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100 Greatest Finishes - No. 6 to 10

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

  1. BoltsFanUK
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    No. 10 Florida State 18 ... Nebraska 16, Orange Bowl January 1, 1994
    At the time: The 1993 Huskers were the forgotten team. In a year that saw an epic season-long battle in the polls between Notre Dame and Florida State, Nebraska came in 11-0 and ranked No. 1. 11-1 Florida State had lost to Notre Dame, but got its shot at the Huskers after the Irish lost on a last-second kick to Boston College.
    The setup: The defenses were the stars early in a 0-0 first quarter. After a Seminole field goal, the Huskers struck as Tommie Frazier, known as a running quarterback, tossed a pass into a crowd that was deflected into the hands of Reggie Ball who took it for his first touchdown of the season. But the Noles kicking game kept them alive as Scott Bentley nailed a second field goal to put FSU within one at halftime. The second half belonged to unstoppable Nebraska freshman running back Lawrence Phillips, but the Huskers were still down 15-13 with three minutes to play. Nebraska kicker Byron Bennett was 0-for-4 since kicking his last field goal two-and-a-half months earlier and had missed two field goals in the previous year's Orange Bowl. After a great defensive stand by the Noles from the five-yard line, Bennett came in and coolly gave the Huskers a 16-15 lead punching it through the same uprights that saw Florida State miss a kick in Wide Right II against Miami in 1992.
    The ending: With 1:16 to play, the ball was in the hands of FSU's Heisman Trophy winner Charlie Ward who was having an efficient, but unspectacular, game. A Ward pass to Warrick Dunn, and a personal foul penalty on Nebraska, followed by a pass interference call set up a Bentley field goal for an 18-16 win. Not quite. A celebration penalty resulted in the Huskers getting the ball near midfield with :14 to play. Frazier, after one incompletion, completed a pass over the middle with one second to go. The clock read :00 and Seminole head coach Bobby Bowden was given a Gatorade bath while he was giving a post-game interview wearing a national champion hat with fans pouring onto the field. But no. The fates of the college football world wouldn't make it so easy to give Bowden his first national title. The officials put one second back on the clock ruling that the Husker receiver was down. Bennett would get a final shot to break the hearts of Seminole fans, but there was nothing to worry about as he badly hooked the 45-yard attempt.
    How they ended up: Despite the win, there was still some controversy for Florida State being ranked No. 1 and national champion despite losing to Notre Dame and each finishing with one loss. Nebraska finished third in both polls.

    No. 9 Ohio State 31 ... Miami 24 OT, Fiesta Bowl January 3, 2003
    At the time: Defending national champion Miami was 12-0 and the heavy favorites in the national championship against a 13-0 Ohio State team that wasn't always dominant, but always found a way to win.
    The setup: After taking a 7-0 lead on a Ken Dorsey strike to Roscoe Parrish, it appeared that Miami was on its way to an easy win with the Buckeyes not getting a first down until late in the first quarter. The Buckeyes finally got moving midway through the second quarter. After OSU quarterback Craig Krenzel was stuffed on third down on the goal line, head coach Jim Tressel had his first really big decision of the game. He went for it and Krenzel was barely able to get in to tie it at seven. The Buckeyes kept the Canes on their heels in the second half, but after a 57-yard pass play to Chris Gamble, disaster almost struck. Miami's Sean Taylor made a big play preventing an Ohio State touchdown with an interception, but OSU RB Maurice Clarett was able to catch up and rip the ball away from behind to give the Buckeyes the ball back leading to a 44-yard Mike Nugent field goal for a 17-7 lead. Miami star RB Willis McGahee was getting warmed up blowing past the tiring Buckeye front seven, but just as it looked like he'd take the game over, he suffered a blown out knee and was lost for the game. Miami couldn't seem to catch a break as Todd Sievers just missed a 54-yard field goal that would've tied things. However, Ohio State's offense couldn't find a way to run out the clock giving Dorsey had one last drive for a national title set up by a long punt return by Roscoe Parrish. Dorsey got his Canes into position and Sievers came through putting the game into overtime with a 40-yard field goal.
    The ending: The Canes scored on a seven-yard touchdown pass to Kellen Winslow on their first overtime possession. Miami appeared to have the national championship won when Glenn Sharpe broke up a Krenzel pass in the end zone on fourth down, but he was nailed with a controversial pass interference call to keep the game alive. Krenzel punched it in for a one-yard TD run to force a second overtime. Maurice Clarett scored on a five-yard touchdown run on OSU's possession in the second overtime for a 31-24 lead. On Miami's turn, Dorsey got his bell rung and had to come out on the biggest drive of the year. After a few time outs to try and clear the star quarterback's head, Dorsey was able to come back in and completed a perfect fourth down pass to Winslow to keep the season alive. With first and goal on the six, the Buckeyes got nailed with a pass interference call on Chris Gamble to give the Canes first and goal from the one. Jarrett Payton was stopped. Second and goal. Dorsey couldn't connect with a wide-open Eric Winston. Third and goal. Stopped. Fourth and the national title from the one. Ohio State got pressure on Dorsey forcing a prayer that went nowhere, and the Buckeyes had the national title.
    How they ended up: Ohio State finished 14-0 and won the national title in both polls. Miami finished second.

