1965 Orange Bowl
31st Orange Bowl
1234 Total
Texas 71400 21
Alabama 0773 17
DateJanuary 1, 1965
StadiumOrange Bowl
LocationMiami, Florida
MVPJoe Namath (Alabama QB)
FavoriteAlabama by 3 points[1]
RefereeE.D. Cavette (SEC;
split crew: SEC, SWC)
United States TV coverage
AnnouncersJim Simpson, Bud Wilkinson
Orange Bowl
 < 1964  1966

The 1965 Orange Bowl, part of the 1964–65 bowl season, was the 31st edition of the college football bowl game, played at the Orange Bowl in Miami, Florida, on Friday, January 1. Part of the 1964–65 bowl season, It matched the top-ranked Alabama Crimson Tide of the Southeastern Conference (SEC), and the #5 Texas Longhorns of the Southwest Conference (SWC). Texas built an early lead and won 21–17.[2][3][4]

This was the first Orange Bowl game played at night,[1][5] and the first live national network telecast of a college football game during prime time.[6] NBC acquired the television rights and the kickoff was moved to follow the network's Rose Bowl telecast, without competition from other bowls. It also was the first Orange Bowl in twelve years not to include a team from the Big Eight Conference.

Despite Alabama's loss they were still named co-national champions (along with Arkansas).


Main article: 1964 NCAA University Division football season


Main article: 1964 Alabama Crimson Tide football team

Alabama finished the regular season as both SEC and national champions with a record of 10–0.[7] During the Iron Bowl, Alabama accepted a bid to play in the Orange Bowl from bowl officials.[8] It was fourth Orange Bowl appearance for Alabama and their 18th bowl game. With USC upsetting Notre Dame 20–17 on the final weekend of the season, Alabama was selected as the 1964 national champions by both final major polls, released prior to the bowl games.[7]


Main article: 1964 Texas Longhorns football team

The defending national champion Longhorns finished the regular season with a 9–1 record Only a 14–13 loss against Arkansas in week five kept the Longhorns from repeating as national champions.[9]

Game summary

After the defense stopped Alabama at the one-yard line on fourth down, Texas responded quickly with the first score of the evening.[10] After moving the ball 20 yards, Longhorn running back Ernie Koy took the ball 79-yards for a 7–0 Texas lead with only :23 remaining in the first quarter.[10] Texas extended their lead to 14–0 on their next offensive possession when George Sauer caught a 69-yard touchdown reception from Jim Hudson.[10] Alabama cut the lead in half later in the second quarter when Joe Namath hit Wayne Trimble for a 7-yard touchdown reception.[10][11] On the following possession, Alabama blocked a 35-yard David Conway field goal attempt, recovered the ball, but fumbled it on the return, which Texas recovered.[10] Ernie Koy capped the ensuing 38-yard drive with a two-yard touchdown run to give the Longhorns a 21–7 lead at halftime.[10]

In the second half, Texas was held scoreless, but Alabama was unable to take the lead with only ten additional points. The first score was a 20-yard Ray Perkins touchdown reception from Namath and the second on a 26-yard David Ray field goal early in the fourth quarter.[10] Although on the losing side, Alabama quarterback Namath was selected as the game's outstanding player for completing 18 of 37 passes for 255 yards and a pair of touchdowns.[11][12]


Scoring summary
Quarter Time Drive Team Scoring information Score
Plays Yards TOP Texas Alabama
1 0:23 2 99 Texas Ernie Koy 79-yard touchdown run, David Conway kick good 7 0
2 9:51 4 80 Texas George Sauer 69-yard touchdown reception from Jim Hudson, Conway kick good 14 0
2 4:34 14 87 Alabama Wayne Trimble 7-yard touchdown reception from Joe Namath, David Ray kick good 14 7
2 0:27 4 38 Texas Koy 2-yard touchdown run, Conway kick good 21 7
3 4:34 9 63 Alabama Ray Perkins 20-yard touchdown reception from Namath, Ray kick good 21 14
4 14:54 9 38 Alabama 26-yard field goal by Ray 21 17
"TOP" = time of possession. For other American football terms, see Glossary of American football. 21 17


Statistics    Texas    Alabama
First Downs 15 18
Rushes–yards 51–212 26–49
Passing yards 101 298
Passes (C–A–I) 4–17–1 20–44–2
Total Offense 68–313 70–347
Punts–average 9–36.8 5–3.4
Fumbles–lost 2–1 3–1
Turnovers 2 3
Penalties–yards 3–25 4–46


The following day, Namath signed his record contract with the New York Jets of the American Football League (AFL), estimated at $400,000 over three years.[2][12][15]

Both final polls were released at the end of the regular season, prior to the bowls.


  1. ^ a b Land, Charles (January 1, 1965). "Tide, Texas in Orange Bowl battle". Tuscaloosa News. (Alabama). p. 6.
  2. ^ a b Underwood, John (January 11, 1965). "Fabulous in defeat". Sports Illustrated. p. 14.
  3. ^ "Alabama fell six inches short". Tuscaloosa News. (Alabama). Associated Press. January 3, 1965. p. 10.
  4. ^ a b c "Tenacious Texas tops No.1 ranked Alabama". Eugene Register-Guard. (Oregon). Associated Press. January 2, 1965. p. 1B.
  5. ^ "Orange Bowl". Spokane Daily Chronicle. (Washington). Associated Press. December 31, 1964. p. 12.
  6. ^ Vecsey, George (January 6, 2010). "Namath Has His Own Memories of '65". The New York Times. Retrieved January 19, 2016.
  7. ^ a b Land, Charles (December 1, 1964). "Bama crowned best in nation". The Tuscaloosa News. p. 1. Retrieved January 14, 2011.
  8. ^ "Orange Bowl bid offered, accepted". The Tuscaloosa News. November 27, 1964. p. 9. Retrieved January 14, 2011.
  9. ^ Smothers, Jimmy (December 31, 1964). "Orange Bowl battle just a day away now". The Gadsden Times. (Alabama). p. 9.
  10. ^ a b c d e f g Fitzgerald, Tommy (January 2, 1965). "Big plays by Texas hold off Namath rush". The Miami News. p. 1B. Retrieved January 22, 2011.
  11. ^ a b Land, Charles (January 2, 1965). "Namath's 18 completions set Orange Bowl record". The Tuscaloosa News. (Alabama). p. 6.
  12. ^ a b "Joe Namath to sign $400,000 pro pact". Eugene Register-Guard. (Oregon). Associated Press. January 2, 1965. p. 1B.
  13. ^ a b "Texas vs Alabama (Jan 1, 1965)". University of Texas Athletics. (statistics). January 1, 1965. Retrieved July 24, 2020.
  14. ^ a b "Game-by-game recaps: 1965" (PDF). 2019 Capital One Orange Bowl media guide. January 2019. p. 33.
  15. ^ "Namath now pro football's richest rookie". Eugene Register-Guard. (Oregon). Associated Press. January 3, 1965. p. 2B.