Bowl Rewind: 1974 Peach Bowl

Dec. 15, 2011

When the Commodores take the field to play in the 2011 AutoZone Liberty Bowl on Dec. 31, it will be the program's fifth all-time bowl appearance. To revisit Vanderbilt's bowl games of the past, VUCommodores will highlight a different bowl game every Thursday leading up to the Liberty Bowl. Last week, we looked back at the 1955 Gator Bowl.

Included with each game recap will be highlights, statistics and an interview with a former player from the game.

1974 Peach Bowl
Vanderbilt 6
Texas Tech 6

Dec. 28, 1974 • Atlanta • Fulton County Stadium

Stats (PDF) Get Acrobat Reader | Highlights | Photos | CHC: VU plays in Peach Bowl

The highlights are set to the song "You Ain't Seen Nothing Yet" by Bachman Turner Overdrive, the No. 1 song in the United States when the bowl game was played in 1974.

Q&A with Running Back Jamie O'Rourke
O'Rourke, who still resides in Nashville, carried the ball 17 times for 76 yards in a defensive battle that ended in a 6-6 tie.

What is your fondest memory from the 1974 season?
My fondest memories are just reaching our goal and being successful. It is really just the privilege of being invited and attending the bowl game, that's what lingers the most. We had the privilege of attending a bowl game and felt that we'd achieved our objectives. That was the best part of it.

What was it like for an offensive player to play in such a defensive game?
Even the players get bored with a 6-6 tie, but it was still a thrill. I tried to score on every play, but the defense, as usual, was not cooperating.

What was the overall experience of attending the bowl game like?
Coach Sloan was our head coach and Bill Parcells was the defensive coordinator. Sloan's approach was that this was a reward and you need to enjoy yourself. It was a lot more casual of an atmosphere than other games we had played.

My recollection is that we only went down two days early. They did have a lot of events and the Peach Bowl Committee was great. For us, it was a celebration of the success the team had had and they rolled out the red carpet. It was a parade and we were in the convertible.

Why is fan support important at a bowl game?
For fans, the best thing they are going to remember and enjoy is what they are enjoying right now which is the team they have rooted for and supported. The fans in attendance have made contributions to the team because it really does make a difference if the players think what they are doing is important. And the way they become convinced that what they are doing is important is when people respond and people come out.

What has impressed you about Head Coach James Franklin?
I really do believe that James Franklin is the best coach I have ever seen. He is so purposeful in everything he does. They say coaches don't' win football games, but I think he is the exception.

Game Recap
ATLANTA, Ga. - The 1974 Peach Bowl was a game with no champion but two winners, the Commodores and Texas Tech Red Raiders.

Despite the effective rushing of Red Raider tailback Larry Isaac and fullback Cliff Hoskins, the Commodore defense held Texas Tech without points in the first half and entered halftime with a 3-0 lead after Mark Adams kicked a 31-yard field goal with 10 minutes remaining.

Neither team was able to muster much offense in the third quarter, though Texas Tech did tie the score at 3-3 after a drive stalled at the Vanderbilt 16-yard line.

Early in the fourth quarter, the Commodores' freshman lineman Dennis Harrison stopped a deep Texas Tech threat by blocking a Red Raider field goal attempt. The Tech drive started following one of two Vanderbilt turnovers during the game.

After the blocked field goal, the Commodores responded with a possession that ended with Adams' second field goal of the day, a 26-yarder that resulted in a 6-3 Vanderbilt margin. However, Texas Tech tied the game at the 2:00 mark on a 35-yard field goal by Brian Hall. On its final drive, Vanderbilt could not move into scoring range.

The Commodore offense struggled much of the day, with quarterback David Lee hitting just five of 14 attempts. Running back Jamie O'Rourke had 76 rushing yards.

The limited offensive production from both teams resulted in numerous defensive and scoring records being set in the game.

Within hours of the conclusion, Vanderbilt Head Coach Steve Sloan announced he was leaving his position to accept the head coaching job at Texas Tech.

1955 Gator Bowl



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