|1987 Orange Bowl|
|53rd Orange Bowl|
|Date||January 1, 1987|
|MVP||Spencer Tillman (Oklahoma HB)|
Dante Jones (Oklahoma LB)
|Favorite||Oklahoma by 17 points|
|Referee||Paul Schmitt (Independent)|
|United States TV coverage|
|Announcers||Don Criqui, Bob Trumpy,|
and Paul Maguire
The 1987 Orange Bowl was the 53rd edition of the college football bowl game, played at the Orange Bowl in Miami, Florida, on Thursday, January 1. Part of the 1986–87 bowl game season, it matched the ninth-ranked Arkansas Razorbacks of the Southwest Conference (SWC) and the #3 Oklahoma Sooners of the Big Eight Conference. Heavily-favored Oklahoma won 42–8.
Main article: 1986 NCAA Division I-A football season
Main article: 1986 Arkansas Razorbacks football team
The Razorbacks lost twice, to Texas Tech and Baylor. This was Arkansas' first Orange Bowl appearance in nine years; that 1978 game was a 31–6 upset rout of Oklahoma.
Main article: 1986 Oklahoma Sooners football team
The Sooners won the Big Eight Conference title for the third straight year and appeared in a third consecutive Orange Bowl. Only a 28–16 loss at Miami in late September cost them a shot at a second straight title. Standout linebacker Brian Bosworth was suspended for this game after testing positive for steroids.
The game followed the Rose Bowl on NBC, and kicked off around 8:30 p.m. EST; it was the sole game in that time slot, as the Sugar Bowl was played earlier in the day on ABC.
Following a scoreless first quarter, Spencer Tillman gave Oklahoma the lead in the second quarter with two touchdown runs, the latter occurring after an Arkansas turnover, and it was 14–0 at halftime. Quarterback Jamelle Holieway added his own two touchdown runs to make it 28–0 after three quarters. Arkansas threw five interceptions, as Anthony Stafford and Duncan Parham added touchdown runs of their own to make it 42–0 for Oklahoma. In the final half-minute, Arkansas scored on a one-yard touchdown run by fullback Derrick Thomas (and a two-point conversion) to avoid a shutout.
|Time of possession||35:29||24:31|
While on the sidelines, Bosworth displayed a shirt referring to the NCAA as "National Communists Against Athletes." After this game, he was dismissed from the team, and later declared himself eligible for the NFL supplemental draft in June, where he was selected by the Seattle Seahawks.
In the final AP poll, Oklahoma remained at third and Arkansas fell to fifteenth.
Oklahoma returned to the Orange Bowl the next year for a fourth consecutive appearance, but through 2023, Arkansas has not been back.