Sports Illustrated called it a “Miracle” in Miami!
The 50th Orange Bowl game is often named among the GREATEST COLLEGE FOOTBALL games of all time!
by “Crazy Ed” Savitt, published New Year’s Eve, 2018
The 50th Orange Bowl collectibles are cool, but to have a chance to remember the GAME!?
50 Orange Bowl New Years celebrations go along with 50 ORANGE BOWL games. None of the games held before (or held since) would mean as much to College Football in South Florida, as the 1984 Miami Hurricanes ascent into the College Football National Championship ranks with a stunning upset.
Miami Hurricanes had won 10 straight games after an opening day loss. They climbed the National ranks (the “johnnys come lately” of 1983) still nationally unknown (still wide eyed novices) to the publicity that awaited them, and their University Football program. Hurricanes were led by a 1st year QB, Freshman Bernie Kosar. The Hurricane head coach seemed completely comfortable with the spotlight. (Ex-Miami Dolphin Assistant) Head Coach Howard Schnellenberger.
Nebraska was led by a seasoned All-American quarterback (and Heisman finalist) Turner Gill who called the signals; the running game was powered by Heisman Trophy winner Mike Rozier; their talented roster included future NFL #1 draft pick Irving Fryar. The Cornhuskers at a perfect 12-0 were poised, odds-on favorites expected to overwhelm the 4th ranked (and once defeated) upstart University of Miami Hurricanes.
Immaterial to the odds-makers was the coincidence of a “home field” variable–the game would be played in Miami…no one had any idea. The game was played to a rancorous, deafening Orange Bowl crowd that came alive and then seemed to super-charge the Hurricanes with that energy.
The Mighty Huskers experienced an unstoppable accurate barrage of side-arm passes by QB freshman Bernie Kosar (many to Superstar wide out Eddie Brown…)
The Hurricanes built an unimaginable 17-0 lead, which shrunk to 3 points by halftime and then evaporated when Nebraska tied them in the 3rd quarter. Lightning chose to violate a well-known rule: it struck again.
The Hurricane offense turned to Kosar-again the cool gunslinger rebuilt the Hurricane lead to 31-17. Kosar earned Orange Bowl MVP honors for an incredible display of nerve and leadership.
80,000 nail-biters present and millions more worldwide were witness to the stunning victory at games end. The UM held on as their opponent scored two 4th quarter touchdowns. Nebraska chose a last do-or-die effort to win the game outright, trying a failed 2 point conversion rather than preserve their “unbeaten” season with an after-TD conversion kick to tie the game. Miami laid claim to their 1st College Football’s National Championship.
MIAMI HURRICANES won National Championships again in 1987 and 1989. But it is safe to say, the City of Miami was not treated to such a miracle victory since.
© 2017 “Crazy Ed” Savitt/Crazy Ed’s Content as to listing info