Way back in 1978 North Texas State was one of the most successful programs in the State. But kids, this state was run by the Longhorns in Austin and if you wanted credibility beating Texas was your ticket. NTSU had their shot on October 14, 1978 at Memorial Stadium.
Get me the Hayden Fry Bullets!
- NTSU finished 1978 with a 9-2 record, giving them an 18-4 two year run. And yet they weren't invited to a bowl game. The 2016 North Texas team won 5 games and got to enjoy the wonders of the Heart of Dallas Bowl. Millennials are ruining everything.
- More on this in a later post but NTSU coach Hayden Fry was working tirelessly to get the Screaming Eagles a SWC bid. It was his focus. Well that and beating SWC teams every chance he got.
- Fry coached six seasons in Denton and compiled a 38-25-3 record. His last four years the Eagles were 31-13.
- North Texas was an Independent back in the 70s, having moved over from the Missouri Valley in 1974.
- NTSU's two losses were to Mississippi State and Texas. They beat Oklahoma State and UTEP along the way as well.
- Jordan Case was the Eagles quarterback in 1978 and finished the seasons first among Independent Quarterbacks in pass completion percentage and fifth in the NCAA.
- Back then there were a TON of Independents, including Penn State, South Carolina, Notre Dame, Miami, Louisville, Syracuse, Florida State, Boston College and Pitt.
- Texas was ranked 12th in the county when they took on NTSU. The Horns were coming off a loss against Oklahoma in the Red River Shootout.
- Fred Akers was in his second year in Austin having won the SWC in year one.
- Texas had a great rushing attack in 1978 by using a committee of back including A.J. Jones, Ham Jones and future Olympian Lam Jones.
- Donnie Little was Texas' quarterback at the start of '78 though Randy McEachern filled in and the Horns used both extensively.
- Texas finished the season 9-3 and the #9 team in America. They beat Maryland in the Sun Bowl.
- For the record, Houston won the SWC in 1978.
Enjoy the Eagles and Horns from 1978.
[Coaches' Film: North Texas State University vs. UT, 1978], video, October 14, 1978;(texashistory.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc272201/: accessed May 24, 2017), University of North Texas Libraries, The Portal to Texas History, texashistory.unt.edu; crediting UNT Libraries Special Collections.