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This Week in College Football History: Dec. 31 – Jan. 6
Pictured above: Miami celebrates after the failed Cornhusker two-point conversion in the final
Published: 12/28/2012 2:30:00 PM

Pictured above: Miami celebrates after the failed Cornhusker two-point conversion in the final seconds of the 1984 Orange Bowl.

As part of an ongoing series throughout the fall, The National Football Foundation & College Hall of Fame posts
This Week in College Football History, which takes a look back at some of college football's landmark moments over the last 144 years. If you choose to use this content in whole or in part, as a courtesy, please credit The National Football Foundation and use the NFF logo, which is available upon request.


January 2, 1984
: The 50th Orange Bowl between Nebraska and Miami (Fla.) created one of the most memorable games in bowl history. Averaging more than 50 points a game, many placed Hall of Fame coach Tom Osborne's No. 1 Cornhuskers among the greatest college teams of all-time. The No. 5 Hurricanes had hometown advantage. Two TD passes by freshman QB Bernie Kosar and a field goal gave the U a quick 17-0 first quarter lead.  Nebraska pulled even 17-17 behind performances of QB Turner Gill and Hall of Fame RB Mike Rozier. The Canes then closed the third quarter with two scores, taking a 31-17 lead into the final quarter. Trailing by seven points late in the game, Nebraska drove 74 yards and scored with 48 seconds left to play. While kicking the extra point and going for a tie would have ensured Nebraska the national title, Osborne went for the win with a two-point conversion that was tipped away, giving Miami the 31-30 victory. Coach Howard Schnellenberger and Miami finished 11-1 as national champs while Nebraska ended 12-1 and ranked second. CLICK HERE TO WATCH A VIDEO RECAP OF THIS GAME ON THE NFF DIGITAL NETWORK.


December 31, 1973
: With second-ranked Oklahoma sitting out the bowl season, the national championship would be decided in the Sugar Bowl between No. 1 Alabama and No. 3 Notre Dame, both undefeated teams. Notre Dame claimed a 14-10 halftime lead, including a mesmerizing 93-yard kickoff return by freshman Al Hunter for a touchdown. Hall of Fame coach Bear Bryant’s team responded, taking a 17-14 lead in the third quarter, but Notre Dame battled back to  take a 21-17. In the fourth quarter, a halfback scoring pass from Mike Stock to quarterback Richard Todd gave Alabama the lead again, but the missed the extra point kept the margin at two points. The Fighting Irish reclaimed the lead 24-23 on a field goal. Late in the contest the Crimson Tide had the Irish deep in its own territory, hoping to hold and gain good field position for a potential game winning drive. However, Hall of Fame coach Ara Parseghian fooled everyone by having Tom Clements complete a 35- yard pass to Robin Weber, and Notre Dame ran out the clock. The Fighting Irish ended 11-0 as national champs while Alabama finished 11-1 ranked No. 4.

January 1, 1902
: Pasadena’s Tournament of Roses began as a New Year’s festival in 1890. In addition to a parade, numerous athletic events were held.  In an effort to draw visitors from the east, the organizers added a football game in 1902, matching an eastern team against an opponent from the west.  Led by Hall of Fame coach Fielding “Hurry Up” Yost, Michigan featured two Hall of Fame backs in Willie Heston and Neil Snow in the maiden game. They had earned the nickname as the "Point a Minute" team, having scored 501 points in their ten games. Stanford was invited only when California declined.   The Cardinal was no match for the Wolverines as UM won 49-0 with Snow scoring four touchdowns in a contest that ended with eight minutes to play.  Football was not an immediate sensation for the Festival as the next Rose Bowl game did not occur until 1916.

January 3, 2004
:  The 2004 matchup between Georgia Tech and Tulsa in Boise, Idaho, would set five Humanitarian Bowl records, including margin of victory in a 52-10 Yellow Jacket rout of the Golden Hurricanes. Georgia Tech running back P.J. Daniels, the game's MVP, started the scoring on a 9-yard TD run. In the second quarter Tulsa's Brad DeVault kicked a 22-yard field goal to draw the Golden Hurricane within four points at 7-3. However, Tulsa would set a bowl game record of six fumbles lost, and Daniels capitalized, scoring on TD runs of 1, 33, and 38 yards, providing the Yellow Jackets 38 unanswered points and a 45-3 lead.  Tulsa QB Paul Garrett found TE Garrett Mills (an NFF National Scholar-Athlete in 2005) for a 13-yard touchdown pass, helping the Golden Hurricane to cut the lead to 45-10. The momentum was short lived. Georgia Tech RB Jermaine Hatch scored from 8 yards out, completing the record output. Daniels finished the day with 31 carries that produced 307 yards, a record for all bowl games. Georgia Tech held Tulsa to -56 rushing yards, the lowest ever in Golden Hurricane history and the second fewest yards in bowl game annals. Georgia Tech finished 7-6, and Tulsa ended 8-5.

January 4, 1999
: The first-ever BCS Championship game would be played in the Fiesta Bowl between No. 1 Tennessee and No. 2 Florida State. Hall of Fame Coach Phil Fulmer saw his Vols jump to a 14-0 lead.  Hall of Fame coach Bobby Bowden’s Seminoles pulled to within 14-9, but UT clinched the win with two fourth quarter drives. The first drive ended with WR Peerless Price on the receiving end of a 79-yard toss from QB Tee Martin.  The Noles added a late touchdown, but their dreams died when a penalty nullified their recovery of an on-side kick in UT’s 23-16 win. The posted a perfect 13-0 season while Florida State finished 11-2 and ranked No. 3 behind Ohio State who ended the season with a victory in the Sugar Bowl and an 11-1 record.

January 5, 2008
: Rutgers RB Ray Rice ran for 280 yards and four touchdowns, including a career-long 90-yard scamper, as the Scarlet Knights won their second bowl game ever in a 52-30 win over Ball State in the Second International Bowl in Toronto. Rice's rushing total was the third best in bowl game history, and the performance marked his eighth straight game of more than 100 yards. Rice also became the first Big East player to rush for more than 2,000 yards in a season. Rutgers finished 8-5, and Ball State fell to 7-6.

January 6, 2012
: The 76th edition of the Cotton Bowl pitted No. 11 Kansas State against No. 7 Arkansas.   The Hogs broke out first to lead 3-0 before, adding 16 more points in the second quarter. A failed Razorback extra point attempt got the Wildcats on the board when they returned it for a two-point defensive conversion. Inspired by their defense, led by NFF Scholar Athlete Tysyn Hartman, the Kansas State offense came to life behind quarterback Collin Klein, who passed for a score with 26 seconds left in the half and then ran for another TD early in the third quarter, pulling the Wildcats within three points.  The Arkansas defense responded, pitching a shutout while the Razorback added two more scores for a 29-16 victory. At 11-2, Arkansas moved to No. 5 in the final AP Poll while the 10-3 Wildcats fell to No. 15.

This report was researched and written by College Football Hall of Fame Curator and Historian Kent Stephens.

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