Miami 31
Nebraska 30

Jan. 2, 1984
Orange Bowl • Miami, FL • NBC
1st2nd3rd4th F 
First Quarter
MIA: Dennison 2 pass from Kosar (Davis kick), 5:42
MIA: FG Davis 45, 10:09
MIA: Dennison 22 pass from Kosar (Davis kick) 14:11
Second Quarter
NEB: Steinkuhler 19 run (Livingston tick) 6:06 
NEB: Gill 1 run (Livingston kick) 12:43
Third Quarter
NEB: FG Livingston 34, 1:51
MIA: Highsmith 1 run (Davis kick) 5:23
MIA: Bentley 7 run (Davis kick) 10:16
Fourth Quarter
NEB: Smith 1 run (Livingston kick) 8:05 
NEB: Smith 24 run (Gill pass failed) 14:12

Attendance: 72,549

                      MIA        NU 
First downs            22        25 
Rushes-yards       28-130    57-306 
Passing yards         300       172 
  Att-Comp-Int    35-19-1   30-16-1
Total offense      63-430    87-478
Sacks by             2-12       0-0 
Punts                4-42      3-37 
Fumbles-lost          1-1       6-1 
Penalties-yards     12-99      4-51 
Time of possession  25:53     34:07

 MIA: Highsmith 7-50, Bentley 10-46, Keith Griffin 9-41
 NEB: Mike Rozier 25-147. Smith 9-99, Steinkuhler 1-19, Gill 11-19.

 MIA: Kosar 19-35-1-300.
 NEB: Gill 16-30-1-172.

 MIA: Ed Brown 6-115, Stanley Shakespeare 3-63, Dennison 3-44, Bentley 3-36, Griffin 3-35.
 NEB: Irving Fryar 5-61, Ricky Simmons 2-34, Monte Engebritson 2-21, Scott Kimball 2-21, Mark Schellen 2-15.

 MIA: Davis 42.
 NEB: Livingston 44, 47.

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game photos

Instead of playing for a tie and an almost guaranteed national title, the Huskers went for the win, attempting a two-point conversion that failed in the final minute as Miami stunned one of the greatest Husker teams ever, 31-30, at the Orange Bowl on Jan. 2, 1984.

Trailing 31-17 entering the fourth quarter, the Huskers mounted a furious comeback without Heisman Trophy winner Mike Rozier, who left the game in the third quarter with a badly bruised ankle. Rozier’s replacement, Jeff Smith, scored on a one-yard touchdown run with 6:55 left in the game to trim the deficit to 31-24.

On the Huskers’ final drive, Turner Gill completed clutch passes to Irving Fryar (29 yards) and Ricky Simmons (19 yards) to advance the Huskers into Hurricane territory. On a fourth-and-eight play from the Miami 24-yard line, Smith took an option pitch from Gill and scampered 24 yards to the end zone.

Trailing 31-30, the Huskers went for a two-point conversion, but Ken Calhoun deflected a Gill pass intended for Smith to end the comeback threat.

“This was a championship game and (Osborne) went after it like a champion,” Miami Coach Howard Schnellenberger said. Nebraska trailed fourth-ranked Miami by 17 points in the first half before pulling within three at halftime.

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1983 schedule
04/23Reds 37, Whites 14
08/29Penn St.W 44-6
09/10WyomingW 56-20
09/17@ MinnesotaW 84-13
09/24UCLAW 42-10
10/01SyracuseW 63-7
10/08@ Oklahoma St.W 14-10
10/15@ MissouriW 34-13
10/22ColoradoW 69-19
10/29@ Kansas St.W 51-25
11/05Iowa St.W 72-29
11/12KansasW 67-13
11/26@ OklahomaW 28-21
01/02MiamiL 30-31



Osborne showed that he and his team and his college and his state loved winning so much that they would take the chance of losing.

New York Times

The Cornhuskers cost themselves the national championship but won something more worthy: a nation's admiration.

Washington Post

The Husker head coach played it the way sports are meant to be played. And, perhaps, the way life should be played. Go for it.

Omaha World-Herald

I will always wonder what the scoreboard would have said in Lincoln, if the best team had gotten the home field.

New York Daily News

Maybe Osborne was gambling on immortality. Maybe he felt a victory would assure the 1983 Nebraska team a place as the best of all time.

Pittsburgh Press
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