1983 Rose Bowl
69th Rose Bowl Game
1234 Total
Michigan 0077 14
UCLA 7377 24
DateJanuary 1, 1983
StadiumRose Bowl
LocationPasadena, California
MVPTom Ramsey (UCLA QB)
Don Rogers (UCLA FS)
FavoriteUCLA by 3½ points[1]
National anthemMichigan Marching Band
RefereeJohn Presley (Pac-10);
split crew: Pac-10, Big Ten)
Halftime showUCLA Band and
Michigan Marching Band
United States TV coverage
AnnouncersDick Enberg, Merlin Olsen
Rose Bowl
 < 1982  1984

The 1983 Rose Bowl was a college football bowl game, played on January 1, 1983. It was the 69th Rose Bowl Game. The UCLA Bruins defeated the Michigan Wolverines by a score of 24–14,[2][3][4] in a bowl rematch of a regular season game, also won by UCLA. Tom Ramsey, UCLA quarterback and Don Rogers, UCLA defensive back, were named the Players Of The Game.[5] This was the first season that the UCLA Bruins played in the Rose Bowl stadium as their home stadium, where they were undefeated.

This was the second consecutive Rose Bowl win for the Pac-10, with eight wins in the last nine.


Main article: 1982 NCAA Division I-A football season

This game was the third meeting between the UCLA Bruins and the Michigan Wolverines in a 366-day span. They met on December 31, 1981, in the Bluebonnet Bowl. Michigan won that game 33–14, which was the first Big Ten/Pac-10 bowl meeting outside the Rose Bowl. As such, it was labeled the "mini Rose Bowl."[6]

During the regular season on September 25, UCLA played the Wolverines at Michigan Stadium. Quarterback Steve Smith's six-yard run gave Michigan a 14–0 lead and after the Wolverines blocked a Bruin punt and took possession on the UCLA seven, Smith's five-yard pass to Anthony Carter made the score 21–0 with 12:57 remaining in the second quarter.

The Bruins scored two touchdowns and were behind 21–14 at the half in the game at Ann Arbor with one second left to play. The Bruin players headed for the locker room. They had to come back out because Michigan head coach Bo Schembechler had called a time-out with one second left. Ali Haji-Sheikh kicked a 47-yard field goal to increase Michigan's lead to 24–14. When UCLA coach Terry Donahue began to argue with the referees, Schembechler reportedly ran past and screamed, "That's three more points, Terry!"[4] In the second half, the Bruins topped off their greatest point deficit comeback in their history. The Bruins put 17 more points in the second half, while allowing Michigan just one more field goal. An interception by Don Rogers on the second play of the second half gave the Bruins the ball on the Michigan 22-yard line for their first possession of the half. Quarterback Tom Ramsey connected on a six-yard touchdown pass to JoJo Townsell to make it 24–21. Another Michigan field goal pushed the UM advantage up to 27–21 with 4:32 remaining in the third quarter. Dokie Williams returned the ensuing kickoff 65 yards and the Bruins took it in from there on a two-yard run by Kevin Nelson. John Lee's extra point put the Bruins in the lead at 28–27 with 2:50 to play in the third quarter.[7] UCLA won 31–27, overcoming a 21–0 deficit,[8] in what stood as one of the greatest comebacks in Bruin football history until the 2005 Sun Bowl.

Michigan Wolverines

Michigan started the season 1–2, losing 23–17 at Notre Dame, and losing at home to UCLA 31–27. The Wolverines did not lose again until the final regular season game, falling at rival Ohio State 24–14 after having already clinched the Big Ten title and a Rose Bowl berth.

UCLA Bruins

The Rose Bowl in Pasadena became UCLA's home stadium this season, after decades at the Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum. Head coach Terry Donahue made a promise that UCLA would end their season in the Rose Bowl game.[9] UCLA opened with 4 straight wins, was tied by Arizona 24–24, then won another three games before a seemingly crushing loss at Washington 10–7. That game gave the Huskies the Pac-10 lead and inside track to the Rose Bowl. UCLA recovered to sneak by John Elway and Stanford 38–35, and went into their game with rival USC needing to beat the Trojans, have fifth-ranked Washington lose at struggling Washington State, AND #8 Arizona State lose at Arizona.

