1995 Orange Bowl

The 1995 Orange Bowl was a college football bowl game played on January 1, 1995, as the 61st edition of the Orange Bowl and the national championship game for the 1994 season. It featured the Nebraska Cornhuskers of the Big Eight and the Miami Hurricanes of the Big East. The game was a rematch of the historic 1984 Orange Bowl.

Although this was the Bowl Coalition's National Championship Game, it was a match-up of the first and third-ranked teams in the country, as second-ranked Penn State was obligated to play in the 1995 Rose Bowl as the Big Ten champion.

1995 FedEx Orange Bowl
National Championship Game
Nebraska Cornhuskers Miami Hurricanes
(12–0) (10–1)
Big Eight Big East
24 17
Head coach: 
Tom Osborne
Head coach: 
Dennis Erickson
1234 Total
Nebraska 07215 24
Miami 10070 17
DateJanuary 1, 1995
StadiumMiami Orange Bowl
LocationMiami, Florida
MVPNebraska QB Tommie Frazier and Miami WR Chris T. Jones
FavoriteMiami by 1
RefereeRon Winter (Big Ten)
United States TV coverage
AnnouncersTom Hammond and Cris Collinsworth
Nielsen ratings18.9


Nebraska Cornhuskers

Nebraska came into the game with a 12–0 record and No. 1 ranking in the AP Poll.

Miami Hurricanes

Miami entered the game with 10–1 record and had the AP's No. 3 ranking.

Game summary

Miami placekicker Dane Prewitt scored the first points of the game with a 44-yard field goal to open up a 3–0 Miami lead. Miami quarterback Frank Costa fired a 35-yard touchdown pass to Trent Jones for a 10–0 Miami lead. Nebraska quarterback Brook Berringer threw a 19-yard touchdown pass to tight end Mark Gilman before halftime, to close the deficit to 10–7. In the third quarter, Costa threw a 44-yard touchdown pass to Jonathan Harris, to open a 17–7 lead.

Nebraska outside linebacker Dwayne Harris sacked Costa in the end zone for a safety before the end of the third quarter, and Miami led 17–9. Fullback Cory Schlesinger scored on a 15-yard touchdown run in the fourth quarter to trim the lead to 17–15. Tommie Frazier then found tight end Eric Alford in the back of the end zone to tie the game, 17–17. A 14-yard touchdown run by Schlesinger gave Nebraska a 24–17 lead, and the defense held on to win the national championship.

Scoring Summary

First Quarter

Miami: Dane Prewitt 44 yd field goal 7:54 UM 3 Nebraska 0

Miami: Trent Jones 35 yd td pass from Frank Costa (Dane Prewitt kick) 0:04 UM 10 Nebraska 0

Second Quarter

Nebraska: Mark Gilman 19 yard td pass from Brook Berringer (Tom Sieler kick) 7:54 UM 10 Nebraska 7

Third Quarter

Miami: Jonathan Harris 44 yd td pass from Frank Costa (Dane Prewitt kick) 13:19 UM 17 Nebraska 7

Nebraska: Team Safety 11:35 UM 17 Nebraska 9

Fourth Quarter

Nebraska: Cory Schlesinger 15 yard td run (Eric Alford 2-pt reception) 7:38 Tied 17-17

Nebraska: Cory Schlesinger 14 yd td run (Tom Sieler kick) 2:46 Nebraska 24 UM 17

Source: [1]


Nebraska finished the season with a 13–0 record, and won the national championship (Tom Osborne's first title as a head coach and third overall). Miami finished the season ranked sixth, with a 10–2 record. It was Nebraska's first bowl win since the 1987 Sugar Bowl.

Second-ranked and also undefeated Penn State won its bowl game (the 1995 Rose Bowl), which led to much controversy after only Nebraska was crowned national champions. It was not until the Bowl Championship Series (BCS) was formed in 1998 that the Big Ten and Pac-10 would allow their champions to compete in national championship games outside the Rose Bowl Game.

Less than two weeks after the game, Dennis Erickson departed the Hurricanes to take the head coaching position with the National Football League's Seattle Seahawks. Miami hired Dallas Cowboys defensive coordinator Butch Davis as Erickson's successor.


  1. ^ "1995 Orange Bowl". huskerpedia.com. January 1, 1995. Retrieved January 9, 2019.
1984 Orange Bowl

The 1984 Orange Bowl was the 50th annual Orange Bowl Classic, played on January 2, 1984, at the Orange Bowl in Miami, Florida. It matched the unbeaten Nebraska Cornhuskers and the once-beaten Miami Hurricanes, for the national championship.

After leading 31–17 in the fourth quarter, Miami held on for a 31–30 victory. Nebraska pulled to within one with less than a minute left to play, but a two-point conversion attempt by Nebraska failed when quarterback Turner Gill's pass was tipped away by Miami safety Ken Calhoun. It was also the last game at Miami for head coach Howard Schnellenberger, as he left the team in pursuit of a USFL team in Miami.

