Alabama

Crimson Tide ©

Ohio State

Buckeyes

The Sugar Bowl

Played January 2, 1978

at the Louisiana Superdome

New Orleans, Louisiana

  

Teams' Belt Records

Team

Belt

Reigns

Overall

Record

Home

Record

Away

Record

Neutral

Record

W

L

T

PCT

W

L

T

PCT

W

L

T

PCT

W

L

T

PCT

Alabama © 1 7 1 0 .875 4 0 0 1.000 3 0 0 1.000 0 1 0 .000
Ohio State 2 9 2 1 .792 5 0 1 .917 4 0 0 1.000 0 2 0 .000

                          Previous Belt Meetings:       None

 

1st

2nd

3rd

4th

Final

Alabama

0

13

8

14

35

Ohio State

0

0

0

6

6

Two of college football’s greatest coaches matched their teams in the 1978 Sugar Bowl as Woody Hayes’ 9th ranked, 9-2 Ohio State Buckeyes battled Bear Bryant’s 3rd ranked, 10-1 Alabama Crimson Tide.  Alabama's QB Jeff Rutledge threw for 2 touchdowns while being named game MVP in the 35-6 win over the Buckeyes to retain The Belt.  The Crimson Tide drove to the Ohio State 3-yard line on their opening possession before Buckeyes’ LB Dave Adkins stopped Rutledge on a 4th down play.  Although Alabama had not scored, this drive really set the tone for the game, as Ohio State had no answers for the Crimson Tide's rushing attack.  Alabama actually had 10 fumbles in the game but Ohio State managed to recover only 2 of the miscues while Alabama intercepted Ohio State's QB Rod Gerald 3 times.  The Crimson Tide’s next drive went 76 yards in 10 plays with RB Tony Nathan scoring on a 1-yard touchdown run.  Alabama again drove 76 yards with Rutledge throwing 27 yards to WR Bruce Bolton for a touchdown & a 13-0 halftime lead.  The Buckeyes only scoring threat of the 1st half ended when they could not convert 4th & 4 from the Alabama 5-yard line with 0:30 left in the half.  Late in the 3rd quarter, the Crimson Tide scored after a 67-yard drive with Rutledge connecting with TE Rick Neal for a 3-yard touchdown pass.  Ohio State’s only score came on a 38-yard touchdown pass from Gerald to WR Jim Harrell early in the 4th quarter but the missed 2-point conversion attempt left the score Alabama 21 Ohio State 6.  Alabama finished the scoring with a 1-yard touchdown run by RB Major Ogilvie & a 5-yard touchdown run by All-SEC RB Johnny Davis.  The Crimson Tide's offense had to punt just once in the game.  Rutledge completed 8 of 11 passes for 109 yards while Gerald threw for 103 yards but 3 interceptions while being sacked 9 times in the loss.  Alabama finished the season 11-1; SEC Champions & ranked 2nd nationally while the Buckeyes finished 9-3, Big Ten Co-Champs & ranked 11th nationally.  Ohio State would play for The Belt again in 1980.

Alabama Game Stats Ohio State Game Stats
 

Rushing

Att

Yards

TDs

Rushing

Att

Yards

TDs

Johnny Davis 24 95 1 Ron Springs 10 74 0
John David Crow 5 46 0 Jeff Logan 13 57 0
Tony Nathan 11 35 1 Paul Campbell 4 14 0
Major Ogilvie 6 29 1 Doug Donley 1 12 0
Mitch Ferguson 6 24 0 Jim Harrell 1 2 0
Steadman Shealy 4 23 0 Rod Gerald 9 1 0
Kevin Jones 2 14 0        
Bruce Bolton 1 6 0        
John Turpin 1 6 0        
Jeff Rutledge 8 2 0        
 
Passing Att Comp Int Yards TDs Passing Att Comp Int Yards TDs
Jeff Rutledge 11 8 0 109 2 Rod Gerald 17 7 3 103 1
 

Receiving

Catches

Yards

TDs

Receiving

Catches

Yards

TDs

Ozzie Newsome 2 45 0 Jim Harrell 1 38 1
Mitch Ferguson 2 28 0 Charles Hunter 2 25 0
Bruce Bolton 1 27 1 Jimmy Moore 1 22 0
Tony Nathan 1 9 0 William Jaco 1 12 0
Major Ogilvie 1 7 0 Ron Springs 2 6 0
Rick Neal 1 3 1        

 

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