|1985 Cotton Bowl Classic|
|49th Cotton Bowl Classic|
|Date||January 1, 1985|
|MVP||Steve Strachan (FB, BC)|
Bill Romanowski (LB, BC)
|Favorite||Boston College by 6½ |
|Referee||John McClintock (Big 8)|
|United States TV coverage|
|Announcers||Lindsey Nelson, Pat Haden,|
and Ara Parseghian
The 1985 Cotton Bowl Classic was the 49th edition of the college football bowl game, played at the Cotton Bowl in Dallas, Texas, on Tuesday, January 1. Part of the 1984–85 bowl game season, it matched the No. 8 Boston College Eagles (independent) and the unranked Houston Cougars of the Southwest Conference (SWC). Boston College never trailed and won 45–28.
Main article: 1984 NCAA Division I-A football season
Main article: 1984 Boston College Eagles football team
Boston College quarterback Doug Flutie gained national attention on November 23, when he led the Eagles to a memorable 47–45 win at Miami, in what would be called Hail Flutie. He left school as the NCAA’s all-time passing yardage leader with 10,579 yards, a consensus All-American, and the first quarterback to win the Heisman Trophy in thirteen years. This was BC's first Cotton Bowl appearance in 45 years, since January 1940. Boston College finished the regular season with a 9–2 record, and was the recipient of the Lambert-Meadowlands Trophy (emblematic of the 'Eastern championship' in Division I FBS).
Main article: 1984 Houston Cougars football team
Houston shared the Southwest Conference title for the first time since 1979. By virtue of their defeat of conference co-champion SMU during the season, the Cougars made their first Cotton Bowl appearance in five years. SMU defeated Notre Dame in the Aloha Bowl on December 28; the Mustangs finished with ten wins and were eighth in the final AP poll. Houston was the first unranked team to represent the SWC in the Cotton Bowl in seventeen years.
The game kicked off shortly after 12:30 p.m. CST, as did the Fiesta Bowl on NBC. The game time temperature in Dallas was 32 °F (0 °C) with gusty winds, freezing rain, and the artificial turf was slick.
The Eagles rolled to a 31–14 lead at halftime on Flutie's three touchdown passes (to three different receivers) and a Steve Strachan 2-yard touchdown run, despite the Cougars' two quick ways of scoring touchdowns, one of which occurring when Larry Shepherd caught a Gerald Landry pass for a touchdown with 22 seconds left in the half.
Raymond Tate narrowed the lead with his touchdown late in the third quarter. Audray McMillian intercepted a Flutie pass and returned it 25 yards to the end zone to make it 31–28 as the third quarter ended. But the Eagles scored with 5:45 remaining on a Strachan 4-yard touchdown run. Troy Stradford sealed the game with a 18-yard touchdown run with 1:06 to go in the fourth quarter as Boston College won their first Cotton Bowl.
|Time of possession||34:41||25:19|
Boston College improved to 10–2 and climbed to No. 5 in the final AP poll. Through 2023, neither team has returned to the Cotton Bowl Classic.