RESULTS - Part II
(seed) year school - score
(27) 1988 Miami - 27
The Miami offensive line did a good job of protecting quarterback Steve Walsh from Trev Alberts and the Nebraska pass rush, and the Hurricane skill players were too much for the Huskers, much the way they were in the Orange Bowl after the 1988 season.
Offensively for the Huskers, Tommie Frazier was the only one who provided any spark. I-Back Calvin Jones was held to just 41 rushing yards, and the production freshman Lawrence Phillips provided off the bench was too little too late. Russell Maryland, Greg Mark and Bill Hawkins fared well in the trenches. Even though Frazier was able to pile up yards, the Hurricanes eliminated the threat of the other 10 players on the field.
(75) 1989 Miami - 20
(11) 1995 Nebraska - 31
Another Miami/Nebraska matchup produced similar results - except this time it was Nebraska coming out on top. Nebraska won the battle in the trenches this time around because they were better conditioned than Miami. Against a young linebacking corps the Huskers were able to pound the running game more effectively, piling up 301 yards on the ground.
Christian Peter and Jared Tomich played big roles on the defensive side of the ball for Nebraska. Tomich had two sacks and Peter had countless pressures that kept Craig Erickson on the run. This is an excellent Miami team - a national championship team, actually - and for 1995 Nebraska to dismiss them by double digits should send a message to the rest of the field that the #11 seed is a team to watch out for.
(46) 1996 Florida State - 27
(147) 2002 Oklahoma - 20
Two more great defenses took the field, but the Sooners showed a weakness against the play action pass over the top of the secondary and Thad Busby exploited it.
Oklahoma led with the running game. Mighty mite tailback Quentin Griffin hid behind his mammoth offensive line and darted through holes when they opened up. Griffin's success, particularly on draw plays, helped slow the Florida State pass rush of All American bookends Reinard Wilson and Peter Boulware. Griffin went into the locker room at halftime with an impressive 92 rushing yards and 2 touchdowns, giving the sooners a tight 14-13 lead.
But the Seminole defense tightened the screws in the second half and suddenly Griffin wasn't a factor anymore. Quarterback Nate Hybl began to show a little panic and it culminated in a bad throw that was picked off by nickel back Mario Edwards and returned to the 2 yard line. Rock Preston plugged it into the end zone and suddenly the underdog Sooners found themselves trailing.
In the fourth quarter after OU had scratched and clawed their way back into the game with two field goals to tie it at 20, Busby finally struck. His play fake to Warrick Dunn made Sooner safety Brandon Everage bite hard, which left E.G. Green all alone over the top for what would end up being the game winning 55-yard touchdown pass.
(62) 1999 Nebraska - 19
(3) 1978 USC - 22 (OT)
Neither team had a lot of success moving the football, but neither team gave up on their running game. Southern Cal tailback Charles White ran for 99 yards, including the game winning touchdown in overtime to propel the Trojans past the '99 Huskers in a game that saw just 432 yards of total offense.
The USC defense made it their priority to take away the running game of quarterback Eric Crouch. The creative three-tiered approach, using defensive tackle Ty Sperling, linebacker Dennis Johnson, and safety Ronnie Lott worked as they hit Crouch at every opportunity and forced him to pitch on option plays. Crouch ended up with just 39 yards rushing, and Nebraska as a team only had 123 yards on the ground.
Bracket of Champions - Woody Region
Next Round Matchups:
(6) 1982 Penn State vs (27) 1988 Miami
(11) 1995 Nebraska vs (22) 2004 Auburn
(14) 2000 Oklahoma vs (46) 1996 Florida State
(3) 1978 USC vs (35) 1987 Florida State