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Palo Alto Weekly

Sports - October 5, 2012

Stanford's legacy of Oct. 6 games

Here is a summary of each of some of the most remarkable and memorable October 6 games, both home and away:

Oct. 6, 1973 (Champaign, Ill.)

Stanford 24, Illinois 0

• Stanford's last nonconference road shutout win.

• Nearly 40 seasons have gone by without a Stanford team equaling that rare nonconference road game achievement.

Oct. 6, 1979 (Stanford)

Stanford 27, UCLA 24

• Ken Naber kicked a 56-yard field goal on the last play to win the game for Stanford. The ball hit the left upright as it went through the goalposts, clearing the crossbar by just three feet.

• Two Stanford freshmen were key on the pressure play; the snapper was Mike Teeuws and the holder was John Elway.

Oct. 6, 1984 (Pasadena)

Stanford 20, UCLA 17

• Little-used backup quarterback Fred Buckley, subbing for injured starter John Paye, steered Stanford to an upset win at the Rose Bowl over a heavily favored UCLA team that would finish 9-3.

• A win in Southern California is always a prize, and was fairly rare in that decade of Stanford football.

Oct. 6, 1990 (Notre Dame, Ind.)

Stanford 36, Notre Dame 31

• Four rushing touchdowns by running back Tommy Vardell helped the Cardinal overturn the nation's top-ranked team at Notre Dame Stadium. "Touchdown Tommy" became a well-known moniker not only on the Stanford campus but throughout the college football world.

Oct. 6, 2007 (Los Angeles)

Stanford 24, USC 23

• It was USC, it was the Los Angeles Coliseum and it was as David vs. Goliath as any Stanford-USC matchup has ever been.

• Prognosticators had been predicting a 40-point Stanford defeat. The game-winning, final-minute, Tavita Pritchard-to-Mark Bradford touchdown pass has been replayed thousands of times on television and the game earned a prominent spot in the list of all-time upsets in any sport.