Saturday, October 26, 2013

UTA Football Game Eight

When we last checked in on the 1968 UTA Rebels, they had just beat the East Texas State Lions for their second win of the year and a 2-2 record.

The College Division Rebels, the equivalent of Division II now, went on to beat fellow College Division foe McNeese State 46-21 at home and dropped a 41-0 game on the road at University Division opponent West Texas State.

With a 3-3 record, UTA would host the Trinity Tigers at home in their SLC opener. Trinity was 0-1 in Southland Conference play going into the game, having lost to Arkansas State, 31-14.

UTA had a couple of streaks on the line in this game. Dating back to 1967, they had won four SLC games in a row. The last loss was on November 19, 1966 to Lamar, a 27-7 setback in Beaumont.

Dating back to November 20, 1965, UTA had won 14 straight at Memorial Stadium, the then on-campus stadium of UTA. The last loss was the previous home game against Abilene Christian, 14-12, on November 6.

Excluding the previous week's shutout, UTA was averaging 29.8 points a game. Quarterback Mike Baylor was clicking with his two main targets, Jimmy Thomas and Dick Hill. Baylor was on his way to setting a single-season (he already had the career) passing yards mark that would hold up until David Bates broke the mark in 1985. Fullback Danny Griffin was forging the running game. He had been the team's leading rusher the previous two seasons and was well on his way to a third.

While not as solid as the previous year, the defense was averaging 22 points allowed against College Division foes (they allowed 21 to University Division New Mexico State). Particularly noticeable was Jim Marcum's play in the secondary. Passing wasn't easy against this team as Marcum was on his way to setting the single-season interception record.

FYI, I copy these game stories word for word. Any punctuation, grammatical, spelling or other errors come from the original story. I've corrected some of them with brackets.


UTA Bops Trinity, 27-14

News Staff Writer
ARLINGTON - The University of Texas at Arlington began a new Southland Conference campaign exactly like it ended the one last year as fullback Danny Griffin powered the Rebels to a 27-14 victory over stubborn Trinity Saturday night.

It was UTA's fifth straight SLC win and its 15th in a row at home. The loss dropped the Tigers to 0-2 in loop play.

Griffin, who carried 29 times for 196 yards and two touchdowns, had the second-best night of his career and his longest gainer was perhaps the most important of the game.

Trinity closed the gap to 20-14 with 3:44 to play as quarterback Ronny Carpenter capped a 25-yard drive with a sprint around left end. The scoring drive followed a wobbly 22-yard punt by Skipper Butler after Tigers linebacker Andy Erwin tackled Greg Lens and the Trinity forward wall had shoved the Rebels back from the 20 to their own 3.

AFTER THE SCORE the Tigers tried an on-side kick which UTA tackle Greg Bailey smothered on the Rebel 43. Three plays later, Griffin hit left tackle, found room down the left sideline and churned 46 yards to east [ease] Coach Burley Bearden's pulse rate with a TD in 2:04 showing on the clock.

It was the longest run from scrimmage this year for the Rebels. Butler added his third PAT of the night for the final count.

It was Griffin, unanimously the game's outstanding offensive player, who had begun the Rebels scoring in the first quarter on a one-yard plunge. Quarterback Mike Baylor engineered the 52-yard drive and set up the score with a 30-yard pass to end Jimmy Thomas at the one.

Tackle Ronnie Callaway set up the next UTA tally in the second quarter with a recovery of a Terry Parsons fumble on the 9-yard-line as the last second ticked off the clock in the opening stanza.

Griffin bulled to the 2, where Baylor inched over the final stripe.

On the next Rebel series, Butler kicked the first of two field and SLC record for the most in goals which set a new school one season (11) which he set last year. He is now one short of the NCAA small college division record for a season. The first kick was a 41-yarder to give UTA a 17-0 lead and the second was the only score in the third quarter, good for 25 yards and a 20-7 margin.

Trinity got on the scoreboard in the second quarter on a 61-yard drive. The big play was a 35-yard pass from quarterback Forest Dunlap to end Walter Huntley, who caught eight for 105 yards, to set up a first down at the UTA 3. Halfback Dave Steffano dove in from the one for the counter four plays later and Tommy Chenault converted.

The Rebels had their best night of the year on the ground - 290 yards - and also turned in their best night defending against the rush as they surrendered but 61 yards to the Tigers.

There were some familiar names that stood out on the UTA defensive team - linebacker Mike Stance [Stamps], who was in on 12 tackles and recovered a fumble tackle Jimmy Stoehr of South Oak Cliff with nine tackles and halfback Jim Marcum who made seven tackles and broke up several passes.

Baylor completed 11 of 21 passes for 162 yards with four of those completions going to Thomas for 75 yards. End Dick Hill also hauled in four for 68 yards.

UTA is 1-0 in conference play and 4-3 on the season.

                                 UTA          Trinity
First Downs..................20               10
Rushing yardage..........290               61
Passing yardage...........162            150
Passes..................11-21-2      13-26-1
Punts......................6-39.6       12-39.5
Fumbles lost....................0                 2
Yards penalized..........6-80            7-65

Trinity..............................0   7   0   7 - 14
UTA...............................7  10   3   7 - 27
UTA-Griffin 1 run (Butler kick).
UTA-Baylor 2 run (Butler kick).
UTA-Butler FG 41.
TU-Steffano 1 run (Chenault kick).
UTA-Butler FG 25.
TU-Carpenter 3 run (Chenault kick).
UTA-Griffin 46 run (Butler kick).

Taken from the Dallas Morning News, 10-27-1968.

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