Liberty Bowl 1970 – Tulane
Liberty Bowl 1970
Program from the 12th Liberty Bowl, played on December 12, 1970. Tulane (8-4) defeated Colorado (6-5). 17-3. Tulane was an Independent at this time. The game took place at Memphis Memorial Stadium in Memphis, TN. It was Tulane’s fourth bowl appearance, and the first since the 1939 Sugar Bowl. The Green Wave scored two touchdowns and a field goal in their winning effort.
Tulane was considered the underdog for Liberty Bowl 1970. The point spread was Colorado -14. The game was 3-3 at halftime. Tulane ran back the second half kickoff 66 yards. Three plays later, they were in the house. Another touchdown in the fourth quarter made the score 17-3.
Tulane Football 1970
In a recap article published earlier this year, Tulane recapped the 1970 season. It had been dubbed the “Year of the Green”
Seniors Rick Kingrea, Mike Walker and David Abercrombie captained the 1970 team. The defense returned 10 starters from 1969 and Paul Ellis, Joe Bullard and David Hebert formed a secondary that picked off a school-record 28 passes on what was to be one of the Green Wave’s all-time great defensive units. Offensively, Abercrombie set a school record with 246 yards rushing against North Carolina State on his way to 993 yards rushing. Through the air, quarterback Mike Walker and receiver Steve Barrios connected on some big plays, as Walker set a season record for yards per completion and Barrios set a season record for yards per catch.
Kingrea later went on to the NFL. He played for the Cleveland Browns (1971-72), the Buffalo Bills (1973), and the New Orleans Saints (1973-1978).
Tulane lost to LSU that season. Tigers fans naturally lorded that over the Green Wave, in spite of their success in Memphis.
At the time, Tulane played football as an Independent. They were members of the Southeastern Conference (SEC) from 1932-1965. The school joined Conference USA (C-USA) in 1996. They left C-USA in 2014 and are now members of The American Conference.