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100 Greatest Finishes - No. 31 to 40

Discussion in 'All Other Sports' started by BoltsFanUK, Aug 8, 2007.

  1. BoltsFanUK
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    No. 40 Oregon 41 ... UCLA 40, October 10, 1970
    At the time: 3-1 UCLA was trying to overcome the previous week's heartbreaking last-second loss to second-ranked Texas. Oregon was 2-2 with a tremendous passing attack led by QB Dan Fouts and WR Bobby Moore (a.k.a. Ahmad Rashad) orchestrated by offensive coordinator John Robinson.
    The setup: Oregon went up 21-17 going into halftime helped by two Fouts touchdown runs and a Moore rushing score. UCLA was able to stay in it on a 62-yard Marv Kendricks touchdown run and a one-yard score from QB Dennis Dummit. The Bruins took a 40-21 lead on three Dummit touchdown passes and had things seemingly in hand with 4:38 to play. Fouts was pulled for injured Tom Blanchard, who threw a touchdown pass to Moore to get within 12. With less than four minutes to play, UCLA put in its backups thinking it was over, but reserve QB Jim Nader fumbled giving the ball back to the Ducks. Moore scored his third touchdown of the game on a 40-yard pass play from Blanchard to make it 40-35 with 2:10 left. Oregon got the onside kick and had one final drive.
    The ending: Blanchard stayed in the game despite suffering a separated shoulder. On the play after the injury, he threw a jump ball for Leland Glass, but UCLA's Jerry Jaso timed his leap and caught it at the same time Glass did. Both were holding on to the ball, but the officials ruled it was Oregon's ball on the UCLA 11. Blanchard had to come out to put Fouts back in the game. Oregon had it 3rd and 14 on the UCLA 15 with time winding down. With UCLA focused on stopping Moore, Greg Specht was wide open in the middle for a touchdown with :30 to play and the 41-40 lead. The two point conversion failed. UCLA's final Hail Mary pass was picked off.
    How they ended up: UCLA alternated wins and losses the rest of the way out to finish 6-5. Oregon used this win over UCLA as part of a four-game winning streak, but only won one of its final four games to finish 6-4-1.

    No. 39 Miami 17 ... Florida State 16, September 16, 1991
    At the time: Bobby Bowden's No. 1 Seminoles were 10-0 hosting the second-ranked, 8-0 Hurricanes in the year's most anticipated showdown. Miami had ruined Florida State's national title hopes in three of the previous four seasons.
    The setup: The Canes got up early as Gino Torretta easily marched the offense leading to a Stephen McGuire touchdown from two yards out. Florida State could only muster a Gerry Thomas field goal after a 51-yard pass to Amp Lee, but it became the first team to score a touchdown on the Canes in the first half when Paul Moore ran in a one-yard score on fourth and goal for a 10-7 halftime lead. A long Seminole drive to start the second half ended in a field goal, and then another Thomas three gave FSU a 16-7 lead early in the fourth. Miami took got a 45-yard Carlos Huerta field goal, and went ahead with a three-yard Larry Jones touchdown run after a converting a fourth and six from the FSU 12. The Noles got the ball back with less than three minutes to play down 17-16.
    The ending: FSU countered the previous Miami drive by converting on a fourth and one to stay alive as QB Casey Weldon took a shot at the end zone resulting in a pass interference call putting the ball on the Miami 18 with :53 to play. After one running play and spiking the ball to stop the clock, Thomas came in for a 34-yard try and his fourth field goal of the day. FSUs other kicker, Dan Mowrey, normally came in for the long field goals, but Bowden chose to go with the hot hand (or foot) in Thomas. Set up on the left hash mark, the ball went up ... Florida State started to celebrate, but the ball went wide right. Had the game been played the year before, Florida State would've won as the width of the goal posts had been narrowed before the 1991 season
    How they ended up: Miami won its final three games with ease to finish 12-0 and split the national title with Washington. Florida State lost the following week to Florida 14-9, but beat Texas A&M 10-2 in the Cotton Bowl to finish 11-2 and ranked fourth in both polls. The following year Dan Mowrey pushed a game-tying field goal wide right against the Canes.

