1989 Mazda Gator Bowl
1234 Total
Michigan State 07614 27
Georgia 710107 34
DateJanuary 2, 1989
StadiumGator Bowl Stadium
LocationJacksonville, Florida
MVPQB Wayne Johnson, Georgia
WR Andre Rison, Michigan State
RefereeCourtney Mauzy (ACC)
United States TV coverage
AnnouncersMike Patrick, Joe Theisman, Chris Fowler
Gator Bowl
 < 1987 1989 (Dec)

The 1989 Gator Bowl (January) was a college football postseason bowl game between the Michigan State Spartans and the Georgia Bulldogs.


Michigan State finished 2nd in the Big Ten Conference after a 0–3–1 start ended with six straight victories before being invited to their second straight bowl game and first ever Gator Bowl. Georgia finished 3rd in the Southeastern Conference and first bowl game since 1987.

The game happened immediately after the December 1989 United States cold wave. Workers at Gator Bowl Stadium flushed 503 toilets continuously in the hopes of avoiding water pipe problems but the stadium still suffered $5000 in damages.[1]

Game summary

First quarter

UGA – Rodney Hampton 6 pass from Wayne Johnson (John Kasay kick), 0:01 left.

Second quarter

Third quarter

Fourth quarter

Andre Rison caught 9 pass for 252 yards. Wayne Johnson went 15-of-27 for 227 yards.[2]


This was Vince Dooley's final game with the Bulldogs. The following year, Ray Goff became head coach. The Bulldogs did not return to the Gator Bowl until 2014. As for the Spartans, they reached another bowl game the same year. They have not played in the Gator Bowl since this game.


Statistics Michigan State Georgia
First downs 22 22
Rushing yards 158 182
Passing yards 288 227
Total yards 446 409
Passes (att-comp-int) 24–14–0 27–15–0
Punts–average 6–42.8 4–34.0
Fumbles–lost 1–0 0–0
Penalties–yards 8–102 5–25


  1. ^ Omaye, Jayna (December 13, 2014). "Devastating 1989 freeze killed citrus, ushered in development in Lake County". Orlando Sentinel. Retrieved February 21, 2021.
  2. ^ "1989 Gator Bowl" (PDF). Archived from the original (PDF) on March 4, 2016.