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(135) 1981 Miami - 20
Howard Schnellenberger's troops, including a backfield of Smokey Roan and Speedy Neal, fell to an early 80's counterpart in a hard fought, back-and-forth contest.
(250) 1982 Clemson - 14
(7) 1987 Miami - 27
Clemson fought an uphill battle after starting 0-1-1 in 1982, and they had a similar challenge after Miami jumped out to a 14-0 lead early. But the Tigers couldn't mount the same charge they did in finishing the '82 season on a 9 game winning streak. Tailbacks Cliff Austin and Chuck McSwain tallied just 51 yards rushing between the two of them.
(122) 1982 UCLA - 16
(7) 1987 Miami - 31
A clever UCLA fan printed up shirts for the student section that read "Los Osos vs. Los Outlaws", a play on the "Catholics vs Convicts" theme of the late 80s Notre Dame/Miami rivalry. Unfortunately for the Osos, the Outlaws came ready to play.
Tensions were high in this game, and several shoving matches broke out after plays throughout the first quarter. The teams combined to punt 5 times in an opening stanza that saw exactly zero points.
UCLA's formidable secondary (see When Carcajous Attack! for an excellent report on the '82 Bruins) covered Michael Irvin and the rest of the Hurricane receivers while Karl Morgan and Irv Eatman stuffed the running game. Bennie Blades and the Miami defense answered every stop with a stop of their own - but the Canes added a little "flavor" after many of the big plays. Quarterback Tom Ramsey exchanged words with Daniel Stubbs after the big defensive linemen sacked him.
In the second quarter the Miami offense exploded. Quarterback Steve Walsh threw a 47-yard touchdown pass to Michael Irvin, and followed that up with a 63 yard pass to Brian Blades on the next drive. Cleveland Gary punched it in the end zone two plays later and suddenly Jimmy Johnson's Hurricanes had built a 14-0 lead.
UCLA managed to eek out two field goals, but trailed 17-6 at the half.
In the third quarter it was more fireworks for Steve Walsh and the Miami offense. on the first drive Warren Williams took a swing pass out of the backfield and put a wicked stiff arm on UCLA linebacker Blanchard Montgomery, taking the ball 33 yards and into Bruin territory. A play later, Walsh hit Irvin again on a 44-yard touchdown pass and turned the game into a rout.
Things got a little chippy on the ensuing UCLA possession when all the trash talk throughout the game came to a head. The Bruins trailed 24-6 and were noticeably growing tired of all the chatter, so when Daniel Stubbs threw quarterback Tom Ramsey to the ground well after the whistle had blown, a brawl errupted.
It took almost over two minutes to clear the field and somehow nobody was ejected. Ramsey responded by throwing a touchdown pass to Cormac Carney on the drive, but it didn't make any difference in the final score. The Hurricanes cruised to an easy victory.
1987 Miami (#7 overall seed) advances to the Bracket of Champions. The Hurricanes will face the winner of Bracket 58 in the first round.