1984 Cotton Bowl Classic
48th Cotton Bowl Classic
1234 Total
Georgia 3007 10
Texas 3060 9
DateJanuary 2, 1984
StadiumCotton Bowl
LocationDallas, Texas
MVPJohn Lastinger (Georgia QB)
Jeff Leiding (Texas LB)
FavoriteTexas by 7½ points[1][2]
RefereeHoward Roe (Big Eight)
United States TV coverage
AnnouncersLindsey Nelson, Pat Haden
Cotton Bowl Classic
 < 1983  1985

The 1984 Cotton Bowl Classic was the 48th edition of the college football bowl game, played at the Cotton Bowl in Dallas, Texas, on Monday, January 2.[3] Part of the 1983–84 bowl game season, it matched the undefeated and second-ranked Texas Longhorns of the Southwest Conference (SWC) and the #7 Georgia Bulldogs of the Southeastern Conference (SEC). Underdog Georgia rallied with a late touchdown to win, 10–9.[4][5][6]

New Year's Day was on Sunday in 1984, and the major college bowl games were played the following day.


Main article: 1983 NCAA Division I-A football season


Main article: 1983 Georgia Bulldogs football team

The Bulldogs tied Clemson on the road in September, and lost at home to Auburn in November. That win also gave Auburn the SEC championship and an automatic berth to the Sugar Bowl . It was Georgia's third appearance in the Cotton Bowl.


Main article: 1983 Texas Longhorns football team

The Longhorns had won all eleven games and had a regular season winning streak of seventeen games.

Game summary

Televised by CBS, the game kicked off shortly after 12:30 p.m. CST, as did the Fiesta Bowl on NBC.[3]

Texas drove deep on its first possession, but settled for a 22-yard field goal by Jeff Ward. Georgia's Kevin Butler made one from 43 yards to tie the game in the closing seconds of the first quarter. The second quarter was scoreless.

Ward added six more points with two more field goals of 40 and 27 yards in the third quarter, and Texas led 9–3 with less than five minutes to play. A Chip Andrews (Georgia) muffed punt by Texas defensive back Craig Curry late in the fourth quarter allowed Georgia quarterback John Lastinger to run 17 yards for a touchdown with 3:22 left to play to capture a 10–9 victory. The loss was the first for the Longhorns, costing them a possible national title.


First quarter

Second quarter

No scoring

Third quarter

Fourth quarter



Statistics  Georgia     Texas   
First Downs 13 14
Yards Rushing 45–149 47–110
Yards Passing 66 168
Passing 6–20–1 8–26–2
Total Offense 65–215 73–278
Punts–Average 9–41 7–46
Fumbles–Lost 2–1 4–2
Turnovers 2 4
Penalties–Yards 3–25 6–52
Time of possession 29:41 30:19


That night in the Orange Bowl, the #5 Miami Hurricanes upset top-ranked Nebraska, 31–30. Miami moved past Nebraska and the Longhorns to secure their first national championship. Georgia climbed to fourth in the final AP poll, and Texas fell to fifth.


  1. ^ "The latest line". Pittsburgh Post-Gazette. December 30, 1983. p. 12.
  2. ^ "Harrah's Odds: college football". Spokesman-Review. (Spokane, Washington). January 2, 1984. p. 17.
  3. ^ a b "Cotton Bowl". Eugene Register-Guard. (Oregon). wire services reports. January 2, 1984. p. 3B.
  4. ^ a b c "Bulldogs take No. 2 Longhorns out, 10-9". Eugene Register-Guard. (Oregon). wire service reports. January 3, 1984. p. 3D.
  5. ^ Freeman, Denne H. (January 3, 1984). "Longhorns title hopes fumbled away". Spokesman-Review. (Spokane, Washington). Associated Press. p. C1.
  6. ^ a b c Rabun, Mike (January 3, 1984). "Miscue gives Georgia Cotton". The Bulletin. (Bend, Oregon). UPI. p. D2.