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100 Greatest Finishes - No. 71 to 80

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

  1. BoltsFanUK

    BoltsFanUK Well-Known Member

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    No. 80 NC State 23 ... South Carolina 22, November 1, 1986
    At the time: NC State was in the midst of a strong first season under head coach Dick Sheridan with a 5-1-1 record and a two-game winning streak after a 27-3 win over a good Clemson team. South Carolina was going nowhere fast with a 2-4-1 record with one of the wins coming over DI-AA Western Carolina.
    The setup: NC State was up 17-3 going into halftime but lost starting QB Erik Kramer early in the second half to a leg injury. USC's Todd Ellis hooked up with Sterling Sharpe for a touchdown and it became a ballgame again at 17-13. Kramer came back in the game, but he fired two interceptions in the fourth quarter leading to Gamecock points. Ellis ran for a one-yard score, and USC was up 22-17 late with the ball with 2:13 to play and with NC State out of timeouts. It should've been over. A handoff followed by two kneel-downs made it fourth down for USC on its own 24 with :30 to play (thanks to a controversial clock stoppage after first down). NC State got the ball back on the USC 39 with :24 to play after a 15-yard punt, but couldn't do anything as Kramer was sacked on third down and the clock ran out. However ...
    The ending: ... there was a flag on the field. USC LB Kenneth Robinson was nailed with an offsides call. Many Gamecock fans had already stormed field, along with the players, but they had to be cleared for one final play. Kramer threw up a last-gasp pass into the end zone (as he aggravated his ankle injury) where Danny Peebles pushed off, leapt up and made the catch as USC safety Chris Major delivered a major shot. NC State won 23-22.
    How they ended up: South Carolina lost the following week to Florida State before beating Wake Forest and Tying Clemson to finish 3-6-2. NC State blew its shot at the ACC title the following week losing 20-16 to Virginia, but still went on to an 8-3-1 season finishing with a 25-24 Peach Bowl loss to Virginia Tech.

    No. 79 Wisconsin 20 ... Purdue 17, October 16, 2004
    At the time: Purdue was the talk of the college football world. No one was hotter than QB Kyle Orton, who threw 17 touchdowns and no interceptions before throwing his first two picks of the year in a 20-13 win over Penn State. There was even discussion of Heisman after being the best player in the country over the first half of the year. There was talk of Purdue winning the Big Ten title, but Wisconsin was also on a roll winning it first six games led by the nation's best defense that gave up a mere 39 points.
    The setup: It was a rough game for the Badgers. Star runner Anthony Davis was held to 64 yards and pass rushing superstar Erasmus James was knocked out with an ankle injury. Down 17-7 late in the fourth quarter, Wisconsin marched through the air finishing off a long drive with a seven-yard touchdown pass to Booker Stanley. Even so, it appeared to be too little, too late. All Purdue had to do was get a few first downs and it was over.
    The ending: Orton, who had been held in check all game long, was trying to dive for a critical first down that would've allowed the offense to come close to running out the clock. He dove, was flipped, and he fumbled a split second before his hand hit the ground. Badger corner Scott Starks picked up the loose ball and raced 40 yards for a touchdown and a 20-17 lead with 2:36 to play. But Orton would have one final shot. With a few frantic completions to get in position, Lou Groza Award candidate Ben Jones had a shot at a 42-yard field goal to send it into overtime. He missed.
    How they ended up: The Badgers went on to beat Northwestern and Minnesota to start the season 9-0. An apparent lock for the Rose Bowl, they lost their final two regular season games before losing 24-21 to Georgia in the Outback Bowl. Purdue never regained its early season mojo, losing the following week to Michigan on yet another late fumble. The loss to the Badgers led to a four-game losing streak before beating Ohio State and Indiana. The season ended on another heartbreaking finish in a 27-23 loss to Arizona State in the Sun Bowl.

