1989 Federal Express Orange Bowl
55th Orange Bowl
1234 Total
Miami 71303 23
Nebraska 0030 3
DateJanuary 2, 1989
StadiumOrange Bowl
LocationMiami, Florida
MVPSteve Walsh (Miami QB)
Charles Fryer (Nebraska CB)
FavoriteMiami by 6½ points [1]
RefereeJimmy Harper (SEC)
United States TV coverage
AnnouncersDon Criqui and Bob Trumpy
Orange Bowl
 < 1988  1990

The 1989 Orange Bowl was the 55th edition of the college football bowl game, played at the Orange Bowl in Miami, Florida, on Monday, January 2. Part of the 1988–89 bowl game season, it matched the independent and second-ranked Miami Hurricanes and the #6 Nebraska Cornhuskers of the Big Eight Conference. Favored Miami won 23–3.[2][3][4]

It was a rematch of the 1984 game, in which Miami had won its first national championship. Despite the high rankings of both teams,[5] the game was not determining of the national title since top-ranked and undefeated Notre Dame (which had defeated Miami by a point earlier in the season) convincingly won the Fiesta Bowl in Arizona earlier in the day.[6]

This was the first Orange Bowl that had an official corporate sponsor, Federal Express (now FedEx), who continued to sponsor the bowl until 2010.

Game summary

The rematch did not turn out to be as close as the 1984 game, and Miami led 20–0 at halftime. Nebraska finally scored with a 50-yard field goal in the third quarter, but Miami responded with its own in the fourth.[2] Hurricanes quarterback Steve Walsh also set a new Orange Bowl record with 44 attempted passes, with 21 completions, and was named the game's MVP on offense.


First quarter
Second quarter
Third quarter
Fourth quarter


Statistics     Miami      Nebraska 
First Downs 20 10
Rushes–yards 28–69 38–80
Passing yards 285 55
Passes (C–A–I) 23–48–3 8–22–3
Total Offense 76–354 60–135
Return yards 47 31
Punts–average 4–40 9–37
Fumbles–lost 1–0 0–0
Turnovers 3 3
Penalties-yards 7–60 5–45
Time of possession 30:16 29:44


The game was head coach Jimmy Johnson's last with Miami, as he left in February to become the second head coach of the Dallas Cowboys in the NFL.[8]

Miami retained its #2 ranking in the final AP poll and Nebraska fell to tenth.[9]

Nebraska and Miami have since faced off again in the post-season three times, twice in the Orange Bowl in 1992 and 1995, and once in the Rose Bowl in 2002.


  1. ^ "The latest line". Pittsburgh Post-Gazette. January 2, 1989. p. 27.
  2. ^ a b c d Robbins, Danny (January 3, 1989). "Miami settles for No. 2". Eugene Register-Guard. (Oregon). (Newsday). p. 3D.
  3. ^ Walker, Ben (January 3, 1989). "No. 2 Miami storms past Huskers, 23-3". Pittsburgh Post-Gazette. Associated Press. p. 17.
  4. ^ "'Canes crush Cornhuskers". Milwaukee Sentinel. Associated Press. January 3, 1989. p. 1, part 2.
  5. ^ Edes, Gordon (January 2, 1989). "Johnson states his case for No. 1". Eugene Register-Guard. (Oregon). (Los Angeles Times). p. 5C.
  6. ^ Telander, Rick (January 9, 1989). "No. 1 with a bullet". Sports Illustrated. p. 16.
  7. ^ a b "Orange Bowl". Milwaukee Journal. (box score). January 3, 1989. p. 3C.
  8. ^ "Miami's Johnson puts an end to Landry era". Eugene Register-Guard. (Oregon). Associated Press. February 26, 1989. p. 1C.
  9. ^ "It's not unanimous, but the Irish finish as No. 1". Eugene Register-Guard. (Oregon). Associated Press. January 4, 1989. p. 7C.