The four highest-scoring Division I college football games in NCAA history:
1. 2007 Weber State 73, Portland State 68* (141)
2. 2016 Pitt 76, Syracuse 61 (137)
3. 2007 Navy 74, North Texas 62 (136)
3. 2007 Boise State 69, Nevada 67 in 4OT** (136)
It gets better. A new all-divisions record of 149 points was set in 2007 by Division II Chadron State 76, Abilene Christian 73 in 3OT***. (It was broken a year later by Abilene Christian 93, West Texas A&M 68.)
It gets even better. The Division III record of 142 was first set by Hartwick 72, Utica 70 in 3OT, also in 2007.
So at one point, a single season had given us the highest-scoring game in the NCAA record books, the three highest-scoring DI games ever, and the highest-scoring D3 game ever. A decade later, little about that has changed.
2007 would’ve been the most ridiculous season in the sport’s history even without these games, but sure, why not, throw them in.
How'd this happen? Were there major rule changes specific to this year? Nothing beyond the usual trends that'd gone on for decades. Offenses were becoming more and more innovative, and defenses were yet to keep up. I mean, even the Wildcat was working!
"We have some tough memories losing to [Notre Dame], but still some iconic games," Ken Niumatalolo, a longtime Navy assistant who's currently the head coach, told SB Nation.
"In ‘97, we completed a Hail Mary. Our guy caught it, and he's running down the sideline. We think he's gonna score. Then Allen Rossum pushed him out at the 1-yard line, and they beat us.
"We're thinking we were gonna break the streak, then you come to find out that not only was it great effort from him -- he was the backside corner -- but he was [eventually] the fastest guy in the NFL."
One Saturday in November 2007, one of football’s longest losing streaks was finally broken. Navy beat Notre Dame after a 43-year streak, the longest in NCAA history.
Heading in, both teams were having very different seasons.
- Navy, under eventual Georgia Tech head coach Paul Johnson, was 4-4 with an explosive offense.
- Charlie Weis was leading Notre Dame to one of its worst seasons ever, opening with five straight losses and losing two more before the Navy game.
But in the week leading up, the expectation was that Notre Dame was going to walk away with a victory.
The box scores from these games are all hilarious — here’s the 142-point CSC-ACU game, for example — but please enjoy some bewildered postgame quotes.
"It’s really too bad someone had to lose this one. I don’t think I’ve felt that way after any game, ever."
Said Mids defensive coordinator Buddy Green: "The offense has been unbelievable. They've been playing to perfection every Saturday. ... Unfortunately, we [the defense] haven't given them much help. Last Saturday, it was awful. Awful. Just awful. I can't be any clearer than that."
"It's a fair assessment," [head coach Paul] Johnson said about the comments regarding the defense. "I'm ultimately responsible, so blame me. I'm not the defensive coordinator, but I'm the head coach and ultimately responsible for our football team. We've got the same defensive coordinator we've had for five years."
"No one here has ever played in a game like that," [QB Joe] McLain said. "I'm still trying to get it to soak in. It's just crazy, that's all."
"I have never been a part of a game quite like this," said coach Todd Dodge, who went 79-1 with four Texas Class 5A state high school championships and plenty of high-scoring games at Southlake Carroll the past five seasons before taking the UNT job. "I knew that we would have to score on nearly every possession and maybe steal a possession or two with turnovers."
Hartwick head coach Mark Carr said he didn't even know the record fell until he heard it on ESPN that night.
"I kind of laughed at it a little bit," Carr said Monday. "We were focusing on just winning the game and doing whatever it took."
"It's just like ... wow!" [Ron] McBride said on KLO radio after the game. "This thing was like a runaway freight train. You just never felt like you had control."
"They just obliterated our defense," McBride said, still struggling to grasp the craziness of the Arena League-type score. "Obviously, you don't feel good about your defense because you didn't cover anybody."
* These two teams would put up this exact same final score in basketball just a few weeks later.
** The first start for a Nevada QB named Colin Kaepernick.
*** Danny Woodhead scored four TDs for Chadron State.