Five Saturdays left until football starts is like a brisk walk in the park and it’s getting really close to another fantastic and exciting season.
The dog days of summer are upon us, at least in my part of the world, but it won’t be long until the days are crisp and cool and football fever is in the air. I am starting to get it just thinking about it. I love the Fall in so many ways.
In 1984, the Miami Hurricanes were coming off their first national championship season. The U had arrived on the scene and love them, or hate them, you have to give them their due.
Almost as soon as they had won the national championship, their head coach Howard Schenellenberger left for greener pastures, meaning the Pros.
The Hurricanes hired Jimmy Johnson away from Oklahoma State and he was starting over.
Miami was an independent in those years much like many teams like Boston College, Florida State, Penn State, Notre Dame, South Carolina, Virginia Tech, West Virginia, Pittsburgh and Syracuse. All of those schools other than Notre Dame are now all in various conferences.
It was the day after Thanksgiving and Miami played Boston College and their super QB Doug Flutie.
Flutie was 5-9 if he was standing on a brick or something, but had already thrown for over 10,000 yards going into this game. Flutie was the first QB to ever pass for over 10,000 yards during his career in the history of college football.
Boston College was 8-2 coming in and the defending national champs Miami was a disappointing 8-3.
This game was a wild one.
Boston College went up 14-0, but Miami came storming back. It was 28-21 with Boston College leading at the half.
Miami QB Bernie Kosar threw for a Miami record 447 yards in this game. But, Doug Flutie threw for an even more impressive 472 yards and 4 TDs.
As the craziness continued, Kosar led Miami down the field for a score with less than a minute left putting the Hurricanes up 45-41. The celebration was on in Miami, but again that fat lady hadn’t started singing yet. No offense to any larger ladies that might be reading.
Boston College got the ball back on their own 22 yard line and had 28 seconds left on the clock to work with. 2 passes by Flutie moved the ball to the Miami 48 with 6 seconds left and the final Miami party, and the fat lady was starting to warm up her singing voice.
Flutie took the snap and avoided a sack and then threw a Hail Mary pass something in the range of 63 yards against a supposed 30 mph wind after having already thrown the ball for 400 yards and connected with BC WR Gerard Phelan as time expired. Miami Defensive Backs were said to believe that they didn’t think he could throw it that far.
Boston College Eagles won 47- 45.
‘The Miracle in Miami’ as it would come to be known or just ‘The Pass’ or ‘Hail Flutie’. I have never heard it called ‘The Game of the Century’, at least.
Doug Flutie already had the Heisman Trophy sewed up by this point, but this was the play that marked his legacy. I’ve probably seen it replayed in the hundreds of times.
I will never forget the look on the face of on Bernie Kosar after the game was over after leading his team down the field only to lose the game due to Flutie heroics. Obviously, he was so disappointed.
Miami struggled to an 8-5 season in 1984, but would bounce back quickly under Jimmy Johnson and win a national championship later.
Boston College went 10-2 in possibly their greatest single season ever and with Doug Flutie winning the Heisman Trophy it was great times in Boston.
Herschel Walker was the first guy to leave school early for the NFL. Kosar was the first to leave after redshirting a year and then playing for 2 years. Kosar took his unorthodox style to the big leagues and the Cleveland Browns.
Kosar went on to throw for over 23,000 yards in the NFL. Flutie passed for 58,179 yards in professional football but a large portion of that came in the Canadian Football League. He was always considered too short for the NFL, but still managed to play there for a few years.