Miami, Fla., Jan. 2, 1984--In one of the most exciting bowl games ever played, fourth-ranked Miami overcame Nebraska rallies from 17- and 14-point deficits and took the national championship away from the Huskers. The game was decided when strong safety Ken Calhoun knocked Turner Gill's two-point PAT pass out of Jeff Smith's hands with 48 seconds left in the game, preserving a 31-30 home-field win in the 50th Orange Bowl.

Behind rifle-armed freshman quarterback Bernie Kosar, the 'Canes jumped to a quick 17-0 first-quarter lead and never trailed. The Huskers rallied to score two second-quarter touchdowns, then tied the game early in the second half on a Scott Livingston field goal, but Miami scored twice in a five-minute span later in the third period to put the visitors in a 31-17 hole.

Things looked blackest for Nebraska four plays after Miami's last score when Heisman Trophy winner Mike Rozier left the game for good with a badly bruised ankle. Junior I-back Jeff Smith came in to rush for 99 yards and two touchdowns, the second, a 24-yarder on fourth-and-eight, to get the Huskers within 31-30. Coach Tom Osborne eschewed the PAT kick, and a tie that would have assured Nebraska the national title, and decided to go for it all. But, thanks to Calhoun, Gill, Smith and Osborne came up just short.

1984 Orange Bowl

Teams

1

2

3

4

Final

Nebraska

0

14

3

13

30

Miami

17

0

14

0

31


Statistics

NU

UM

First Downs

25

22

Rushing, Net

306

130

Passes Att., Comp., Int.

30-16-1

35-19-2

Passing, Net

172

300

Total Offense

478

430


Scoring Summary

First Quarter
UM-Glenn Dennison 2 pass from Bernie Kosar (Jeff Davis kick), 9:18.

UM-FG Davis 45, 4:51
UM-Dennison 22 pass from Kosar (Davis kick), 1:08

Second Quarter
NU-Dean Steinkuhler 19 run (Scott Livingston kick), 8:54
NU-Turner Gill 1 run (Livingston kick), 2:17

Third Quarter
NU-FG Livingston 34, 13:09
UM-Alonzo Highsmith 1 run (Davis kick), 9:37

UM-Albert Bentley 7 run (Davis kick), 4:44

Fourth Quarter
NU-Jeff Smith 1 run (Livingston kick), 6:55
NU-Smith 24 run (Gill pass failed), 0:48