    No. 38 Georgia Tech 41 ... Virginia 38, November 3, 1990
    At the time: The 7-0 Cavaliers were ranked number one in the country behind the sensational pass-catch combination of QB Shawn Moore to WR Herman Moore. Georgia Tech was ranked 11th with a 6-0-1 record with a 13-13 tie against North Carolina.
    The setup: The Cavaliers went up by scores of 13-0 and 28-14 helped by three Shawn Moore touchdown runs only to have Tech quarterback Shawn Jones lead the Yellow Jackets back time and time again highlighted by a 43-yard touchdown pass to Jerry Gilchrist. Virginia had its share of big plays as well with a 63-yard touchdown pass to Herman Moore late in the third quarter, but once again, Tech responded with a touchdown drive to tie it at 35 before going up by three on a 32-yard Scott Sisson field goal. With 2:34 to play, the Yellow Jackets held the Cavaliers on a goal line stand stopping two cracks from the one and surviving a called back touchdown on a penalty forcing Virginia to kick a game-tying field goal to knot it up 38. (Many Virginia fans, and Herman Moore, wanted to go for it from 4th and goal from the six, but head coach George Welsh later explained that he thought his defense would give the offense another chance.) Georgia Tech got the ball with 2:26 to play on its own 24-yard line.
    The ending: Jones ripped through the Cavalier defense marching the offense 56 yards, but things stalled on the Virginia 20. The clock ran down to before Tech called a timeout to bring in Sisson to ruin Virginia's national title dreams. After two Cavalier timeouts, Sisson nailed the 37-yard kick for a 41-38 lead. A last gasp Moore pass was picked off and the Yellow Jackets came away with the win.
    How they ended up: Georgia Tech went on to win the rest of its games and take a share of the national title (along with Colorado) with a 11-0-1 record after a 45-21 Citrus Bowl win over Nebraska. Virginia beat North Carolina the following week 24-10 before going in the tank losing its final three games finishing 8-4 after a 23-22 Sugar Bowl loss to Tennessee.

    No. 37 Pittsburgh 24 ... Georgia 20, Sugar Bowl January 2, 1982
    At the time: In the 1982 Sugar Bowl, Dan Marino's Pittsburgh team was 10-1 after losing the final regular season game 48-14 to Penn State and fell to tenth in the polls. Georgia was also 10-1 and ranked second in the country with the only loss coming to No. 1 Clemson early in the season. However, if the Tigers lost the Orange Bowl to Nebraska and the Bulldogs beat Pittsburgh, there was talk about Georgia being named national champion.
    The setup: Walker ran for two touchdowns for Georgia, but Marino threw two touchdowns passes for a 17-13 Panther lead early in the fourth. Georgia took a 20-17 lead on an eight-yard touchdown pass to Clarence Kay midway through the final quarter, and then Dawg Terry Hoage snuffed out a Pittsburgh fame punt attempt to all but seal the win. The Panther defense came through forcing a Georgia punt with 3:46 to play.
    The ending: Marino kept the final drive going running for eight yards on a 4th and 4, but it stalled on the Georgia 33-yard line after the Panthers were able to pounce on a FB Wayne DeBartoa fumble. On fourth down with only :42 to play, Pitt head coach Jackie Sherrill was considering going for a 50-yard field goal to finish in a tie, but Marino talked him out of it and the Panthers went for the first down. Marino dropped back to pass in the face of a Georgia blitz and found TE John Brown open in the middle of the field. Pitt wasn't just going for the first down, it was going for a touchdown. Marino's pass hit Brown in the hands just as he was popped by Georgia safety Steve Kelly. Brown hung on and Pittsburgh won 24-20.
    How they ended up: The Panthers finished up 11-1 ranked fourth in the AP poll and second in the UPI. Georgia finished 10-2 and ranked sixth in the AP and fifth in the UPI. Clemson beat Nebraska to win the national title.

    No. 36 Florida State 24 ... Clemson 21, September 17, 1988
    At the time: Bobby Bowden's Florida State was everyone's preseason No. 1 before getting blanked 31-0 in the season opener against Miami. The week after, the Noles blew out a great Southern Miss team 49-13 to start out 1-1. Third-ranked Clemson started out the year 2-0 beating Virginia Tech and Furman by a combined score of 63-10.
    The setup: Clemson dominated the first half but was only up 14-7 after a seven-yard Rodney Williams touchdown run. FSU finally got kickstarted by star defensive back and kick returner Deion Sanders on a 76-yard punt return for a score in the third quarter to tie it up at 14. A Dayne Williams touchdown run gave the Noles a 21-14 lead they couldn't extend when a Richie Andrews' kick field goal attempt was blocked. The Tiger offense responded with a good drive culminating in a Tracy Johnson touchdown run for a 21-21 tie.

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