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100 Greatest Finishes - No. 21 to 30

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

  1. BoltsFanUK

    BoltsFanUK Well-Known Member

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    No. 30 SMU 34 ... Texas Tech 27, November 13, 1982
    At the time: No. 2 SMU was in its heyday, coming into the game on a 13-game winning streak and a 9-0 record led by the Pony Express, Eric Dickerson and Craig James. Texas Tech wasn't doing too much with a 4-5 record, but had beaten SMU six straight times.
    The setup: A blocked punt led to a 16-yard James touchdown giving the Mustangs a 24-10 lead late in the third quarter, but Texas Tech was able to bounce back on a 16-yard touchdown pass to Buzz Tatom. One 71-yard Anthony Hutchinson touchdown run later, and the Red Raiders tied it up. After an SMU field goal, Hutchinson was able to make a big fourth down play leading Tech to a march down to the Mustang 11 as the clock was running down. In came Ricky Gann for a 28-yard field goal and a 27-27 tie with :17 to play. With no overtime, the Mustang winning streak appeared to be over.
    The ending: Worried about a kickoff return for a touchdown, Texas Tech decided to squib it to run down time. SMU head coach Bobby Collins was prepared and sent in defensive back Blane Smith to field the kick and throw it across the field to receiver Bobby Leach who would, in theory, have a wall of blockers to run behind. Smith was in position, but he had a hard time fielding the ball bobbling it before chucking it backwards to Leach a split-second before being blasted by Red Raiders. Leach grabbed it off the turf on the nine and didn't have anyone in front of him going 91 yards for the touchdown and the 34-27 win.
    How they ended up: Following the "Miracle on Fourth Avenue", the Mustangs tied Arkansas 17-17 barely missing a win on a short 52-yard field goal attempt. Even so, they still won the SWC title and a spot in the Cotton Bowl beating Pittsburgh and Dan Marino 7-3 to finish 11-0-1 and second in both polls. Texas Tech lost to Houston 24-7 to finish 4-7.

    No. 29 LSU 17 ... Ole Miss 16, November 4, 1972
    At the time: No. 6 LSU was 6-0 and on a ten-game wining streak against an Ole Miss team that broke a three-game losing streak with a 31-7 win over Vanderbilt to get to 4-3. This was supposed to be a walk in the park for the Tigers with the big game against Alabama coming up the following week.
    The setup: LSU had a hard time getting going, down 16-10 early in the fourth quarter as Rebel QB Norris Weese ran for a touchdown and Steve Lavinghouze kicked three field goals. Coming in for a fourth field goal attempt, Lavinghouze missed a 27-yarder that would've put Ole Miss up 19-10. Tiger QB Bert Jones took a long sack trying to convert on fourth down and Ole Miss appeared to have things wrapped up. But the Rebel offense couldn't do anything from the LSU 45 and gave the ball back to Jones on his own 20 with just over three minutes to play.
    The ending: Jones started off the drive with a long completion, but he faced a fourth and one in Ole Miss territory. A six-yard pickup gave the Tigers the first down, but the clock was quickly ticking down. With ten seconds to play, LSU had it on the Ole Miss 20. The Rebels were nailed with a pass interference call putting it on the ten with four seconds to play. With what appeared to be one final chance, Jones misfired on a throw to the end zone, but miraculously, the Death Valley clock showed one second to play. The celebrating, and stunned, Rebels had to gear up for one more play. Jones looked at his three receivers, but the play was called for his running back, Brad Davis, to run out of the backfield and to the back of the end zone. Jones didn't look at Davis until the last second so the play could develop, but he threw a duck. It got to Davis, who had a hard time seeing the ball in the lights, bobbled it, and was knocked out of bounds. The official signaled touchdown triggering a mass of Tiger fans running on the field with the extra point still to come. Several minutes later, Rusty Jackson hit the extra point for the 17-16 win.
    How they ended up: Ole Miss never got over the clock gaffe as the 1973 media guide read Ole Miss 16, LSU 10+7. The following week, the Tigers lost 35-21 to Alabama. They ended the year with a 24-17 loss to Tennessee in the Bluebonnet Bowl to finish 9-2-1 ranking 11th in the AP and 10th in the UPI. Ole Miss split its final two games to finish 5-5.

