Round of 32
(seed) year school - score
(27) 1988 Miami - 24
Todd Blackledge actually out-performed Steve Walsh in the stat book, but on the scoreboard it was the '88 Hurricanes who took home the top prize. Blackledge threw for 267 yards and three touchdowns (two to Kenny Jackson). Cleveland Gary ran for 89 yards and two touchdowns to make up for an average day by the Hurricanes star quarterback.
(22) 2004 Auburn - 20
(11) 1995 Nebraska - 33
Tommie Frazier and the '95 Nebraska offense found another good defense to steamroll. Will Herring made a whopping 16 tackles for the Auburn defense - not good when you consider he's a safety and was often the only thing between a Nebraska ball carrier and the end zone.
Auburn quarterback Jason Campbell played his first bad game of the entire tournament. The pressure put on by Jared Tomich and the Blackshirts got to the big senior. Meanwhile, Nebraska put 376 rushing yards on the board, paced by freshman Ahman Green's 147 yards. The Auburn Tigers suffered their first defeat, but they can now claim to be one of the top 32 teams over the past 32 seasons - even though they weren't voted the #1 team at the end of the 2004 season.
(14) 2000 Oklahoma - 24
(46) 1996 Florida State - 23
Peter Boulware put his best foot forward in his campaign to be named Player of the Tournament, but Josh Heupel kept his composure and Oklahoma got enough from Quentin Griffin and the running game to advance to the Sweet Sixteen.
Boulware picked up three sacks thanks to his tremendous quickness off the edge, but Bob Stoops countered with screens and draws to keep the chains moving. Quentin Griffin, the player of the game for the Sooners, finished with 7 receptions for 63 yards to go along with 86 yards rushing.
(35) 1987 Florida State - 22
(3) 1978 USC - 19
The Florida State defense held strong and Bobby Bowden's squad actually out-rushed the potent '78 Trojans. Sammy Smith carried 24 times for 102 yards and a touchdown. Dexter Carter added 73 yards and a funny incident with a flag.
For USC Charles White had 126 yards on 29 carries, but didn't get any help from fullbacks Lynn Cain and Marcus Allen. Deion Sanders had 135 yards in punt returns for the Seminoles, but didn't quite reach the end zone. Ronnie Lott had an interception to make sure he wasn't upstaged by Prime Time, even in a losing effort.
Sweet 16 Matchups:
(11) 1995 Nebraska vs (27) 1988 Miami
(14) 2000 Oklahoma vs (35) 1987 Florida State