1986 Freedom Bowl
Freedom Bowl III
1234 Total
BYU 3007 10
UCLA 70177 31
DateDecember 30, 1986
StadiumAnaheim Stadium
LocationAnaheim, California
MVPGaston Green (UCLA RB)
National anthemBYU Cougar Marching Band
Halftime showBYU Cougar Marching Band
United States TV coverage
NetworkMizlou Television Network
AnnouncersHoward David and Jack Snow
Freedom Bowl
 < 1985  1987

The 1986 Freedom Bowl was a college football bowl game played on December 30, 1986. It was the third Freedom Bowl Game. The UCLA Bruins defeated the BYU Cougars 31–10. UCLA tailback Gaston Green was named the Player Of The Game. He ran for a record 266 yards, second only at the time to Curtis Dickey who ran for 276 in the 1978 Hall of Fame Classic. This is still the Pac-10 record for most rushing yards in a bowl game,[1] and fourth highest in NCAA bowl history.[2]


See also 1986 NCAA Division I-A football season

The BYU Cougars were voted national champions in 1984. In their opening game in 1985, they faced UCLA. The Bruins won 27–24. It was the first win for the Bruins as the headed towards the Pac-10 conference championship and appearance in the 1986 Rose Bowl.

BYU Cougars

The BYU Cougars were the second place team in the Western Athletic Conference (WAC). They had lost to Colorado State in October. They were still in the hunt, but a 10–3 loss to San Diego State on November 29, 1986, gave SDSU the WAC conference championship lead.

UCLA Bruins

The UCLA Bruins were tied for second in the Pacific-10 Conference. The ASU Sun Devils had beaten UCLA in Los Angeles. This gave them the tiebreaker for the Pac-10 championship. UCLA was still in the race, and could have been the Pac-10 champion, but a tie with Washington and a loss to Stanford put them behind the Sun Devils.

With Arizona State clinching the Pac-10 championship and berth in the 1987 Rose Bowl early, there began a scramble by the bowls to make deals with schools before the official date. The Fiesta Bowl and Citrus Bowl scrambling to host a #1 versus #2 showdown between Miami and Penn State, the Cotton Bowl struck an agreement to take the loser of the Michigan–Ohio State game.

Game summary

The weather was overcast and 68 degrees. The first two Freedom Bowls had only sold 31,000 tickets, but this one had an advance sale of 42,000.[3] The attendance of 51,422 was the Freedom Bowl record. The 1992 Freedom bowl featuring USC and Fresno State was expected to surpass it, but had an attendance of 50,745.[4][5]


First quarter

Second quarter

No score

Third quarter

Fourth quarter


  1. ^ PACIFIC-10 conference football media guide
  2. ^ NCAA Division 1 football record book
  3. ^ Penner, Los Angeles Times
  4. ^ Crowe, Jerry – COLLEGE FOOTBALL / THE BOWL GAMES No-Win Game for USC Freedom: Trojans are expected to beat Fresno State tonight at Anaheim Stadium. Los Angeles Times. December 29, 1992
  5. ^ Fresno State Defeats USC, 24-7, in 1992 Freedom Bowl Archived 2014-01-12 at the Wayback Machine Fresno State Sports Information Office, July 28, 2009