1974 Astro-Bluebonnet Bowl Recap
NC State 31, Houston 31
A furious rally in the waning moments allowed the 10th-ranked Wolfpack to gain a 31-31 tie with Houston at the 1974 Astro-Bluebonnet Bowl. Trailing 31-17 with 3:38 to play, Coach Lou Holtz’s squad scored a pair of touchdowns and a two-point conversion in the next 1:11.
State trimmed the lead to 31-23 with a 70-yard, seven-play drive that culminated in a nine-yard run by Tommy London. However, the two-point conversion attempt failed and the margin remained at eight points.
The Wolfpack’s Louis Alcamo then recovered the ensuing onsides kick at the Houston 47 and the NCSU offense was back on the attack. In five quick plays quarterback Dave Buckey led the Pack down the field and into the end zone. Buckey completed the drive on his own, sneaking over from the one. State tied the score on Stan Fritts’ two-point conversion.
The contest was a see-saw affair through much of the game. John Huff gave the Pack an early lead with a 37-yard field goal, but Houston came right back with a 21-yarder to knot the count at three.
State scored the game’s first touchdown after it took over on its own 30 following a blocked field goal. Buckey led an impressive march and executed a perfect option pitch to Roland Hooks for an 11-yard touchdown run.
Houston scored to tie it 10-10, but the Pack responded with a 75-yard, nine-play drive that ate up over five minutes of playing time. Buckey capped the drive with a seven-yard flip to Fritts, and the score was 17-10.
The Houston offense took over, scoring three consecutive touchdowns to give the Cougars a 31-17 advantage, and set up the frantic finish.
NCSU FG Huff 37