40th anniversary of 1980 Cotton Bowl

The perfect way to end the most elite season of Houston Cougars football in the SWC era.


I was covering for the Daily Cougar, was on the field near the end zone, what a sweet way to end the season especially after the Montana Notre Dame fiasco. A 100 percent better day! By the way, I got home… somehow that day, the overpasses were atrocious, I had an old tank Ford car that kept me from sliding… I was more worried about the others who were not so lucky. By the way, the Marriott that I stayed at off 635 had no heat… glad I had someone to keep me warm!

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Green carpet and enormous shoulder pads. Those were the days.


I was down on the field before that game and just shaking my head at how big Nebraska players looked…looked like a bunch of lumberjacks.
Once again it was our famous relief pitcher, Terry Elston who came in late and pulled off the dramatic victory. No doubt one of the great moments in Coog football history…


I remember we used to call Elston Joe Sambito.


What a beautiful day that was! The weather was fantastic, and the Coogs pulled out a victory at the very end. I remember my friend had video of the last TD, taken from our seats, and we use to laugh when we watched it because before the ball was even caught it was just people jumping and yelling and screaming. Fun times, indeed.

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But were you able to find a place to eat? (i.e. 7/11)

The weather was fantastic.

I remember sitting there thinking “We Coog Fans deserve this weather after last year.”

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Fantastic video.
Anyone and I mean anyone doubting that we could be nationally dominant is an all out liar or a Coog hater.
Tom Osborne had never lost against an SWC Team, never
Notice the U of H fans in the stands. A few on this website mentioned that we never had great support.
This proves you wrong. Our football was ascending like an Apollo rocket toward the moon.
All of this amazing momentum was sabotaged/derailed/squashed by whom? You know the answer.
How many trips to the Cotton Bowl. Three times in four years!!!
All of this with a fairly young program. We are a sleeping giant. Just imagine how high we would go today if given the chance to play in a P5?
Let’s all hope we do soon.


Houston vs Notre Dame ----- the game that highlights the dishonesty and corruption in football officiation! Anytime you have a blue-blood school playing a non blue-blood school the refs always cheat for the former! And this game highlights that fact distinctly the roles the refs have in determining the outcomes of games that nearly always favor the blue bloods!


Denny’s was open.