World Library  
Flag as Inappropriate
Email this Article

Roland Sales

Roland Sales (born 1958) is a former running back for the University of Arkansas and a former professional football player. His career is significant because in the 1978 Orange Bowl, Sales set an Orange Bowl rushing record of 205 yards that stood until 1998 when Ahman Green broke it by rushing for 206 yards. Sales and Razorbacks teammate Reggie Freeman were named 1978 Orange Bowl MVPs. [1] [2]


  • College career 1
  • 1978 Orange Bowl 2
  • Professional career 3
  • References 4

College career

An Arkansas native, Sales was recruited by head coach Frank Broyles to play for Arkansas. By his junior year he was playing backup to running back Ben Cowins. The Razorbacks had a powerhouse team in the 1970s. Behind the passing skills of Ron Calcagni, the rushing of Cowins, the defense played by future Chicago Bears star Dan Hampton and the record setting kicking of Steve Little the Razorbacks were always highly ranked during that period. Following Broyles' retirement from coaching he was replaced by head coach Lou Holtz. Up until that time Sales' career had been mediocre.

1978 Orange Bowl

Coming into the 1978 Orange Bowl the Arkansas Razorbacks were ranked sixth in the nation with a record of 10–1. The Oklahoma Sooners were ranked 2nd in the nation behind the rushing of Heisman Trophy winner Billy Sims. Arkansas head coach Lou Holtz had a reputation for being strict with his players, but he shocked many when he suspended his two starting running backs Ben Cowins and Donny Bobo and a wide receiver prior to the 1978 Orange Bowl. Ben Cowins and Donny Bobo had accounted for 78% of the points scored by the Razorbacks team in that season. The players protested, Holtz would not back down and the suspensions stood. Already considered a heavy underdog to Oklahoma, with the loss of those starters Arkansas was expected to give little competition in the game. [3] [4]

Arkansas was an 18-point underdog prior to the suspensions. After the suspensions they were given as 24-point underdogs by Las Vegas, Nevada odds. Also the #1 ranked University of Texas had just lost a game, which meant a victory over Arkansas by Oklahoma would make Oklahoma the national champions. [5] Thus the 1978 Orange Bowl would in all likelihood be the game that decided the National Championship.

Roland Sales started in the place of Ben Cowins. With Sales doing most of the running of the ball, Arkansas out-rushed Oklahoma 126 yards to 116 yards in the first half, with Sims also fumbling the ball once with the Razorbacks recovering on the Oklahoma 9-yard line. In total, Sales rushed 22 times for 205 yards and caught four passes for 52 yards. He scored two rushing touchdowns. Arkansas defeated Oklahoma 31–6. Arkansas finished the season ranked #3 in the nation behind #1-ranked Notre Dame and #2-ranked Alabama. [6]

Professional career

Sales was chosen in the 11th round of the 1980 National Football League Draft by the Cleveland Browns as the 294th selection overall.[1] He never played in the NFL, but played the 1980 season with the Canadian Football League's Montreal Alouettes. He rushed for only 54 yards total in three games, yet scored six touchdowns.[2]


  • Roland Sales and Arkansas outplay heavily favored Oklahoma in 1978 Orange Bowl
  • Lou Holtz suspends players
  • Game Shockers, Holtz suspending players before big game
  • Holtz 1978 suspensions at Arkansas a part of college football history
  • SEC Blitz, 1978 Orange Bowl against the odds
  • Orange Bowl news, 1978 Orange Bowl
  1. ^
  2. ^
This article was sourced from Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike License; additional terms may apply. World Heritage Encyclopedia content is assembled from numerous content providers, Open Access Publishing, and in compliance with The Fair Access to Science and Technology Research Act (FASTR), Wikimedia Foundation, Inc., Public Library of Science, The Encyclopedia of Life, Open Book Publishers (OBP), PubMed, U.S. National Library of Medicine, National Center for Biotechnology Information, U.S. National Library of Medicine, National Institutes of Health (NIH), U.S. Department of Health & Human Services, and, which sources content from all federal, state, local, tribal, and territorial government publication portals (.gov, .mil, .edu). Funding for and content contributors is made possible from the U.S. Congress, E-Government Act of 2002.
Crowd sourced content that is contributed to World Heritage Encyclopedia is peer reviewed and edited by our editorial staff to ensure quality scholarly research articles.
By using this site, you agree to the Terms of Use and Privacy Policy. World Heritage Encyclopedia™ is a registered trademark of the World Public Library Association, a non-profit organization.

Copyright © World Library Foundation. All rights reserved. eBooks from Project Gutenberg are sponsored by the World Library Foundation,
a 501c(4) Member's Support Non-Profit Organization, and is NOT affiliated with any governmental agency or department.