Woodrow Lowe: Alabama’s success in the 1970s"> Woodrow Lowe: Alabama's success in the 1970s
Alabama Football News

Woodrow Lowe: Alabama’s success in the 1970s

Photo by: AL.com

Championship hardware isn’t a huge concern for former Alabama standout Woodrow Lowe.

The 61-year-old has as many rings as AJ McCarron, Dont’a Hightower and Courtney Upshaw, but how exciting was it really to play at Alabama under head coach Paul W. “Bear” Bryant?

Lowe enrolled at Alabama as a freshman in 1972. As a linebacker, he was a part of a defense that allowed 12.5 points per game. The Crimson Tide finished the 1972 season at 10-2.

Lowe would win his first Southeastern Conference championship with the team, and appeared in the 1973 Cotton Bowl against No.7-ranked Texas. Alabama fell to the Longhorns, 17-13.

Lowe started to draw attention within the conference as a sophomore.

His 134 total tackles in 1973 still remains an Alabama record for most stops in a season. He earned All-American honors, and anchored a defense that surrendered 9.4 points per game.

Lowe got his first victory over Auburn in the 1973 Iron Bowl by a score of 35-0.

He would achieve a second conference championship, prior to facing No.3-ranked Notre Dame in the Sugar Bowl. Alabama was voted national champion by the Coaches’ Poll, despite losing to the Fighting Irish 24-23. It was Lowe’s first national title, and the team’s fifth under Bryant.

Alabama’s defense was a stone wall in Lowe’s junior season, allowing 8 points per game in 1974. He was voted a consensus All-American, securing a second Iron Bowl victory and third SEC title. The Crimson Tide went undefeated in conference play, and 11-1 overall.

No one scored over 10 points against Alabama in 1975. It allowed six points per game in Lowe’s senior year. He collected a third Iron Bowl win, a fourth conference title and a Sugar Bowl victory over No.8-ranked Penn State. He was named an All-American for a third year.

His 315 career tackles ranks fourth all-time in Alabama history.

Lowe was selected by the San Diego Charges in the fifth round (131st overall pick) of the 1976 NFL Draft. He spent 11 seasons (1976-86) with the Chargers, missing only one game.

Lowe was exceptional against the run, however, he became solid in pass coverage.

He accounted for 21 career interceptions, four of which were returned for touchdowns.

Lowe spent six years as a defensive assistant for the Oakland Raiders and Kansas City Chiefs, after he retired from the National Football League. He returned to his high school alma mater as an assistant, and guided Central Valley (Phoenix City, Ala.) to a 1993 state championship.

Lowe was inducted into the Alabama Sports Hall of Fame for his efforts as a player and coach. In 2009, college football gave him his due by electing him into its Hall of Fame.

 

Stephen M. Smith is a staff writer and columnist for Touchdown Alabama Magazine, Pick Six Previews and SB Nation. You can “like” him on Facebook or “follow” him on Twitter, via @ESPN_Future.

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