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Click HERE for third round results.
(109) 1990 Miami - 26
(148) 1988 UCLA - 22
Bruin QB Troy Aikman couldn't make the grade, and was pressured all day by the suffocating Cane D, as Russell Maryland and Michael Barrow set up camp in UCLA backfield all day and continue to prevent a UCLA team from making the Top 64.
(237) 1999 Marshall - 16
(20) 1978 Alabama - 21
Chad Pennington gave everything he had to keep the Herd in the tourny, but it was Bama RB Tony Nathan who ran thru the Marshall D, which pushes the tide into the bracket final and they hope to follow the 92 Tide to the round of 64.
(109) 1990 Miami - 24
(20) 1978 Alabama - 22
In a game that featured Bear Bryant and one of the top 20 teams in this tournament, it came down to a last second field goal to move the Canes into the round of 64 and giving them one of the upsets of the tournament.
Miami entered this game not fazed by the tournament rankings and it showed by Randall Hill taking the opening kickoff 78 yards and setting up a Stephen McGuire 5 yard run to give the Canes a 7-0 lead. In the second quarter it was the methodical Jeff Rutledge handing the ball off to Tony Nathan running behind the great Dwight Stephenson on 10 plays of the 14 play drive to lead to a screen pass to Major Ogilve to knot the score at 7-7.
After two Alabama trips to the redzone all they could muster was 2 FG's by Alan McElroy. After that the Cane offense began to heat up as QB Craig Erickson was hitting it seemed everyone on the roster, including a 7 yard TD pass up the middle to a wide open TE Rod Chudzinski giving the Canes a 14-13. At this point Craig Erickson had hit over 8 different recievers and had only been sacked once by Marty Lyons.
As the second half started you saw a Bear Bryant halftime speech had the Tide fired up and they marched down the field and FB Billy Jackson was stonewalled at the 2 on a 3rd a goal and had to settle for another McElroy FG. After another Miami fumble by Darryl Spencer it set up the Tide in good field position but would only end up with a FG, as the Tide offense had been in the red zone 4 times and only had 1 TD and 2 FG, this theme would continue. As the Cane defense led by Russell Maryland, Michael Barrow, Anthony Hamlett, Derek Smith, Maurice Crum and Jessie Armstead all had a least one TFL or a sack by the end of the 3rd quarter and they continue to bail out the fumbles by the offense and hold the Tide to 3 each time. Tony Nathan was smothered and demolished to the point where he had to exit the game early in the 4th quarter with what seemed to be a shoulder injury, at that point he was 14-38 yards.
Entering the 4th quarter it was another McElroy 48 yard FG to put the Tide up 19-14. But the Canes stopped shooting themselves in the foot and Erickson hit a streaking Lamar Thomas for a 69 yard touchdown giving the Canes a 21-19 lead. On the next drive by Bama they moved down the field on two 30 yard passes to Bruce Bolton and Keith Pugh, but continuing with the theme of the day they settled for a FG, and took the lead 22-21.
After a Cane three and out it was up to the Cane Defense to give them another chance at completing the upset and on the next Bama drive Rutledge was smashed by Michael Barrow and fumbled at the Tide 24. In a show of guts the Bama D held the prolific offense to 3 and out, led by Barry Kruse stopping Stephen McGuire on 1st and 2nd Down and DB Allen Crumbley deflecting a would be touchdown to Horace Copeland to hold the Canes to a Carlos Huerta 22 yard FG, but giving them the lead with only 48 seconds left on the clock. Jeff Rutledge tried a hail mary but it wasn't enough as his passed was picked off by DB Charles Pharms.
So Dennis Erickson moves on over Bear Bryant only in the tournament of champions! But at least Bear Bryant has his coke and chips.(I know it was 1979 but this is gold, do you think they have enough chips?)
1990 Miami (#109 overall seed) advances to the Bracket of Champions. The Hurricanes will face the winner of Bracket 45 in the first round.