    No. 8 Miami 31 ... Nebraska 30, Orange Bowl, January 1, 1984
    At the time: Nebraska head coach Tom Osborne was trying to win his first national title with what was being called one of the greatest teams of all-time, outscoring its opponents by an average of 52 to 15.5. Miami lost its opening game 38-3 to Florida before winning its final ten games of the regular season to move up to No. 4. By the time the 50th Orange Bowl rolled around on New Year's night, No. 2 Texas was upset in the Cotton Bowl by Georgia while No. 3 Auburn squeaked by an average Michigan team 9-7 in the Sugar Bowl. Miami was now in the game for the national title.
    The setup: Miami took a shocking 10-0 lead led by freshman QB Bernie Kosar and his razor-sharp passing. He stayed hot leading the Canes to an improbable 17-0 lead completing 8 of 14 passes for 142 yards and two scores in the first quarter. The Husker offense finally got going with a slow and methodical drive until it faced a 3rd and five on the Miami 19. It was then that Osborne reached into his bag of tricks for the Fumblerooski. QB Turner Gill took the snap and ran down the right side of the offense looking to pitch the ball with the Hurricane defense following. But Gill intentionally dropped the ball and let it lie on the turf after the snap for the Outland and Lombardi Trophy winning Dean Steinkuhler who rumbled in for the shocking touchdown to put the Huskers back in the game. Miami was able to take a 31-17 lead late in the second half on an Albert Bentley touchdown run, but the game was far from over as the Huskers pulled to within seven with less than seven minutes to play on a Jeff Smith touchdown run. Miami answered by going on a long drive and was in a position to put the game away, but missed a field goal. Even with the setback, the Canes did a great job of taking time off the clock giving it back to the Huskers with 1:47 to play.
    The ending: Gill was having an average game overshadowed by Kosar's tremendous performance, but he wasn't getting much help as his all-everything receiver Irving Fryar was nowhere to be found. On first down on their own 26, Gill threw a strike to Fryar, who cut up the field and took it 29 yards before being brought down on a last gasp tackle. With 1:12 to play on the Miami 25, Gill threw another perfect pass, but a wide-open Fryar dropped it in the end zone before collapsing in a grief stricken moment. On the following play, Gill fumbled the ball after getting popped, but Steinkuhler picked it up and rumbled for positive yards making it 4th and eight on the Miami 29. Gill calmly ran the option to the right. At the last possible nanosecond, he pitched the ball to a streaking Smith who tore up the right sideline before diving into the end zone to pull the Huskers to within one point. Without hesitation, Osborne decided to go for two to try to win rather than go for the tie. Gill fired it outside to Smith, but it fell incomplete. On the ensuing onsides kick, Miami recovered preserving the 31-30 win.
    How they ended up: With no overtime, if Nebraska had kicked the extra point, it would've been doubtful if there was a voter in America that wouldn't have voted the Huskers the national champions after a tie. Instead, Miami finished No. 1, Nebraska No. 2.

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