1968 Orange Bowl
34th Orange Bowl
1234 Total
Oklahoma 71207 26
Tennessee 001410 24
DateJanuary 1, 1968
Season1967
StadiumOrange Bowl
LocationMiami, Florida
MVPBob Warmack (Oklahoma QB)
FavoriteTennessee [1][2]
RefereeR. Pete Williams (SEC)
(split crew: SEC, Big 8)
Attendance76,563
PayoutUS$285,000 per team[3]
United States TV coverage
NetworkNBC
AnnouncersJim Simpson, Kyle Rote
Orange Bowl
 < 1967  1969

The 1968 Orange Bowl was the 34th edition of the college football bowl game, played at the Orange Bowl in Miami, Florida, on Monday, January 1. The third-ranked Oklahoma Sooners of the Big Eight Conference defeated the Tennessee Volunteers of the Southeastern Conference (SEC), 26–24.[4][5]

Teams

Main article: 1967 NCAA University Division football season

Oklahoma

Main article: 1967 Oklahoma Sooners football team

Oklahoma won all seven games in Big Eight Conference play for their first title since 1962 and first Orange Bowl since 1963. The only blemish was a two-point loss to rival Texas at the Cotton Bowl in Dallas on October 14.

Entering his second season as head coach, 37-year-old Jim Mackenzie suffered a fatal heart attack at his Norman home in late April.[6][7] Assistant coach Chuck Fairbanks, age 33, was promoted several days later.[8]

Tennessee

Main article: 1967 Tennessee Volunteers football team

After a four-point loss at UCLA in the season opener, Tennessee won nine consecutive games. They were perfect in Southeastern Conference play and were champions for the first time since 1956. It was Tennessee's first Orange Bowl since 1947.

Tennessee did not get to play top-ranked USC in the Rose Bowl; the Trojans met #4 Indiana, the Big Ten co-champion, due to the Pac-8 – Big Ten contract.

The Volunteers' soccer-style placekicker Karl Kremser was a war refugee from Germany.[4][5]

Game summary

This was the fourth straight year for a night kickoff at the Orange Bowl, following the Rose Bowl. Both teams wore their home jerseys, Oklahoma in crimson and Tennessee in orange. The temperature was 70 °F (21 °C).[4][5]

Quarterback Bob Warmack gave the Sooners a 7–0 lead on his ten-yard touchdown run in the first quarter. He added a twenty-yard touchdown pass to Eddie Hinton in the second quarter, and running back Steve Owens scored from a yard out to make it 19–0 at halftime.

Held scoreless until midway into the third quarter, Tennessee's Jimmy Glover returned an interception 36 yards for a touchdown. Two minutes later, another interception by Jim Weatherford set up a five-yard touchdown run by Charley Fulton (19–14).

A Karl Kremser field goal from 26 yards closed the gap to 19–17 early in the fourth quarter. Oklahoma went up 26–17 on Bob Stephenson's 25-yard interception return for a touchdown. Tennessee then answered with quarterback Dewey Warren's touchdown plunge to pull back to two points at 26–24.

Oklahoma was at their own 43-yard line with just under two minutes remaining. First-year head coach Fairbanks opted to go for the first down, despite only leading by two points. Owens was given the ball, but was stopped by linebacker Jack Reynolds, and the ball went back to the Volunteers. With seven seconds to go, Tennessee sent Kremser in to attempt a 43-yard field goal, but his kick sailed wide right, and Oklahoma won.[4][5][9]

Scoring

First quarter
Second quarter
Third quarter
Fourth quarter
Source:[10]

Statistics

Statistics  Oklahoma  Tennessee
First Downs 18 18
Rushes–yards 50–203 44–172
Passing yards 107 160
Passes (C–A–I) 9–18–3 12–23–2
Total Offense 68–310 67–332
Punts–average 5–47.0 2–32.0
Fumbles–lost 0–0 1–1
Turnovers 3 3
Penalties–yards 2–10 4–27
Source:[4][5][10]

Aftermath

The two teams received a then-record payout of about $285,000 each.[3]

Oklahoma next played in the Orange Bowl in 1976; Tennessee waited three decades, returning in 1998.

References

  1. ^ "New Year's bowl crowd to total 325,000". Pittsburgh Press. UPI. December 31, 1967. p. 2, section 4.
  2. ^ Chass, Murray (January 1, 1968). "Wyoming, LSU vie; Vols pick". Youngstown Vindicator. (Ohio). Associated Press. p. 53.
  3. ^ a b "Record payoff set for Sooners, Vols". Lawrence Daily Journal-World. (Kansas). Associated Press. January 2, 1968. p. 11.
  4. ^ a b c d e Grimsley, Will (January 2, 1968). "Oklahoma trips Tennessee, 26-24". Youngstown Vindicator. (Ohio). Associated Press. p. 14.
  5. ^ a b c d e "Oklahoma shades Tennessee in Orange 'doubleheader'". Pittsburgh Press. UPI. January 2, 1968. p. 36.
  6. ^ "OU grid coach dies at age 37 of heart attack". Lawrence Daily Journal-World. (Kansas). Associated Press. April 28, 1967. p. 13.
  7. ^ "OU to name grid coach soon". Lawrence Daily Journal-World. (Kansas). Associated Press. May 1, 1967. p. 15.
  8. ^ "Fairbanks hired as Sooner coach". Lawrence Daily Journal-World. (Kansas). Associated Press. May 2, 1967. p. 10.
  9. ^ "The 1960s | Orange Bowl".
  10. ^ a b "Game-by-game recaps: 1968" (PDF). 2019 Capital One Orange Bowl media guide. January 2019. p. 34.