Remembering UM’s top 10 Orange Bowl Moments

Six in a row

Sept. 11, 2004: No missed field goals in this one, but the result still stung just as much for No. 4 Florida State as No. 5 Miami scored a touchdown in the final minute of regulation to send the game into overtime. Frank Gore scored the winning touchdown crossing the plane right here. This victory was the sixth in a row by the Canes over FSU.

Hester’s Gator Chomp

Sept. 6, 2003: He told his coaches before taking the field that he would return the opening kick against No. 17 Florida for a touchdown. Many thought Devin Hester was a brash freshman. Ninety-seven yards after fielding the kick at this spot, a legend was born. After falling behind 33-10, quarterback Brock Berlin led the comeback and No. 9 Miami continued their domination of UF, 38-33. But if not for the kick return, the comeback would have fallen short.

Run Vinny run!

Sept. 27, 1986: In one of the three epic battles these two teams would stage during the decade, No. 2 Miami Hurricanes and the No. 1 Oklahoma Sooners went toe to toe. In a play that likely led to Vinny Testaverde’s Heisman award, the quarterback, not typically known for his mobility, got out of the pocket and picked up a critical first down, running out of bounds right here. The Canes eventually won the game, 28-16.

Third and 41

Nov. 25, 1989: No. 7 Miami lost to No. 1 Notre Dame on a controversial fumble call the previous year, costing them a shot at the national championship. Miami vowed to have revenge. In what is often called the loudest game in the Orange Bowl’s history, Craig Erickson and the Hurricane offense faced a third-and-41 on their own seven. What’s the logical play? A 44-yard completion to Randal Hill, right here. UM would go on to win the game and that year’s national championship.

Wide Right III

Oct. 7, 2000: Three years prior, it was a 47-0 demolition of UM that marked the low point of their probation era. In 2000, it looked like No. 1 FSU would prevail again, but in a much closer game. Instead, the Orange Bowl took over, and kicker Matt Munyon pushed his kick from right here wide right. No. 7 Miami would be shut out of that year’s national championship in favor of FSU – still hotly debated to this day by fans of both schools.

Wide Left I

Oct. 12, 2002: No. 1 Miami had firmly emerged from the probation era, coming off their fifth championship. No. 9 FSU was reloaded and ready to take down the Canes. They dominated most of the game, but let UM off the mat and allowed the Canes to stage another epic comeback. FSU still had a chance, a last-second field goal attempt to tie. What happened? Xavier Betia missed wide left from right here. Miami went on to the national championship game against Ohio State; FSU was left wondering what might have been.

Wide Right II

Oct. 3, 1992: Dan Mowrey had mad field goals of 22, 28 and 41 yards that day in the Orange Bowl, as No. 3 FSU saw a chance to avenge the crushing wide right the year before at Doak Campbell Stadium. Instead, Mowrey pushed it wide right again from this spot, giving No. 2 Miami the win and creating a rallying call for Canes everywhere.

The Cane Kiss

Jan. 1, 1988: It was billed as the “Game of the Century,” but it wound up being a one-sided affair, as No. 1 Oklahoma were rolled by the No. 2 Canes for their second national championship and first undefeated season. The defining moment was a postgame picture on the cover of Sports Illustrated. Defensive lineman Dennis Kelleher kissed cheerleader Tammy McPhee right here, reminiscent of “The Kiss,” taken after V-J Day in 1945.

“Miracle in Miami”

Jan. 1, 1984: The No. 1 1983 Nebraska Cornhuskers were the best team in college football history, and the 1984 Orange Bowl was their coronation. Too bad no one told the No. 5 Canes. Freshman Bernie Kosar lit up the Nebraska defense, but it ultimately came down to a two-point conversion, tipped away right here by Kenny Calhoun. The victory was sealed, and Miami roared onto the college football scene.

UCLA derailed

Dec. 5, 1998: Coming off a 66-13 crushing loss to Syracuse the week before, Miami faced the No. 2 UCLA Bruins in a game rescheduled due to Hurricane Georges. With a win, the Bruins were in the national championship. What did Miami do? Have a running back named Edgerrin James gain a school-record 299 yards on the ground, that’s all. Quarterback Cade McNown had a chance to salvage the win, but his Hail Mary attempt went long, landing right here. The loss killed the Bruins’ dreams at a national championship and led Miami fans to rush the field.

November 12, 2007


The Miami Hurricane

Student newspaper at the University of Miami

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The Miami Hurricane is the student newspaper of the University of Miami in Coral Gables, Fla. The newspaper is edited and produced by undergraduate students at UM and is published weekly in print on Tuesdays during the regular academic year.