Is the Bulldogs’ offense the best ever? Of course, there is no way to definitively answer that question.
Comparing one generation of athletes to generations past always makes for fun debate. However, on paper, this 2015 version of Bulldog football is sure doing everything it can to put themselves into that debate.
The terminology “on paper” is referring to the only means we have to compare current teams to past Bulldog teams. All we have are memories, reminiscent claims of past glory, and the record books.
We certainly can’t line them up and play the game. That would be fun. I’m sure you could sell a few tickets for a match up of this year’s offense against the defense of 1989. I will tell you with absolute confidence that I know exactly how that game would go.
Let’s look at this match up a little closer.
The 2015 Bulldogs come into this match up against the 1989 Bulldogs with one of the most prolific offenses in Altus history.
The 2015 offense is averaging a staggering 463 yards per contest. That is 73 yards higher than the record set in 1971 at 390 yards per game average. That 1971 team ended up with 5,087 total yards. This was due to getting to play a full 13 games as the state champions.
The 2015 offense scores at a crazy 41.3 points per game average with 289 points scored through seven games. This average falls just two points behind the 1954 Bulldogs’ offense which averaged 43.6 points per game.
The 2015 offense averages 381.7 rushing yards per game. The current record for rushing yards average for a team in a season is 319.4 set in 1995. Also on pace to shatter the total rushing yards for a single is 2015. The 2015 offense currently has 2,672 yards on the ground. The record is 3,894 set in 2001.
After looking at all this offensive firepower, a gambling man/woman might see an easy side to choose for a quick pay day. However, his/her money would most likely be safer betting on the defense in this match up.
No offense to the 2015 Bulldogs is intended. The above mentioned record-setting pace by this year’s offense would struggle to move the ball on that 1989 defense.
Again, I am sorry to side with the old-schoolers, but if we take a quick look at the personnel from that year, we can easily see that a yard gained came with some pain.
The headliners from that 1989 team were Jason Gildon whose accolade description list is a paragraph in itself. The shortened version goes something like this: Gildon was the Big 8 defensive player of the year and and a consensus All-American at OSU. His Big 8 career sack record of 38 and his Big 8 season record of 17 will stand forever. He is the Pittsburgh Steelers all-time career sack leader. He also holds the NFL record for consecutive games started at the left outside linebacker position. When the discussion of greatest Steelers defenders comes up, why is Gildon not ever mentioned. Instead you hear, “Mean” Joe Green or Jack Hamm or Greg Lloyd.
Yohance Brown, Bulldogs linebacker in 1989, went on to be two-time All-American at Southwestern and defensive national player of the year in 1996. This was SWOSU’s only national championship. He was MVP of the national title game.
These two weren’t even the biggest threats for the 1989 defense. Kevin Marple led the team in tackles and was an absolute beast at middle linebacker. Coach Mike Torres led that team in tackles behind the line of scrimmage.
The 1989 defense had SIX SHUTOUTS!! (read that again, if it didn’t sink in).
All things considered, when matching up 1989 Bulldogs at home versus the 2015 Bulldogs, I believe the 1989 team would have won the game 2-0 on a safety on the first play of the game.
Speaking of 1989, I am putting a story together to recap that Altus at Ardmore, triple overtime thriller.
It is still the best high school football game that I ever witnessed.
Reach Brad Gilbert at 482-1221 ext. 2076