    No. 78 Tennessee 35 ... Notre Dame 34, November 9, 1991
    At the time: Notre Dame shook off an early season loss to Michigan to win seven straight for an 8-1 record heading into the showdown with Tennessee for the 300th game played at Notre Dame Stadium. The 13th ranked Vols started off 4-0 before losing to Florida and Alabama. A win over Memphis turned things around a bit, but they needed a big win to get back on track.
    The setup: Things couldn't have been going worse for Tennessee, getting down 31-7 late in the first half when Irish PK Craig Hentrich lined up for a 32-yard field goal with :40 to play. The kick was blocked and picked up by Floyd Miley for an 85-yard Volunteer touchdown. The UT defense dominated the second half, while Aaron Hayden scored two fourth quarter touchdowns for an improbable 35-34 lead with just over four minutes to go. Rick Mirer and the Notre Dame offense finally got going, moving the ball to the Tennessee nine-yard line with four seconds to play.
    The ending: Notre Dame head coach Lou Holtz had to put in backup kicker Rob Leonard to replace an injured Hentrich for the final 27-yard field goal attempt. Leonard kicked it squarely, but UT’s Jeremy Lincoln flew in and appeared to dive past the play. The ball bounced off Lincoln's butt and was pushed wide as time ran out.
    How they ended up: Tennessee went on a great run to close out the year. The Notre Dame win was the second in a five-game winning streak before losing 42-17 to Penn State in the Fiesta Bowl for a 9-3 record. Notre Dame got blasted 35-13 by the Nittany Lions the following week before beating Hawaii and then Florida in the Sugar Bowl to finish 10-3.

    No. 77 Oklahoma 29 ... Ohio State 28, September 24, 1977
    At the time: It was one of the most anticipated and most hyped non-conference regular season games ever as No. 3 Oklahoma traveled to Columbus to face No. 4 Ohio State. The Sooners were 2-0 after surviving in a 25-23 win over Vanderbilt before pummeling Utah 62-24. Led by head coach Woody Hayes, the Buckeyes beat Miami and Minnesota by a combined score of 48-7 for a 2-0 start.
    The setup: Thomas Lott, playing on an injured leg and before getting knocked out with a sprained ankle, ran the OU wishbone to a 20-0 lead with touchdown runs from Elvis Peacock and Billy Sims. OSU came back with 28 straight points highlighted by a touchdown catch from tight end Jimmy Moore off a deflected pass. OU was able to convert a late OSU fumble into a Peacock touchdown with 1:29 to play, but he was unable to get in for the two point conversion keeping the Buckeyes ahead 28-26.
    The ending: Oklahoma had to go for the onside kick. Uwe Von Schamann's kick bounced by the Buckeyes and in the hands of OU's Mike Babb at the 50. Backup Sooner QB Dean Blevins moved the offense to the Buckeye 24 with six seconds to play giving Von Schamann a shot at the win with a 41-yard field goal. During a timeout called by Ohio State, Von Schamann egged on the crowd trying to rally the Buckeye defense to block the kick. He nailed it for the 29-28 win.
    How they ended up: Ohio State bounced back to win seven straight games, but it didn't beat anyone of note, before losing 14-6 to Michigan and 35-6 to Alabama in the Sugar Bowl to finish 9-3. The Sooners beat Kansas the following week before losing 13-6 to Texas. Even with the loss, they were still in the hunt for the national title ending the regular season 10-1 ranked No. 2 behind the Longhorns. Texas lost to Notre Dame in the Cotton Bowl opening the door for the Sooners to win the national title, but Lou Holtz's Arkansas team beat OU 31-6 in the Orange Bowl.

    No. 76 Auburn 36 ... Florida 33, October 15, 1994
    At the time: This was supposed to be the nationally televised coming out party for the No. 1 ranked, 5-0 Florida Gators against a very good Auburn team that had won 17 straight. Florida had become an elite program, but it hadn't been considered a No. 1 team for years. With quarterback Terry Dean in contention for the Heisman and Steve Spurrier's offense humming, the Gators were supposed to roll at home even though Auburn, on probation at the time, had started the year 6-0. The Tigers hadn’t played anyone with a pulse, but it was still playing well.
    The setup: The Gators and Tigers battled back and forth, but Dean started developing a nasty habit of throwing the ball to Auburn as drive after drive kept ending in disaster. Spurrier benched his Heisman candidate and replaced him with young backup Danny Wuerffel, who led Florida back into the lead late in the game. The running of freshman running back Fred Taylor and play of receiver Jack Jackson seemed to secure the Gator win, but Auburn would make one last push.
    The ending: Down by seven with time winding down, Auburn quarterback Patrick Nix started a desperation drive utilizing top receiver Frank Sanders and running back Stephen Davis to keep the chains moving. Nix threw a jump ball to Sanders for an eight-yard touchdown with :30 to play for the comeback 36-33 win.
    How they ended up: Auburn kept on winning running the streak up to twenty teams before tying Georgia 23-23. The Tigers closed out the season with a 21-14 loss to Alabama to finish 9-1-1. Florida bounced back two weeks later to blow out Georgia 52-14 starting a four-game winning streak before the classic 31-31 collapse against Florida State. After winning the SEC title game over Alabama, the Gators lost 23-17 to the Noles in the Sugar Bowl to finish 10-2-1.

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