Famous Outback Bowl Games
The 1988 Hall of Fame Bowl was a great match between the Michigan Wolverines and the Alabama Crimson Tide. Michigan’s Demetrius Brown passed for only 21 yards during the first 55 minutes of play, while Jamie Morris did most of the work for the Wolverines. Morris rushed for 234 yards and three touchdowns in the first three quarters, giving Michigan the opportunity to score late in the game. With only 50 seconds remaining on the clock, Brown hit John Kolesar for a 20-yard touchdown pass to seal the deal. Michigan beat the Tide, 28-24.
The 1993 Hall of Fame Bowl was a battle of the coaches. Philip Fulmer, long-time Tennessee Volunteers assistant, entered the 1993 bowl as a first-time head coach. During the regular season, Fulmer’s former boss was out recovering from bypass surgery, and Fulmer took over temporarily for three games. Fulmer officially took over as head coach for the bowl game. Boston College’s Tom Coughlin was already in his second year as head coach, and was being scouted for a possible promotion to a professional coaching position. However, the rookie took the trophy and the notoriety, as 17th ranked Tennessee beat the 16th ranked BC Eagles, 38-23.
The 17th ranked Alabama Crimson Tide defeated the 16th ranked Michigan Wolverines at the 1997 Outback Bowl. This game was the Tide’s 48th bowl game, a record for the team. In the fourth quarter, Dwayne Rudd ran back an intercepted ball thrown by Brian Griese to put Bama up 10-6. The winning play came as Alabama’s Shaun Alexander scored on a 46-yard run with 2:15 left in the game. Though Michigan scored once more before the end of the quarter, Alabama held on to Michigan’s onside kick attempt and ran out the clock for the win, 17-14.
The 1999 Outback Bowl was played between Kentucky and Penn State. The Wildcats, who struggled to make a bowl appearance, was up against Joe Paterno and the Nittany Lions. Paterno, already the winningest coach in bowl history, was looking to extend his record by a notch. Kentucky was off to a good start, scoring two touchdowns quickly and taking the lead 14-3. However, the Nittany Lions rallied around QB Kevin Thompson, as he threw a TD in the final minutes of the first half to trim the lead 14-13. The second half was all Penn State, scoring on two more field goals and another TD to end the game, 26-14.
The 2002 Outback Bowl was a nail biter, as South Carolina gained an early 28-0 lead over Ohio State. The Buckeyes pushed back, however. On a series of excellent plays and lucky turnovers, the Bucs tied the score with only a few minutes left in the game. As time ran out, USC’s Daniel Weaver kicked a 42-yard field goal to give the Gamecocks their second straight Outback Bowl trophy.