Vikings all-time tournament: Tarkenton rallies 1975 to win over upstart 2008

Fran Tarkenton threw a trio of touchdown passes as the third-seeded 1975 Minnesota Vikings defeated the 14th-seeded 2008 Vikings 27-20 in the first round of the Skol Bowl tournament.

Tarkenton had the ’75 Vikings rolling from the start.

Vikings All-Time Tournament

On the third play of his team’s opening offensive drive, the 35-year-old quarterback found receiver John Gilliam down the field for a 57-yard touchdown and a 7-0 lead.

Another pass for six points to Chuck Foreman put the ’75 Vikings up 14-0 after one quarter.

And when the game was tied at 20 late in the fourth quarter, it was Tarkenton who extended drives with his arm and legs and ultimately found Jim Lash for a 16-yard touchdown with 27 seconds left to secure the win.

The ‘08 Vikings dominated the run game. Adrian Peterson, in his second NFL season, rushed 18 times for 154 yards and a touchdown and veteran Chester Taylor piled on 58 rushing yards himself.

In all, the ‘08 Vikings averaged 6.8 yards per carry and held Foreman and the ’75 Vikings to 1.9 yards per attempt.

Although the ’75 defense was exposed by Peterson and Taylor in the rushing game, it had all the answers for the ’08 Vikings’ air attack.

More Vikings coverage

Tavaris Jackson and Gus Frerotte split duties at quarterback for the ’08 Vikings and combined to throw for 117 yards and one touchdown on 12-of-28 passing (42.8%).

The ’08 Vikings converted on just 3 of 13 third downs.

Gilliam was Tarkenton’s favorite target, catching five passes for 108 yards and a score. Jim Lash caught five passes himself for 73 yards, and Foreman had more receiving yards (40) than rushing yards (37) against the ’08 Vikings.

A controversial choice for the No. 3 seed — after all, they were ranked ahead of three Vikings teams that appeared in a Super Bowl – Tarkenton and the ’75 Vikings advance to play the winner of a matchup between sixth-seeded 2017 and 11th-seeded 2015.

TEAM TIME RESULT SCORING PLAY SCORE
1st Quarter
75 MIN 9:37 TD John Gilliam 57 yd. pass from Tarkenton (Cox kick) 0-7
75 MIN 3:03 TD Chuck Foreman 9 yd. pass from Tarkenton (Cox kick) 0-14
2nd Quarter
08 MIN 12:03 FG Ryan Longwell 43 yds. 3-14
08 MIN 3:37 TD Bernard Berrian 10 yd. pass from Jackson (Longwell kick) 10-14
75 MIN 0:41 FG Fred Cox 24 yds. 10-17
3rd Quarter
08 MIN 9:34 TD Adrian Peterson 5 yd. run (Longwell kick) 17-17
08 MIN 0:17 FG Ryan Longwell 27 yds. 20-17
4th Quarter
75 MIN 9:39 FG Fred Cox 43 yds. 20-20
75 MIN 0:27 TD Jim Lash 16 yd. pass from Tarkenton (Cox kick) 20-27

STATISTICS

PASSING
2008 VIKINGS Comp Att Yards TD INT
Tarvaris Jackson 8 21 83 1 0
Gus Frerotte 4 7 52 0 0
1975 VIKINGS Comp Att Yards TD INT
Fran Tarkenton 20 27 276 3 0
RUSHING
2008 VIKINGS Att Yds 20+ L TD
Adrian Peterson 18 154 2 42 1
Chester Taylor 10 58 1 41 0
Bernard Berrian 1 1 0 1 0
Naufahu Tahi 1 0 0 0 0
Tarvaris Jackson 1 -1 0 -1 0
1975 VIKINGS Att Yds 20+ L TD
Chuck Foreman 23 37 0 14 0
Brent McClanahan 1 11 0 11 0
Fran Tarkenton 2 10 0 11 0
Ed Marinaro 7 5 0 2 0
John Gilliam 1 3 0 3 0
RECEIVING
2008 VIKINGS Rec Yds 20+ 40+ L TD
Bernard Berrian 4 70 2 0 24 1
Visanthe Shiancoe 3 52 1 0 30 0
Adrian Peterson 1 9 0 0 9 0
Bobby Wade 2 6 0 0 7 0
Aundrae Allison 2 -2 0 0 1 0
1975 VIKINGS Rec Yds 20+ 40+ L TD
John Gilliam 5 108 1 1 57 1
Jim Lash 5 73 0 0 19 1
Chuck Foreman 4 40 0 0 14 1
Stu Voigt 3 31 0 0 16 0
Ed Marinaro 3 24 0 0 12 0
DEFENSIVE LEADERS
2008 VIKINGS Tackles Sacks INT
Darren Sharper 5 0 0
Chad Greenway 5 0 0
Ben Leber 5 0 0
1975 VIKINGS Tackles Sacks INT
Jeff Wright 7 2 0
Jeff Siemon 5 0 0
Carl Eller 5 0 0
Terry Brown 4 1 0