College Football: Biggest Hit in History?

Husker FanCorrespondent IMarch 24, 2011

28 Oct 2000:  (L-R) Former Head Coach Barry Switzer of the Oklahoma Sooners stands with the Former Head Coach Tom Osborne of the Nebraska Cornhuskers during the game at the Oklahoma Memorial Stadium in Norman, Oklahoma. The Sooners defeated the Cornhuskers 31-14.Mandatory Credit: Brian Bahr  /Allsport
Brian Bahr/Getty Images

Just this week, the National Football League announced some rules changes that have come with a solid amount of criticism heard from across the nation.

One of the more exciting plays in a football game, the kickoff, will now be limited in its action by moving the kickoff point five yards closer to the receiving team's end zone. 

This will undoubtedly create a substantial rise in the number of touchbacks that occur in NFL games this year.  (That is of course, if we have an NFL season.)

What this brings to light is the sheer violence that occurs on the most brutal of plays during a football contest. 

Previous NFL rules have reduced the "wedge" to only be formed by two players.  In the old days, the wedge was sometimes formed by as many as five or six guys forming a v-shaped pattern that would lead the kick returner into the heart of the coverage team's defense.

This wedge has long been the point of vicious and brutal collisions ever since the inception of the NFL.  Many times these collisions resulted in players being carted off the field and numerous concussions happening during every football season.

With all this talk surrounding the safety of this most exciting of plays, it makes me remember what I firmly believe to be the hardest hit I have ever seen on a football field.

The date:  November 11th, 1978

The stakes:  No. 1 Oklahoma vs. No. 4 Nebraska (Barry Switzer vs. Tom Osborne)

The undefeated and rolling Oklahoma Sooners came into Memorial Stadium in 1978 with what is arguably Barry Switzer's best and most talented team he ever had while in Norman. They were led by eventual Heisman Trophy winner Billy Sims and Outland Trophy winner Greg Roberts. 

What ensued in Lincoln on that dreary overcast November day was one of the hardest hitting games in the storied Nebraska/Oklahoma rivalry, which included this dandy turned in by Nebraska linebacker John Ruud against freshman quarterback/kick returner Kelly Phelps.

This play has gone down in Husker lore as being the most physical and violent hit in Nebraska football history.

Is this the hardest hit in college football history?