Saturday, November 15, 2014

UTA Football Game Eleven: The First in a Short Line

There's some similarities between the 11th game of this year's series of games and last year's 11th game. Both games feature a signature moment, last year's was the end of UT-Arlington's dynasty, while this year's was the first win at the new venue, against the same team, a long-time conference rival in Arkansas St. Though, the similarities aren't exactly the same. Last year's edition was for the conference title. This year's was to stay out of last place. Last year's 11th game was also one of the most exciting games in UTA's history. This, not really.

But this is here for one reason and one reason only. It was the Mavericks' first win at Maverick Stadium, in the last home game of the 1980 season. The stadium opened to a 31-14 loss to UNT that wasn't as close as the 17 points deficit would indicate. It never got better. Mental mistakes, typical of a Harold "Bud" Elliott coached team, made certain of that. With five home games on the book in the 1980 season, UTA was 0-5 at the new place. 18,033 saw the first game. UTA would never get above 10,000 ever again. In fact, they'd never get above 8,000 in 1980, culminating in an all-time Maverick Stadium low for today's game.

The irony is, Maverick Stadium would be a better place for UTA in coming years. They would win almost 60 percent of their home games from 1981 on.
1981, 4-1
1982, 2-2
1983, 3-3
1984, 4-2
1985, 3-2

While not outstanding or intimidating, three of those five years saw overall losing records. Unquestionably, UTA performed better at home than on the road as a whole, just not in 1980. They'd finish 3-8, with a 2-3 road record.

Arkansas State was the opponent in today's matchup. Now known as the Red Wolves, the Indians met the Mavericks 22 times, tied for most with Lamar. Ironically, UTA faced the Indians a total of three times at the Mav. This was the only time they would win. They lost in 1981 and 1984.

So, without further ado, on This Day in UTA Football History, the Mavs finally win one at Maverick Stadium.

UTA claims first win at home, 36-14

Staff Writer of The News

ARLINGTON - It would have been an understatement to say that no bowl bids were at stake Saturday night in Maverick Stadium when UTA played its last home game of the year against the Arkansas State Indians. What less than 2,000 folks in the stands were watching was a battle between the Southland Conference's worst defense (UTA) and the worst offense (ASU).

UTA had been giving up an average of 429 yards per game, and ASU had been rolling offensively at a 192-yard rate, failing to score in three of their last four outings.

Fortunately for the Mavericks, their defense shook off that heavy mantle and helped UTA to its second victory of the year and only one at home in a 36-14 decision.

UTA SHUT OUT ASU in the second half and came up with a total of three fumble recoveries - two by linebacker Bud McCluskey and one by free safety Mel Maxfield - and an interception by cornerback Earnest Davis. And safety Keith Corrigan prevented the Indians from scoring with three seconds remaining when he blasted fullback Maurice Carthon, who had caught a 3-yard pass and was about to step into the end zone.

It was a fitting end to the victory that improved UTA's season record to 2-8 and conference mark to 2-2, while dropping ASU to the conference cellar with an 0-5 mark and a 1-9 record overall.

"I was pleased with shutting them out in the second half, "UTA coach Bud Elliott said. "We finally got a win at home, which was nice for the seniors. The defensive front has been playing well for several games now, and we were blocking better inside and got the option to working for a change."

UTA put 15 points on the board in the second half when quarterback Scott Logan pitched out to halfback Tony Felder for a 14-yard score in the fourth period and kept for a 5-yard TD to cap the opening drive of the third quarter. Logan also tossed a 2-point pass to tight end Gary Lewis.

"UTA WON the ball game in the third quarter and was extremely effective in execution," said ASU coach Larry Lacewell. "They just played perfect ball in the second half."

Something UTA could not be accused of in the first half.

Elliott had been upset with the Mavs' play in last week's first half, calling the worst he had witnessed in his entire UTA tenure when the Mavs allowed the University of Southwestern Louisiana get ahead 24-0. This time, however, UTA was up 21-14; and it wouldn't have been that close if not for two Mav blunders.

UTA delivered the Indians' scores gift wrapped in the second period. Elliott sent in kicker Brian Happel for UTA's first punt  with 30 seconds left in the first period instead of punter Mike Horn, who was having difficulty before the game punting into a stiff wind. Happel obliged by downing the ball on the UTA five under heavy pressure by ASU linebacker Cliff Williams. Four plays later, Carthon went in from one yard out to make it 14-7 with 14:05 left in the half.

Ark. St.         0   14   0   0 - 14
UTA             14   7   0   0 - 36

UTA-Jessie 6 run (Happel kick)
UTA-Price 6 run (Happel kick)
ASU-Carthon 1 run (Hatfield kick)
ASU-J. Johnson recovered fumble in end zone (Hatfield kick)
UTA-G. Lewis 12 pass from Logan (Happel kick)
UTA-Logan 5 run (G. Lewis pass from Logan)
UTA-Felder 14 run (Happel kick)
A-2,100 est.

                                   ASU            UTA
First downs                    15                25
Rushes-yards          35-134        71-306
Passing yards               105                84
Return yards                    4                22
Passes                    9-18-1         5-10-0
Punts                          4-31            4-29
Fumbles-lost                 3-3              5-2
Penalties-yards           2-36             9-55

RUSHING-UTA, Phillip Jessie 12-71, Scott Logan 13-62; ASU, Rick Spivey 7-32, Bill Johnson 7-31.
PASSING-UTA, Logan 5-10-0 84; ASU Spivey 3-6-0 34, Tim Langford 6-12-1 71.
RECEIVING-UTA, Gary Lewis 3-49, Gilbert Smith2-35; ASU Lee Charles Wright 2-39, Jerry Mack 2-28.

Taken from the Dallas Morning News, 11-16-1980.


  1. Do you have any stats from the 81 game played in Arkansas

  2. I have the limited numbers that go in the paper.

    From the Dallas Morning News:
    Arkansas St........0 0 3 7 - 10
    Texas-Arlington....0 7 0 0 - 7

    UTA-Randy Johnson 13 run (Happel kick)
    ASU-FG McDonald 30
    ASU-Matt Taylor 3 block punt return (McDonald kick)
    A-4,000 est.

    First downs...............15 11
    Rushes-yards......63-154 45-115
    Passing yards...........10 131
    Return yards.............76 -4
    Passes.................1-3-0 6-13-0
    Punts.....................5-47 9-34
    Fumbles-lost.............9-7 6-3
    Penalties-yards.......4-29 7-55

    RUSHING-Ark. St., Carthon 25-78, Langford 17-14, Pittman3-(-5), Peasley 4-9, 5-26. UTA Randy Johnson 15-48, Robert Johnson 3-9, Logan 10-(-2), J. Johnson 14-31, Price 5-31, George 1-(-2).
    PASSING-Ark St., Langford3-1-1 10. UTA Logan 12-5-0-92, Bullard 1-1-0 39.
    RECEIVING-Ark St., Dunnick 1-10. UTA, Lewis 2-50, Young 2-56, J.Johnson 2-25.