December 19, 1980- No. 14 BYU mounted an enormous comeback to stun No. 19 SMU, 46-45, in the Holiday Bowl in San Diego. Prolific tailbacks Craig James and Eric Dickerson combined to rush for 335 yards and four touchdowns to build a 45-25 Mustangs lead with 4:07 to play. College Football Hall of Fame coach LaVell Edwards’ Cougars then sprung to life, with the help of an onside-kick recovery and a blocked punt, to put BYU within six points with three seconds left. College Football Hall of Fame quarterback Jim McMahon (446 passing yards and four touchdowns) found Clay Brown on a 41-yard heave as time expired to complete the rally.
OTHER NOTABLE DATES:
December 13, 1976– McNeese State topped Tulsa, 20-16, in the inaugural Independence Bowl in Shreveport, La. Quarterback Terry McFarland earned Most Valuable Player honors for the Cowboys. The victory clinched the first 10-win season in the history of McNeese State football and was the last bowl win for the program, which currently competes in FCS.
December 14, 1996- Bill Borchert passed for seven touchdowns and 505 yards as Mount Union (Ohio) beat Rowan (N.J.), 56-24, for the NCAA Division III Championship in Salem, Va. Mount Union trailed 24-21 at the half. The win brought the Purple Raiders their second of 10 national championships.
December 15, 1962- College Football Hall of Famer Terry Baker provided the only points in a frigid 6-0 Oregon State win over Villanova in the fourth Liberty Bowl in Philadelphia. Baker raced for a 99-yard touchdown run in the first quarter, pushing the Beavers on top for the duration of the contest. Ten days earlier, Baker earned the Heisman Trophy, becoming the only Oregon State player to win the award and the first winner in the history of the Pac-10 Conference.
December 16, 1961– Kansas defeated No. 17 Rice, 33-7, in the third Bluebonnet Bowl in Houston. The Owls gained an early 7-6 advantage, but the Jayhawks used a 293-58 rushing advantage to race past Rice. Fullback Ken Coleman (18 carries for 107 yards and two touchdowns) and guard Elvin Basham earned MVP honors in the program’s first bowl win.
December 17, 2002- North Texas beat Cincinnati, 24-19 in the New Orleans Bowl. Tailback Kevin Galbreath paved the way for the Mean Green, gaining 130 yards and a touchdown on 28 carries, while the defense intercepted Bearcats quarterback Gino Guidugli five times. Cincinnati nearly erased a 24-7 third-quarter deficit but Galbreath grinded the game away, giving North Texas their first bowl since 1946.
December 18, 1992- Bowling Green out-dueled Nevada in the inaugural Las Vegas Bowl, 35-34. The Falcons appeared to have the game under wraps after constructing a 28-3 halftime advantage, but the Wolf Pack roared back and claimed 31 consecutive points to take a late fourth-quarter lead. Bowling Green quarterback Erik White, who earned game MVP honors, tossed his second score of the day with just 22 seconds left to put Bowling Green back on top for good.
This report was researched and written by NFF communications assistant Zach Barnett.
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