BY MIKE BROWN World Sports Writer
Wednesday, July 02, 2008
7/02/08 at 2:48 AM
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Forty years after a 94-point drubbing, TU fans still harbor resentment toward ex-Houston coach Bill Yeoman.
NOV. 23, 1968, is a date that lives in infamy for University of Tulsa football fans.
On that night, the University of Houston humiliated an injury- and flu-depleted Golden Hurricane squad 100-6 before 34,008 spectators in the Houston Astrodome.
The Cougars led 51-6 after three quarters, and the score continued to mount over the final 15 minutes. Houston's 100 points were an NCAA record against major-college opposition, along with the Cougars' 76 second-half points and 49 fourth-quarter points.
Was then-Houston head coach Bill Yeoman running up the score? TU fans certainly thought so. Many revile Yeoman to this day.
Former TU lettermen couldn't get enough when the Hurricane blew out the Cougars 56-7 last November, a key win in clinching Conference USA's West Division title.
"If they could have put 100 points on (UH) today, I would have been happy," Richard Blanchard said that day.
The 80-year-old Yeoman, now employed as a UH fundraiser, sees it differently. The school's winningest head coach (160-108-8 in 25 seasons), sticks with the story he gave reporters the night of the game, saying he was "embarrassed" that the Cougars could win by such a lopsided margin.
In other words, blame the Hurricane.
"I don't think the Tulsa kids played very hard," Yeoman said in a phone interview last month.
"I think they were a better collection of athletes than that. We had all our starters on the sideline. We were running the ball, and nobody was tackling anybody. They never should have let it happen."
Perhaps Yeoman never knew how depleted the Hurricane was. Several regulars were hobbled from a 28-8 loss at Air Force the previous week, and as many more fell prey to a flu virus that made it almost impossible to practice leading up to the game.
The late Glenn Dobbs, nearing the end of his eighth and final year at the Hurricane helm, fell ill on Monday before the game and missed two days of practice.
"Everyone was sick," remembers defensive back Ron Cambiano, now a Northeastern State University professor. "They had to quarantine us in our dorm. No one was able to practice."
Cambiano was one of several starters who played the first half, when Tulsa held the score to a respectable 24-0, but missed the second.
"We went with a small crew, and those who went were very dehydrated," Cambiano said. "At halftime, our locker room looked like a M.A.S.H. unit, with people lying everywhere, getting IVs. For precautionary reasons, the doctors made many players leave the game. Those who were left finished the game."
Anybody who could walk and strap on a helmet played in the second half, including walk-ons. Defensive back Doug Wyatt recalled playing both ways.
Starting quarterback Mike Stripling, now deceased, missed the second half and Johnny Dobbs, son of the head coach, had the job to himself.
Dobbs took a beating because his blocking backs had never played their positions and were no match for Houston's pass rushers.
Yeoman insists that he substituted freely. Paul Gipson, the Cougars' star fullback, played only briefly in the fourth quarter before retiring with 282 rushing yards, a school record that stood until 2002.
Two of the final four touchdowns were scored on a punt return and interception return.
The next-to-last score came on a pass reception by Larry Gatlin, oldest of the soon-to-be-famous singing Gatlin Brothers.
"That was the only touchdown Larry Gatlin ever scored," Yeoman said with a chuckle.
College football teams ran up the score in those days for the same reason they do today — to get recognized. Dobbs and the Hurricane did it frequently in his tenure, showcasing an offense that led the nation in passing for five consecutive years (1962-66).
Yeoman was fighting an identity problem.
UH was a huge commuter school but had few students living on campus, and enjoyed fraction of the support Texas and Texas A&M had in the Houston area.
But on the field, the Cougars were first rate. When finally admitted to the Southwest Conference in 1976, they won or shared four SWC titles.
UH beat the Hurricane 73-14 in 1966 and scored more than 50 three other times in 1968. The Cougars put 77 points on Idaho, a school record until the following week against Tulsa.
There was no love lost between the teams. TU rallied to beat Houston 22-21 in 1963 and won 14-0 in the first nationally televised Astrodome football game in 1965.
The Cougars avenged those losses with the 73-14 Astrodome drubbing in 1966. But in Tulsa the following year, the Hurricane stunned a 10th-ranked UH squad 22-13.
Afterward, according to Tulsa World sportswriter Jerry Pogue, Yeoman declined Dobbs' handshake offer and said, "Wait until we get you back in our place next year."
Yeoman says he doubts ever saying such a thing because he "never disrespected another coach or football team."
But his team's actions in 1968 suggested something different to Hurricane fans.
Mike Brown 581-8390
Here is part of the Tulsa
World’s game report written by
then-World sports writer Jerry
Pogue from TU’s 100-6 loss to
HOUSTON —To the delight of
most of the 34,008 bloodthirsty
Homecoming fans, Houston’s
powerful Cougars rolled up 100
points and allowed Tulsa only six
begrudgingly in the Astrodome
The Cougars were awesome
in the first half, rolling up 342
yards behind the record-setting
rushing of fullback Paul Gipson.
But in the second half, it was just
a matter of how many Houston
wanted to score. The fans kept
screaming for 100 and got it.
They also asked for Gipson
to be put back into the game.
Houston’s Bill Yeoman, who left
Skelly Stadium in a huS last year
when Tulsa upset his Cougars
(22-13) and kept them from
getting into the top 10 in the national
ratings, found a little heart
and kept his No. 1 backfield on
the bench in the final minutes.