On November 20, the improbable happened. The Bruins beat the Trojans 20–19, when after USC scored a touchdown on the final play of the game, Karl Morgan sacked Scott Tinsley on the two-point conversion attempt to preserve the win. That same day, Washington was upset 24–20 by Washington State in Pullman. The story of the day that overshadowed these circumstances however, was The Play, with Cal defeating Stanford in the Big Game. One week later, Arizona knocked off Arizona State 28–18 and the Bruins were in the Rose Bowl.[10]

Game summary

Rose Bowl records
at the Hall of Champions

Using a balanced attack led by QB Tom Ramsey, UCLA took a 10–0 lead in the second quarter. In addition, a hard hit by UCLA defensive back Don Rogers separated Michigan QB Steve Smith's shoulder and knocked him out of the game. But backup David Hall got the Wolverines on the board in the third quarter, making the score 10–7. The key drive was early in the third quarter when Tom Ramsey completed seven straight passes, converted numerous 3rd downs, and led UCLA on a brilliant time-consuming drive that was capped by Danny Andrews' 9-yard touchdown run to make the score 17–7.[2][3][4]

In the fourth quarter, UCLA got an interception inside the Michigan 20-yard line and scored again for an insurmountable 24–7 lead. Michigan got one last late touchdown for the final score of 24–14.[2][3][4] UCLA played a nearly flawless game, with no turnovers and no penalties until taking an intentional delay of game penalty while running out the clock.[11][12] In the post-game interview it was noted that UCLA was able to neutralize Anthony Carter. Terry Donahue remarked that the loss of Steve Smith was a contributing factor.


First quarter

Second quarter

Third quarter

Fourth quarter


Statistics UCLA Michigan
First Downs 19 19
Total offense - Yards 343 319
Rushes yards (net) 181 110
Passing yards (net) 162 209
Passes, Comp-Att-Int 18–25–0 19–34–3
Penalties–Yards 2–10 3–17



Don Rogers would set an interception record in next year's game, as UCLA repeated as champions. UCLA under Donahue and Michigan under Schembechler met once more, during the 1989 regular season at the Rose Bowl. On September 23, 1989, #5 ranked Michigan defeated #24 ranked UCLA 24–23. This was the first victory of a ten-game winning streak that propelled the Wolverines to the 1990 Rose Bowl.


  1. ^ "The latest line: college football bowl games". Pittsburgh Post-Gazette. January 1, 1983. p. 13.
  2. ^ a b c "Everything comes up roses for the Bruins". Eugene Register-Guard. (Oregon). (Los Angeles Times). January 2, 1983. p. 1D.
  3. ^ a b c "UCLA's defense wins Rose, 24-14". Pittsburgh Press. UPI. January 2, 1983. p. D8.
  4. ^ a b c d Neff, Craig (January 10, 1983). "UCLA Rose to the occasion". Sports Illustrated. p. 23.
  5. ^ 2008 Rose Bowl Program Archived March 6, 2008, at the Wayback Machine, 2008 Rose Bowl. Accessed January 26, 2008.
  6. ^ Michigan Bowl History, 1981 Bluebonnet Bowl. University of Michigan Athletic Department
  7. ^ UCLA Football Media Guide
  8. ^ "Down 21-0, UCLA rallies for 31-27 win". Eugene Register-Guard. (Oregon). Associated Press. September 26, 1982. p. 9B.
  9. ^ August This month in history: A gridiron home UCLA History Project Aug. 18, 1982. Quote:Head Coach Terry Donahue ’67, M.A. ’77 introduced his players to more than 1,000 cheering fans, who came to inspect both players and field. "We begin our season here on Sept. 11," Donahue said, "and there's no doubt in my mind that if everything goes well, we'll end it here on Jan. 1, 1983."
  10. ^ Tracy Dodds - Did Morgan Deliver Roses to UCLA in a Sack? It May Turn Out That Way After His Big Play With:00 Left Thwarts USC and Saves a 20-19 Victory Before 95,763 Fans at Pasadena. Los Angeles Times. November 21, 1982. Quote:"With:00 showing on the clock, USC quarterback Scott Tinsley dropped back, lifted the ball to pass, saw UCLA nose guard Karl Morgan coming at him and knew it was all over. He didn't even put it up."
  11. ^ Tracy Dodds - A New Year... but an Old Story. UCLA Repeats Itself Against Michigan, 24-14, With Ramsey Showing the Way. Los Angeles Times, January 2, 1983. Quote: "The Rose Bowl game on New Year's Day, 1983, was Tom Ramsey's Rose Bowl game."
  12. ^ 1983 Rose Bowl - Michigan Bowl history. University of Michigan Athletic Department
  13. ^ Historical Media Guide, Pasadena Tournament of Roses Association, 2009