1994 NCAA Division I-A football season

The 1994 NCAA Division I-A football season was the main college football season sanctioned by the NCAA. The season began in August 1994 and ended on January 2, 1995. Nebraska, who finished the season undefeated, ended the year ranked #1 in both the Associated Press and Coaches polls. This was the first national championship of coach Tom Osborne's career at Nebraska, despite coming close in two prior attempts; in 1983, his team lost to Miami after Osborne, with his team trailing 31-30 late in the game, elected to try for the lead instead of the tie and failed. In the previous season, Osborne's team lost to eventual national champion Florida State on a missed field goal as time expired.

Although Osborne's team finished the season unbeaten, the national championship picture again was engulfed in controversy. For much of the second half of the season, Nebraska and Penn State were regarded as the top two teams in the country. This raised the possibility of a split national championship for the third time since 1990, due in large part to the system in place that had been concocted to avoid a split title.

Following the 1991 season, where Miami and Washington split the national championship in the AP and Coaches' polls, the Bowl Coalition was founded. The Coalition consisted of six bowls, with the Orange, Fiesta, Cotton, and Sugar bowls were all considered potential hosts for a national championship game. Since three of these bowls already had specific tie-ins with conferences, an agreement was struck where the conferences would agree to release those teams from their contractual obligations in order to achieve a #1 vs #2 matchup. For the first two years of the Coalition, this did occur without incident as the Sugar and Orange Bowls in 1993 and 1994 featured #1 vs. #2 matchups in their respective games.

The problem with this as far as 1994 was concerned was that the Rose Bowl, which featured the Pac-10 and Big Ten champions playing each other, was not included in the Coalition and thus a team that finished #1 or #2 in the polls from those two conferences could not be considered by the Coalition to be its national champion. Nebraska, as a member of the Big Eight Conference, was part of the coalition while Penn State was not. As Nebraska went on to win the conference title, it earned an automatic bid to the Orange Bowl to face off against #3 Miami, who won the Big East title and was #2 in the Coalition pool. Thus Miami, who as recently as two years earlier was in the Coalition championship game, had a chance to stake a claim as the national champion with a win (as they would have been awarded the Coaches' Trophy) and all but ensure a split title with Penn State provided they defeated #13 Oregon in the Rose Bowl.

On January 1, 1995, Nebraska defeated Miami in the Orange Bowl 24-17 and clinched the championship. The next day Penn State defeated Oregon in the Rose Bowl by a count of 38-20 and secured the #2 spot in the polls.

In the offseason that followed, the Bowl Coalition was disbanded and in its place came the Bowl Alliance, which attempted to serve the same purpose by rotating a national championship game between the Sugar, Fiesta, and Orange Bowls. Like the Bowl Coalition before it, the Bowl Alliance did not include the Rose Bowl and two of the three national championship games did not feature a #1 vs. #2 matchup, with the 1997 season seeing another split national championship.

1994–95 NCAA football bowl games

The 1994–95 NCAA football bowl games concluded the 1994 NCAA Division I-A football season. In the third and final year of the Bowl Coalition era, the Coalition failed to achieve its goal of a true national championship game between the nation's top two teams. The Coalition's designated championship game for the 1994 season, the 1995 Orange Bowl, pitted No. 1 Nebraska against No. 3 Miami (FL), while No. 2 Penn State was tied to the Rose Bowl as a member of the Big Ten Conference. Nebraska defeated Miami in the Orange Bowl, and was named national champions by both the AP Poll and Coaches Poll, while Penn State defeated Oregon in the Rose Bowl and did not claim a national championship.

A total of 19 bowl games were played between December 14, 1994 and January 2, 1995 by 38 bowl-eligible teams. The number of bowls remained unchanged from the previous year.

1996 Carquest Bowl

The 1996 Carquest Bowl was the final game of the 1996 NCAA Division I-A football season for the Miami Hurricanes and the Virginia Cavaliers.

Bowl Coalition

The Bowl Coalition was formed through an agreement among Division I-A college football bowl games and conferences for the purpose of forcing a national championship game between the top two teams and to provide quality bowl game matchups for the champions of its member conferences. It was established for the 1992 season after there were co-national champions for both the 1990 and 1991. The agreement was in place for the 1992, 1993, and 1994 college football seasons. It was the predecessor of the Bowl Alliance, and later the Bowl Championship Series.

Cory Schlesinger

Cory Michael Schlesinger (born June 23, 1972) is a former American football fullback of the National Football League. He was drafted by the Detroit Lions in the sixth round of the 1995 NFL Draft. He played college football at Nebraska.

Frank Costa (American football)

Frank Costa (born September 8, 1972) is a former American football quarterback. He played college football for the Miami Hurricanes from 1991 to 1994.

James Stewart (American football, born December 8, 1971)

James Alvin Stewart (born December 8, 1971) is a former American football running back in the National Football League (NFL) who played for the Minnesota Vikings in 1995.