    No. 28 Michigan 27 ... Indiana 21, October 27, 1979
    At the time: Lee Corso's Indiana team was a solid 5-2 with a loss to a great Ohio State team and a 17-16 heartbreaker to Colorado. Michigan was ranked 10th in the nation with a 6-1 record with the one loss coming in a 12-10 thriller to Notre Dame.
    The setup: Michigan was having a rough Homecoming. The Hoosiers got up 14-7 at the end of the first half and knocked out Michigan starting quarterback B.J. Dickey. However, the Wolverine power game kicked into high gear with Lawrence Reid running for a 50-yard score and Butch Woolfolk scoring from two yards out for a 21-14 lead. IU had one last drive in the final minutes of the game.
    The ending: Hoosier QB Tim Clifford connected with Nate Lundy for 54 yards before throwing a three-yard touchdown pass to Dave Harangody with less than a minute remaining. Down by one, Corso decided to pass up the golden opportunity for the win and went for the tie, getting the extra point for an apparent 21-21 final. Michigan didn't do much with the ball to start its final drive, only getting to its 31 with :36 to play. On fourth and one, Michigan head coach Bo Schembechler didn't take the Corso way out. Instead, he went for it, and got it with a four-yard Butch Woolfolk run. Even so, IU almost had a shot to get in a position for the monumental upset after Tim Wilbur picked off UM backup quarterback John Wangler, but couldn't get his foot in bounds, giving the Wolverines life with :14 left on its own 44 and no timeouts. A completed pass moved the ball to midfield on a pass to Reid, who threw it backwards out of bounds to stop the clock. Six seconds remained. Michigan freshman Anthony Carter ran a post pattern to the 25, catching the ball just as he was popped by two IU defenders. The collision left both Hoosiers on the ground and Carter breaking away for the end zone. Almost tackled just before crossing the goal line, Carter found his way in for a 27-21 win.
    How they ended up: Michigan beat Wisconsin 54-0 the week after and then crashed with three straight losses by a total of nine points. Bo's boys finished 8-4 with a 17-15 loss to North Carolina in the Gator Bowl and a No. 18 ranking in the AP and 19 ranking in the UPI Poll. Indiana bounced back to win three of its final four games finishing up by handing BYU its only loss with a 38-37 Holiday Bowl victory. Corso's team was 8-4 and ranked 16th in the UPI poll and 19th in the AP.

    No. 27 Notre Dame 35 ... Houston 34, Cotton Bowl, January 1, 1979
    At the time: Notre Dame and Joe Montana were 8-3 coming off a dramatic, last-second, 27-25 loss to No. 3 USC to break an eight-game winning streak. Houston, led by the Bill Yeoman veer offense, was 9-2 and ranked fourth winning nine of its last ten games.
    The setup: Houston dominated early but was only up 20-12 at halftime in the bitter cold Cotton Bowl. Montana, who went one-for-11 to start the game, was suffering from the flu and wasn't helped by the below-zero wind chills. At halftime, he had hypothermia needing blankets, warm liquids, and famously, chicken soup to bring his body temperature up. It didn't matter as the Cougars led 34-12 late with Tim Koegel taking over at quarterback for the Irish. With less than seven minutes to play, Houston was playing its backups, but the game got a little interesting when the Irish scored on a 33-yard blocked punt for a touchdown. Feeling a bit better, Montana came back in and threw the two-point conversion to get within 34-20.
    The ending: Montana got the ball back and marched the offense 61 yards in five plays ending with a two-yard touchdown run to get within six. Houston's running attack couldn't heat back up and had to give the ball back to the Irish, but the Cougar defense appeared to have saved the day by forcing a Montana fumble, and a UH recovery, with 1:50 to play. On fourth-and-inches with :34 to play, and with the punting game struggling with the wind, Yeoman chose to go for it, but the Irish defense held, getting the ball to Montana on the Cougar 29 with :28 to play. Two plays later, the Irish had it on the eight with six seconds to play. After one incompletion, there was time for one more play with just two seconds to go. Montana ran to his right and found Kris Haines in the corner of the end zone for a diving grab just before going out of bounds. Joe Unis hit the extra point to cap a 23-point fourth quarter and a 35-34 win.
    How they ended up: Notre Dame finished 9-3 and seventh in the AP poll and sixth in the UPI. Houston finished 9-3 ranking tenth in the AP and 11th in the UPI

    No. 26 Marshall 64 ... East Carolina 61, GMAC Bowl December 19, 2001
    At the time: Marshall, led by QB Byron Leftwich, was coming off a disappointing MAC title game losing to Toledo 41-36, but had been on a ten-game winning streak after starting the season with a 49-14 loss to Florida. East Carolina, led by QB David Garrard, had an uneven 6-5 season closing out with two straight losses after winning four straight.
    The setup: East Carolina was in command with a 38-8 halftime lead with two Garrard touchdown runs and two defensive scores. Marshall came out roaring in the second half with two interception returns for touchdowns and two touchdown runs for a 28-point quarter, but was still down 41-36 going into the fourth. A 55-yard Leonard Henry touchdown run appeared to ice things for the Pirates, but a field goal got the Herd close with Leftwich getting one more shot down 51-45.

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