1978 Fiesta Bowl
8th Annual Fiesta Bowl
1234 Total
Arkansas 01000 10
UCLA 0037 10
DateDecember 25, 1978
Season1978
StadiumSun Devil Stadium
LocationTempe, Arizona
MVPJames Owens (UCLA RB)
Jimmy Walker (Arkansas DT)
FavoriteArkansas by 7 points[1]
RefereeJimmy Harper (SEC)
Attendance55,227
PayoutUS$342,562.70
United States TV coverage
NetworkNBC
AnnouncersCurt Gowdy, John Brodie,
and Mike Haffner
Fiesta Bowl
 < 1977  1979

The 1978 Fiesta Bowl was the eighth edition of the college football bowl game, played at Sun Devil Stadium in Tempe, Arizona on Monday, December 25. Part of the 1978–79 bowl game season, it matched the eighth-ranked Arkansas Razorbacks of the Southwest Conference (SWC), and the #15 UCLA Bruins from the Pacific-10 Conference (Pac-10).[2] The game ended in a 10–10 tie before 55,227 spectators.[3][4][5]

This was the third of four consecutive Fiesta Bowls played on Christmas Day, and was the first without a team from the Western Athletic Conference (WAC), whose champion played in the new Holiday Bowl in San Diego.

Teams

Main article: 1978 NCAA Division I-A football season

This was the first meeting between the two programs.

Arkansas

Main article: 1978 Arkansas Razorbacks football team

With a win over Texas A&M, Arkansas clinched a Fiesta Bowl berth.[6] Entering the game, Arkansas had come off a 49–7 win over Texas Tech, and was 10–2 overall.[7] The Razorbacks began the season at #2 in the AP poll, but consecutive losses at Texas and at Houston dropped the Razorbacks from SWC title contention. Ron Calcagni led the team at quarterback, while Ben Cowins was the leading rusher for the Hogs. Bruins head coach Terry Donahue said before the game that the UCLA defense would try to slow down an Arkansas rushing attack that "couldn't be stopped."[8]

UCLA

Main article: 1978 UCLA Bruins football

The Bruins had been upset at Kansas in September,[9] then won six straight to improve to 8–1. They dropped their final two games, at Oregon State,[10] and to rival USC.[11]

Game summary

Now televised by NBC, the game kicked off on Christmas Day shortly after 1:30 p.m. MST.[2][12] The Peach Bowl was played earlier in the day on CBS. The NBC telecast was most noted for sideline reporter Mike Haffner inadvertently capturing on his live microphone a two‐word expletive uttered by Terry Donahue who was voicing his disapproval over a Bruins interception being nullified due to a penalty. Ironically Haffner and Donohue were roommates at UCLA.[13]

After a scoreless first quarter, Jim Howard sacked UCLA quarterback Steve Bukich, who fumbled, and Arkansas recovered at the UCLA 37. Roland Sales punched it in from four yards out to give the Hogs a 7–0 advantage. The Razorbacks added a field goal from Ish Ordonez, stretching the lead to ten points at halftime.

UCLA took the second half kickoff and drove it for a field goal from Peter Boermaester. Down 10–3, UCLA was set to field a Razorback punt in the fourth quarter. An interference penalty added yardage, giving the Bruins the football at midfield. Severne Reece caught a Bukich pass at the Arkansas 14, and Bukich ran it in on the following play. The Bruins opted not to attempt a two-point conversion, made the kick, and the game was tied at 10–10 with 8:32 remaining. Neither team could get the ball past midfield again, and the tie stood.

Scoring

Statistics

Statistics Arkansas     UCLA    
First Downs 19 14
Yards Rushing 51–200 55–255
Yards Passing 78 61
Passing 13–24–2 4–11–2
Return Yards 72 35
Total Offense 75–278 66–316
Punts–Average 8–37 6–41
Fumbles–Lost 2–0 2–1
Turnovers 2 3
Penalties–Yards 4–55 7–67
Source:[3]

References

  1. ^ "The latest line". Pittsburgh Post-Gazette. December 25, 1978. p. 70.
  2. ^ a b "Hot Razorbacks face cool Bruins". Spokesman-Review. (Spokesman-Review). Associated Press. December 25, 1978. p. 35.
  3. ^ a b "Nothing festive about Fiesta, 10-10". Eugene Register-Guard. (Oregon). Associated Press. December 26, 1977. p. 3B.
  4. ^ "UCLA, Arkansas battle to 10-10 tie in Fiesta Bowl". Wilmington Morning Star. (North Carolina). Associated Pres. December 26, 1978. p. 1C.
  5. ^ "1978 Fiesta Bowl." Game Summary. Archived January 6, 2009, at the Wayback Machine Retrieved January 12, 2011.
  6. ^ "Arkansas 26, Texas A. & M. 7." Article. The New York Times. November 19, 1978. Retrieved on January 12, 2011.
  7. ^ "Hogs 'hang loose' for Fiesta Bowl." Article. The Prescott Courier. December 19, 1987. Retrieved on 7 November 2008.
  8. ^ "UCLA Needs Consistency." Article. The Kingman Daily Miner. December 21, 1987. Retrieved on January 12, 2011.
  9. ^ "Bruins fall way behind, upset 28-24". Eugene Register-Guard. (Oregon). Associated Press. September 24, 1978. p. 3C.
  10. ^ "Walford's FG leads Beavers over Bruins". Spokesman-review. (Spoakne, Washington). Associated Press. November 12, 1978. p. C3.
  11. ^ "Pac-10: Trojans beat Bruins by the book". Lewiston Morning Tribune. (Idaho). (Los Angeles Times). November 19, 1978. p. 4B.
  12. ^ "Bowls don't hurt UCLA recruiting". Eugene Register-Guard. (Oregon). (Los Angeles Times). December 24, 1978. p. 2B.
  13. ^ "Two Words From the Coach With Expletives Undeleted," The Associated Press (AP), Monday, December 25, 1978. Retrieved December 7, 2020