List of Miami Hurricanes bowl games

The Miami Hurricanes football program has played in 40 bowl games, going 19–21 for a .487 winning percentage. Its most common bowl destination has been the Orange Bowl, where the 'Canes have appeared nine times and compiled a 6–3 record. Miami's most common opponent in bowl play has been Nebraska. The schools have met six times in bowl play, with the Hurricanes having a 4–2 record against the Cornhuskers.Miami's second most common opponent in bowl play has been Wisconsin which has been a thorn in Miami's side in bowl games the schools have met 3 times in bowl play with the Badgers having a 3-0 record vs the Hurricanes.

Miami Hurricanes football

The Miami Hurricanes football team represents the University of Miami in the sport of American football. The Hurricanes compete in the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA)'s Division I Football Bowl Subdivision (FBS) and the Coastal Division of the Atlantic Coast Conference (ACC). The program began in 1926 and has won five AP national championships (1983, 1987, 1989, 1991, 2001). The Miami Hurricanes are among the most storied and decorated football programs in NCAA history. Miami is ranked fourth on the list of All-time Associated Press National Poll Championships, tied with Southern California and Ohio State and behind Alabama, Notre Dame, and Oklahoma.

Miami also holds a number of NFL Draft records, including most first-round selections in a single draft and most consecutive drafts with at least one first-round selection. Two Hurricanes have won the Heisman Trophy and nine have been inducted to the College Football Hall of Fame. The team plays its home games at Hard Rock Stadium in Miami Gardens, Florida. The Hurricanes' head coach is currently Manny Diaz.

Miami–Nebraska football rivalry

The Miami–Nebraska football rivalry is an American college football rivalry between the Miami Hurricanes and Nebraska Cornhuskers. Both teams have most often met in bowl games which many times have decided a national championship. The series is currently tied 6–6.

Mina Kimes

Mina Kimes is a Los Angeles-based American investigative journalist who specializes in business and sports reporting. A multiple award-winner, she has written for Fortune magazine, Bloomberg News, and ESPN.

Nebraska Cornhuskers football

The Nebraska Cornhuskers football team represents the University of Nebraska–Lincoln. Among the 128 Division I-FBS teams, Nebraska is one of ten football programs to win 800 or more games. Nebraska has more victories against Power Five opponents than any other program, as well as the fifth most victories all-time, behind only Michigan, Ohio State, Texas, and Alabama. Two of Nebraska's national championship-winning teams, the 1971 and 1995 teams, are listed by many as the best college football teams of all time.Nebraska claims 46 conference championships and five national championships: 1970, 1971, 1994, 1995, and 1997. The titles in the 1990s marked the first time that a team won three national championships in four seasons since Notre Dame in 1946–49, and one of only three instances a team has won back-to-back consensus national titles. Nebraska has won nine other national championships that the school does not claim. They are the only school with five or more national championships to not have a loss in any of their title seasons.

Nebraska has had five undefeated seasons in which they were not national champions: 1902, 1903, 1913, 1914, and 1915. Between 1912 and 1916, the Cornhuskers played 34 consecutive games without suffering a loss.Famous Cornhuskers include Heisman Trophy winners Johnny Rodgers, Mike Rozier, and Eric Crouch. Rodgers was inducted into the College Football Hall of Fame and was voted the Nebraska "Player of the Century" in 1999. Rozier, who holds the all-time NCAA record for yards per carry, was likewise inducted into the College Football Hall of Fame in 2006. Other Cornhusker players and coaches who are Hall of Famers include: Forrest Behm, Bob Brown, Guy Chamberlin, Sam Francis, Tommie Frazier, Rich Glover, Wayne Meylan, Bobby Reynolds, Dave Rimington, George Sauer, Will Shields, Clarence Swanson, Ed Weir, Grant Wistrom, and coaches Gomer Jones, Pete Elliott, Francis Schmidt, Dana X. Bible, Bob Devaney, Biff Jones, Tom Osborne, Eddie N. Robinson and Fielding H. Yost.Since June 11, 2010 the University of Nebraska has been a member of the Big Ten Conference, previously affiliated with the Big 12. They are grouped in the Big Ten West Division, along with Illinois, Iowa, Minnesota, Northwestern, Purdue, and Wisconsin.

Ron Winter

Ronald J. "Ron" Winter is a retired American football official who officiated in the National Football League (NFL) from the 1995 through 2013 seasons. Winter previously served as a football official for the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA).

Winter wore uniform No. 14 (previously No. 82, 1995–1997). Winter's 2013 NFL officiating crew consisted of umpire Carl Paganelli, head linesman Jim Howey, line judge Gary Arthur, field judge Scott Steenson, side judge Tom Hill, and back judge Greg Steed. He was the alternate referee of Super Bowl XLIII.

History & conference tie-ins
1994–95 NCAA Division I championships

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