The Cougars had 556 yards
rushing and 207 passing to set
an NCAA record for total offense
in a season.
The old mark was 4,870 by
Nevada in 1948 (part of that
came in Nevada’s 65-14 victory
Houston has 5,225 with a
game left at Florida State.
Today’s question: Who do we love to hate?
Coming Sunday: Three questions: Have coaches at OU, OSU and TU met expectations?
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Gardere joked that the University
of Texas might be about to retire his
No. 10 jersey—shortly after Vince
Young, wearing the same number, led
the Longhorns to
the national title in
Though not the
quite the same
caliber of athlete,
had become a
in his own right
four straight wins
the University of Oklahoma.
Gardere beat the Sooners with lastminute
touchdown passes as a freshman
and sophomore and threw for 274
yards in a 34-24 win as a senior. Texas
returned a fumble to win 10-7 in 1991,
his junior year.
He was the first quarterback on
either side of the Red River Rivalry to
win four consecutive starts, earning
the nickname “Peter the Great” from
Texas football coach
The Oklahoma-born Royal played
quarterback for legendary OU coach
BudWilkinson, leading the Sooners to
an unbeaten season in 1949.
nine years later,
it made him literally
sick to beat
his mentor for
the first time as
head coach of the
win in 1958 broke
a six-game losing
streak against the Sooners. Afterward,
OU president George L. Cross found
Royal throwing up outside the Texas
locker room, as reported by Jim Dent
in his book “The Undefeated,” about
“Dr. Cross, it’s sure hard on your
stomach and nerves beating your
lifelong hero,” Royal explained.
Royal got used to the feeling. He
won 11 of the next 12 series games,
beating his mentor five more times
before Wilkinson retired in 1963.
No team has dealt Oklahoma and
Oklahoma State more collective grief
over the past five decades.
The Huskers beat OU in the vaunted
1971 “Game of the Century” and went
considered one of the most amazing
feats in college football.
The Huskers’ win in the famed No.
1-vs.-No. 2 shootout in 1971 probably
cost the Sooners a national title, as did
NU’s 1978 upset in Lincoln, when OU
running back Billy Sims, the eventual
Heisman Trophy recipient, fumbled
twice in the fourth quarter.
Nebraska shared Big Eight dominance
almost equally with the Sooners
from 1962 to 1988 and beat them
seven straight games in the ’90s.
Arkansas coach, athletic director
The University of Tulsa already
was playing Arkansas exclusively in
Fayetteville before Broyles took the
Razorbacks’ helm in 1958. But Broyles
in his 40-year
37 times in 38
years, losing all
but four games.
With Broyles as
in 1990, the series
was discontinued because the Hogs
still refused to play in Tulsa, even on a
TU lost again in Fayetteville in 2003
and has another visit planned this
At least Arkansas has not played
favorites in refusing to cross the state
line. Oklahoma State played the Hogs
in Little Rock 20 times in 23 years
(1952-74) without a return visit, losing
all but four times.
Houston football coach
Yeoman is called the inventor of the
veer ofense. The Cougars used his
triple-option attack to lead the nation
in total ofense for three straight years
saved their best
for the University
In 1966, the
the Golden Hurricane
years later, in the
late Glenn Dobbs’
at the TU coaching
helm, UH scored the most points
ever against a major college foe, winning
100-6 in the Astrodome.
Was it revenge for TU’s upset of the
10th-ranked Cougars in Tulsa the previous
year? After that game, according
to Tulsa World sportswriter Jerry
Pogue, Yeoman shrugged of Dobbs’
handshake ofer “with a curt, stinging
reply of, ‘Wait until we get you back in
our place next year.’ ”
Who’s the best quarterback? Best coach? U DECIDE
All summer, we’ll be asking questions about college football, and we have one request: You decide. It’s simple. Go to our Web site (www.tulsaworld.com/sportsextra), check out the candidates and then vote for who you think is the best. You can vote daily on any question — one per e-mail address, per day. We’ll
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LAST SUNDAY’S QUESTION
Who is the best coach in OU history?
Who do we love to hate?
Three questions: Have coaches at OU, OSU
and TU met expectations?
Let us know
what you think
You can vote every day on any of the
questions we’ve asked this summer.
They’re at www.tulsaworld.com/sportsextra. We’ll have election results
in our college football preview section
Here are questions we’ve asked so
Who is the best quarterback in OU
Who is the best quarterback in OSU
Who is the best quarterback in TU
Should there be a college football
playoff? Vote to keep the current system
or on one of the World’s three playoff
Keep the current system: Rankings
determine the top two teams after
the regular season. They meet for the
Plus-one format proposal: Teams are
ranked after the bowl games, and No. 1
faces No. 2 for the national title.
Four-team bracket proposal: The top four teams are seeded after the regular
season. It’s a two-round playoff for the
Eight-team bracket proposal: The top
eight teams are seeded after the regular
season, and the playoffs begin.
What is the best venue for the OUTexas
Cotton Bowl: The tradition continues
at State Fair Park.
Dallas Cowboys new stadium: Could
be the best football stadium in the
Norman and Austin: The series would
be played on campus.
Who is the best coach in TU history?
Who is the best coach in OSU history?
Who is the best coach in OU history?
Bill Yeoman said TU didn’t play very hard that day. Courtesy/Houston Chronicle
Bill Yeoman said TU didn’t play very hard that day. Courtesy/Houston Chronicle