Remember When: 1964 Liberty Bowl
West Virginia last played in the Liberty Bowl on December 19, 1964 – which was a monumental day because it was the first major college football bowl game to be played indoors. The following season the game was moved to Memphis, Tennessee. On this day, though, the game was played inside of Atlantic City’s Convention Hall which held the crowd of 6,059 fans inside. The previous five Liberty Bowls were played outdoors at Philadelphia Stadium.
Artificial turf was not in vogue yet, the Convention Hall’s surface was grass. In an attempt to embrace the game, the end zones were shrunk from 10-yards to 8-yards to enable the game to take place.
Utah was led by Ron Coleman’s 154 yards rushing as the Utes finished off West Virginia, 32-6. Ray Nagle’s Utah team compiled a 9-2 mark in 1964. Nagle’s quarterback Ernest Allen was named the game’s Most Valuable Player.
The Mountaineers’ coach Gene Corum ended his six-year coaching career in 1965 after closing out his third winning season in the prior four years.
By the Numbers
-West Virginia has not appeared in a bowl game since 1953 when Art Lewis’ Mountaineers lost a 42-19 decision to Georgia Tech on January 1 (1954).
-After the 1964 Liberty Bowl, West Virginia would next appear in a bowl game in Jim Carlen’s final season as head coach in 1969. They won the second-annual Peach Bowl over South Carolina, 14-3. The next season, Bobby Bowden would lead the Mountaineers.
-This was Utah’s first bowl game since 1938 (Sun Bowl). The next time, they’d appear in a bowl game would be in 1992 when Ron McBride’s Utes met Washington State in the Copper Bowl. Utah lost, 31-28, to Drew Bledsoe and the Cougars.