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THE STEELERS 1975 SEASON BEGINS HERE>>>

ANDY RUSSELL HAPPY TO BLITZ ALL DAY LONG

Andy Russell media photo“We don’t blitz very often around here anymore,” reflected Andy Russell after his team had blitzed the Chiefs 28-3. “We used to blitz all the time. Though, of course, that was when we were an awful football team.”

“We blitzed more against the Chiefs than we have in a long, long time,” Russell observed. “We did it because we wanted to exert more pressure on the quarterback. We weren’t able to get enough pressure from our regular four-man rush because we had so many men hurt, so we blitzed.

We did it a lot when we used the three man line with the extra linebacker too. It paid off (with a season high six sacks). Personally, I love it. As an outside linebacker in our defensive scheme, I can’t be overly aggressive, but when we blitz…

We prefer not to take risks and blitzing is always a risk. So we don’t use it much. With our front four being so good, it’s definitely the best way for us to go.

We put more pressure on the passer than any other team I can think of and we can cover better because we don’t sacrifice anybody else to the pass rush. Sometimes though, you have to change things up and this was a good time for it because of the injuries.”

1975 game 10: The Pittsburgh Steelers (8-1) vs the Houston Oilers (7-2)

The game was scoreless for ten minutes before a high Houston snap launched the ball into their end zone where quarterback Dan Pastorini recovered before being tackled by Dwight White to give up the safety.

In the second quarter, Pastorini engineered a 13-play, 80-yard drive that eventually stalled, leading to a field goal of 27 yards to edge the Oilers 3-2 in front.

Three minutes later, the Steelers took the lead again. Combining their ground game with short passes, Bradshaw led his team on a 66-yard drive that finished with a Franco Harris touchdown run of four yards.

On the first down of the Oilers’ next series, J.T. Thomas intercepted and four Bradshaw completions later, the Steelers increased their lead with Swann’s 18-yard touchdown.  Roy Gerela missed the extra point and the Steelers went into the locker room with a 15-3 lead.

The third quarter saw the Oilers continue to struggle against an outstanding Steeler defense. Houston was unable to produce one first down in the period while Pittsburgh went further ahead with a Gerela 30-yard field.

Early in the fourth quarter, the Steelers’ offense continued its fine run. Harris ran 31 yards in six plays in a 10-play drive completed by Frenchy Fuqua’s 13-yard romp over left guard.

Pastorini finally managed to give the Oilers their first first down of the second half before he threw a 59-yard bomb to Ken Burrough for a touchdown with the point after being missed.

Mel Blount’s eighth interception on the season and his 47-yard return set up the final Steelers’ final score with Harris taking it in from the 13.

In an all-round team performance, the Steelers began six of their 10 series beyond their own 40, three in Houston territory.

The Pittsburgh Steelers 32 at the Houston Oilers 9
Houston Astrodome, November 24th 1975; 49,947

Passing: 13-16-168-2TDs

Rushing: Harris 21-149, Bradshaw 5-26, Collier 4-19, Fuqua 13-32, Swann 1-2, Harrison 1-0

Receiving: Brown 1-25, Stallworth 1-25 Lewis 3-47, Swann 3-46, Fuqua 4-27, Harris 1-(-2)

On the Steelers’ defense, Andy Russell said, “We had a great defensive scheme. They’re a screen-pass team. We knew they’d rely on it. The whole thing is being in the right defense. You bless those coaches when they guess right.”

On the balance of the Steelers’ offense, Bradshaw said, “In a big game, I didn’t want to come out and run, run, run. Our last game with them, we ran, got the lead, sat on it, and were dead.”

Coach Noll doesn’t believe that games are won on emotion. The fans in Houston were up for this game, believing they were on the edge of greatness if they could defeat the Steelers.

“Emotions only go so far,” said Noll after the game. “I looked up at the stands in the fourth quarter and everybody had gone.

I can’t tell you how proud I am of our football team. You can’t win a game in tougher circumstances than this. Houston was a fired up, ferocious football team. And that crowd certainly helped.

The defense carried us through last year, no question. Now we’re getting more help from our offense.”

AFC Central
Pittsburgh      9-1
Cincinnati      8-2
Houston         7-3
Cleveland      1-9


CHARLES HENRY NOLL 1932-2014

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Last updated July 26th 2014.

Byron White's 1938 season with the Pirates added July 2014.

Chuck Noll tribute added June 2014.

The Thirties Pirates updated April 2014.
SteelerNationUK on tour 2013 added February 2014.
The story of Steeler Nation's visit to London added October 2013.
SteelerNationUK on tour 2012 added May 2013.
The Terrible Towel photos updated April 2013.
Steeler Nation UK in Dublin with the Steelers 1997 added April 2013.
Portsmouth Spartans added April 2013.

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