1979 Gator Bowl
35th Gator Bowl
1234 Total
Michigan 0906 15
North Carolina 0773 17
DateDecember 28, 1979
StadiumGator Bowl Stadium
LocationJacksonville, Florida
MVPMatt Kupec (North Carolina QB),[1] Amos Lawrence (North Carolina RB), John Wangler (Michigan QB), Anthony Carter (Michigan WR)[2]
RefereeClint Fuller (SWC)
United States TV coverage
AnnouncersKeith Jackson, Frank Broyles and Dave Diles
Gator Bowl
 < 1978  1980

The 1979 Gator Bowl was a college football bowl game played on December 28, 1979. The North Carolina Tar Heels of the Atlantic Coast Conference defeated the Michigan Wolverines of the Big Ten Conference, 17–15.


An 8-1 start (With a loss to #9 Notre Dame) had propelled Michigan to being ranked 10th in the polls, before a loss to #14 Purdue followed by a loss to #2 Ohio State at home made them fall to 14th in the polls and finish 3rd in the Big Ten Conference. The Tar Heels had started 4-0 and were ranked #14 before a loss to Wake Forest started a 1-3-1 middle stretch that ended with victories over Virginia and Duke to make them finish 5th in the Atlantic Coast Conference. This was Michigan's first Gator Bowl appearance. This was North Carolina's third ever Gator Bowl appearance.

Scoring summary

First quarter

Second quarter

Third quarter

Fourth quarter


  1. ^ Barnes, Clifton (December 29, 1979). "Add Another Feather to ACC Cap". Rocky Mount Telegram. Rocky Mount, North Carolina. Retrieved December 31, 2017 – via newspapers.com.
  2. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on December 31, 2017. Retrieved December 31, 2017.((cite web)): CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)