick) HOU, 7-0
HOU – Wright 60 pass from Bailey (Lieweke kick) HOU, 14-0
Second Quarter
HOU – Lieweke FG 36 yards HOU, 17-0
HOU – Bailey 1 Run (Lieweke kick) HOU, 24-0
Third Quarter
TUL – Burkett 14 pass from Dobbs (Kick failed) HOU, 24-6
HOU – Bell 21 Run (Lieweke kick) HOU, 31-6
HOU – Gipson 17 Run (Kick failed) HOU, 37-6
HOU – Wright 66 Run (Lieweke kick) HOU, 44-6
HOU – Gipson 14 Run (Lieweke kick) HOU, 51-6
Fourth Quarter
HOU – Heiskell 7 Run (Lieweke kick) HOU, 58-6
HOU – Stewart 19 pass from Clark (Lieweke kick) HOU, 65-6
HOU – Strong 26 pass from Clark (Lieweke kick) HOU, 72-6
HOU – Peacock 34 pass interception (Lieweke kick) HOU, 79-6
HOU – Clark 11 Run (Lieweke kick) HOU, 86-6
HOU – Gatlin 25 pass from Clark (Lieweke kick) HOU, 93-6
HOU – Simpson 60 punt return (Lieweke kick) HOU, 100-6
Venue: Astrodome; 11/23/1968 Attendance: 34,089
Dr. Phil McGraw TV Psychologist Tulsa Football 1968

Dr. Phil McGraw
TV Psychologist
Tulsa Football 1968

Paul Gipson could have made a run at close to 500 yards rushing, had he played the entire game. As it was, he still racked up 289 yards rushing on 29 carries.

UH went into the Tulsa game as the nation’s offensive yards per game leader with an average of 552.9 yards per contest. The Cougars more than topped that mark by racking up a total of 762 yards against the Golden Hurricane.

What recently reminded me of the game was an appearance by Dr. Phil McGraw on the Dave Letterman Late Show the other night. Dr. Phil was a Tulsa lineman that night in the Dome back in 1968. He even used the 100-6 game to illustrate why he bears such great humility about his personal accomplishments in football.

I think Dr. Phil’s experience that long ago evening in Houston may have been the real reason he settled on psychology as a major and went on from there to help Oprah and finally – to get his own television show. If that is what happened, please don’t blame UH for running up the score on Tulsa. – Blame the Cougars for driving Dr. Phil into our daily lives on television.

Reflections of a Houston Cougar

November 22, 2011

At UH, Case Keenum IS Captain America.

It never hurts to recap the national records that Case Keenum has compiled as a quarterback for the Houston Cougars during this golden year for our university’s NCAA football program, even if things don’t stay perfect the rest of the way. Things are what they are. All of us live on that axis. We live in the moment and we move on as the moment passes to the next. This just happens to be a sweet moment for some of us who haven’t seen this particular version as often as some of you may have witnessed it. We are simply content now to breathe in every honeysuckle fragrance of this hour for as long as they float through the air and waft their way into our red-blooded Cougar nostrils.

So, here are the Keenum codes that fuel much of our joy. Case now holds five national records and is tied for a sixth that he may easily break this coming Friday in the game against Tulsa.

Case Keenum National Records

(1) Touchdown Passes: 145

(2) Passing Yards: 17,855

(3) Total Offense Yards: 18,771

(4) Total Touchdowns Passed & Run: 168

(5) Pass Completions: 1,427

(6) Most 300 Yard Passing Games (Tied): 36

We could write all day about the next area so I will spare you. Here are some of the other team passing records established by Case Keenum and a few of his famous passing Cougar predecessors.

Other Notable Houston Cougar Passing Records

(1) Most Passing Yards in a Quarter: Andre Ware vs. SMU, 10/21/89 (2nd Qtr.): 340

(2) Most Passing Yards in a Half: Andre Ware vs. SMU, 10/21/89 (1st Half): 517

(3) Most Passing Yards in a Game: David Klingler vs. Arizona State, 12/01/90: 716

(4) Most Passing Yards in a Season: Case Keenum, 2009: 5,671 (Keenum has 4,269 yards for 2011 thru the SMU Game)

Speaking of the upcoming UH@Tulsa game that kicks off at 11:00 AM this coming Friday, Nov. 25th on FSN, memories rush back of one that people on both sides of the Houston-Tulsa line will never forget.

Most Notable Cougar Team Scoring Day: 11/23/1968, Houston Cougars 100 – Tulsa Golden Hurricane 6.

Wade Phillips, 1968 Houston Cougars. Sometimes the best defense is a killer offense playing against a weak team that also has the flu.

The Cougars enjoyed their greatest scoring feast day in the Astrodome against Tulsa on Saturday night, November 23, 1968. UH won the game against the Golden Hurricane when the boys from Oklahoma hobbled into Houston huffing and puffing on a flu bug that take all the force out of their wind.

Some interesting celebrities played football in that game. Current Houston Texan Defensive Coach Wade Phillips and Country and Western singer Larry Gatlin played for the Cougars. The famous TV psychologist Dr. Phil McGraw played for Tulsa. And, boy! Did the visiting Tulsans ever need someone like the full-blown and grown “Dr. Phil” by the time this game was done!

It was awful. As the game rolled on, it became obvious early that this was the contest that made the case for allowable TKO victories in college football, but none of the rule makers were either listening or in any position to administer a dose of administrative euthanasia in the heat of battle.

Cougar Head Coach Bill Yeoman did his part to stop the bleeding with early substitutions in the second half, but the second and third string kids who entered the game for rare opportunities to shine didn’t go into action to fake a block, miss a tackle, or take a knee. Neither did the speedy special return guys. In fact, the Cougars scored their final TD with seconds remaining, setting up a successful PAT attempt for the third digit in a final score of 100-6 that was about as sporting a proposition as those street crowds in Paris that came to watch the guillotine in action during the French Revolution.

It would have been a great time to have the kicker simply kick the ball aside, but it didn’t happen. That’s not what competitive sports are all about. The time to say you can’t play is over once the game starts.

Anyway, the Tulsa annihilation happened 43 years ago now – and the Golden Hurricane has reared up to ruin several UH seasons in acts of revenge several times since then. We Cougar fans just hope that the Oklahoma Dust Bowl Canes don’t have another payback punch left in their collective bloodstream of memories.