To many individuals, college football is much more than just a sport. Each year, games draw crowds of spectators at stadiums and millions of television viewers. Rivalries and bowl games have been followed for decades. Throughout the years, there have been some incredible plays. Here are the top five moments in college football history.
5. 1987 Fiesta Bowl: PSU Versus Miami
The 1987 Fiesta Bowl was known as the “Duel in the Desert.” Many fans viewed it as a classic example of good versus evil. Penn State battled Miami for the championship. The key plays of the game were the five Penn State interceptions made against Vinny Testaverde, Miami’s Heisman Trophy winner. The final turnover came with 18 seconds on the clock. Miami faced a fourth-and-goal. Testaverde threw to the end zone, but Pete Giftopoulos, Penn State’s linebacker, made the steal and sealed the win for the team. It was Penn State’s second and last national victory.
4. Ten Year War: Michigan Versus Ohio State
One of the biggest college football rivalries is between the Michigan Wolverines and the Ohio State Buckeyes. It all began on November 22, 1969. With the expertise of Coach Woody Hayes, OSU was the clear favorite team. The Buckeyes led through the first half, but the tables were turned during the second part of the game. The Wolverines were out for blood and persevered to win the game 24 to 12. This went down in the records as the biggest upset of all time. This rivalry became known as “The Ten Year War.”
3. 1967: USC Versus UCLA
In 1967, both USC and UCLA were competing for a Heisman Trophy, a spot in the Rose Bowl, and the National Championship Title. When the two teams came face-to-face, the game was quite close. With 10 minutes left, the score was tied. Toby Page, USC quarterback, called a pass but noticed UCLA was dropping back and covering. Before the snap, he gave the ball to young running back O.J. Simpson. Simpson cut through the field and ran 64 yards for a touchdown that won the game. Many people believe this was Simpson’s breakout moment. Despite not winning the Heisman Trophy that year, he managed to make a big mark on college football history.
2. 1984 Boston College Versus Miami: “Miracle in Miami”
One of the most memorable moments in college football occurred between Boston College and the University of Miami on November 23, 1984 at the Orange Bowl. BC’s Eagles took an early lead. By the end of the game, they were trailing by four points. Doug Flutie, BC’s quarterback, threw a last-second “Hail Mary” pass for 63 yards, which was caught by wide-receiver Gerard Phelan. Thanks to this play, Boston College won the game nicknamed “Hail Flutie.” Throughout the game, Flutie passed for 472 yards and threw for four touchdowns. He became the first quarterback to pass 10,000 yards during his collegiate career.
1. 1982 California Versus Stanford: “The Play”
Another great college football rivalry is between Stanford and U.C. Berkley. On November 20, 1982, John Elway, senior quarterback for Stanford, was defeated in his final collegiate game. The ending contained one of the most memorable plays in college football history. “The Play,” occurred as Berkley’s Kevin Moen picked up a kick by Stanford. This led to five lateral passes. Although Stanford’s band took the field with the idea the game was over, the ball remained in play. Moen caught the last of the five passes and scored the winning touchdown. This play met great controversy and continues to be analyzed by sports experts.
College football has seen its share of excitement. The above moments top the list and will go down in history as some of the most memorable and noteworthy plays of all times.
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