(seed) year school - score
(53) 2005 USC - 40
(1077) 1983 Arizona - 22
This game, much like the majority of games USC played in 2005, was never close. Even Arizona's two-time All American linebacker Ricky Hunley admitted after the game he'd never seen speed like USC's Reggie Bush (68 yards rushing, 108 yards receiving, and 136 punt return yards). The USC defense was also big early, with Lawrence Jackson and Frostee Rucker combining for four sacks of Arizona QB Tom Tunnicliffe in the first half.
(565) 1996 Notre Dame - 25
(460) 1981 Washington - 18
Notre Dame's Allen Rossum returned the opening kickoff 99 yards for a touchdown to set the pace, and Ron Powlus and Autry Denson continued the momentum with a touchdown drive on the next possession to give the Irish an easy 14-0 lead. You can never count a Don James Washington team out of it, though, and QB Steve Pelluer guided a comeback attempt that came up just short. With Notre Dame leading 25-15 with just over two minutes to go, James elected to send kicker Chuck Nelson out to attempt a short field goal to make it a one score game. He made the kick and Washington recovered the ensuing onside kick and had a chance to tie the game with a touchdown. But safety Benny Guilbeaux picked off Pelluer's second pass of the drive, squashing the comeback attempt.
(309) 2007 Virginia Tech - 19
(716) 1994 Washington State - 12
Defense was the name of this game, as both teams picked up a safety in the ball game. Virginia Tech's swarming defense, led by linebackers Vince Hall and Xavier Adibi, didn't allow QB Chad Davis and the Cougar offense to reach the end zone once. On the other side of the ball, Washington State bookends DeWayne Patterson and Dwayne Sanders sacked Hokie QB Sean Glennon three times in the opening two drives, and forced a bad throw that was picked off by LB Mark Fields and returned for the Cougars lone touchdown of the day. With Washington State leading 9-3 at halftime, Frank Beamer elected to go with Tyrod Taylor at quarterback in the second half. The freshman did not disappoint. His elusiveness kick-started the offense as he managed two impressive touchdown drives in the third quarter to send Virginia Tech to the Final 512.
(821) 1993 California - 23
(204) 2000 Florida - 34
The Pac-10 in the early 90s wasn't known for its defense, and this game was no exception. Steve Spurrier's offense exploited Jerrod Cherry and the porous Cal defense, even though he rotated quarterbacks Rex Grossman and Jesse Palmer on nearly every play. Reche Caldwell caught two touchdown passes, one from each quarterback, and Jabar Gaffney had 11 catches for 104 yards. The Gators cruised - click clack.
(181) 1977 Arkansas - 26
(844) 1979 Tulane - 13
Larry Smith's second team in this bracket (see 1983 Arizona above) fell to Lou Holtz's second team in the bracket (see 1996 Notre Dame above) in this uneventful second round matchup. Arkansas was content to let kicker/punter Steve Little do the bulk of the work. Little was up to the challenge, kicking four field goals and pinning QB Roch Hontas and the Tulane offense deep in their own territory on punts many times throughout the day.
(693) 2007 Illinois - 24
(332) 2004 Tennessee - 27
This highly entertaining game was a decidedly ground-oriented affair. Illinois RB Rashard Mendenhall pierced the talented Tennessee defense for 145 yards rushing, while Tennessee duo Gerald Riggs and Cedric Houston each topped the century mark. The Vols had to stay with the running game though because quarterback Rick Clausen kept finding Illinois CB Vontae Davis instead of his own receivers.
(437) 1992 Hawaii - 28
(588) 1989 Texas Tech - 27
Hawaii coach Bob Wagner called a whale of a game against Spike Dykes and Texas Tech. With QB Michael Carter and RB Travis Sims running the option time after time, the Hawaii offense was able to lull the Red Raider defense to sleep. So when Carter ran down the line late in the fourth quarter and then popped back in the pocket, he found a wide open Darrick Branch on a 52-yard touchdown pass.
(949) 1995 Colorado State - 19
(76) 1993 Auburn - 30
Even though the 1993 Auburn team was on probation, barring them from bowl games and television appearances, we were still able to grab some footage of this game from the stands. Running back James Bostick ran for 144 yards and 3 touchdowns, including this 70-yarder that broke the game open in the second quarter. Sophomore QB Moses Moreno flashed moments of brilliance for Colorado State, but they were few and far between against a solid Auburn defense.
Round of 512 Matchups:
(53) 2005 USC vs (565) 1996 Notre Dame
(204) 2000 Florida vs (309) 2007 Virginia Tech
(181) 1977 Arkansas vs (332) 2004 Tennessee
(76) 1993 Auburn vs (437) 1992 Hawaii