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1992 USF&G Sugar Bowl
58th edition
The Cheerios Bowl
1234 Total
Notre Dame 071022 39
Florida 106012 28
DateJanuary 1, 1992
Season1991
StadiumLouisiana Superdome
LocationNew Orleans, Louisiana
MVPJerome Bettis (Notre Dame RB)
FavoriteFlorida by 6.5 points (52.5) [1][2]
RefereeJames Sprenger (Pac-10)
United States TV coverage
NetworkABC
AnnouncersAl Michaels, Frank Gifford,
and Dan Dierdorf
Sugar Bowl
 < 1991  1993

The 1992 Sugar Bowl was the 58th edition of the college football bowl game, played at the Louisiana Superdome in New Orleans, Louisiana, on Wednesday, January 1. Part of the 1991–92 bowl game season, it matched the eighteenth-ranked Notre Dame Fighting Irish and the #3 Florida Gators of the Southeastern Conference (SEC).

Notre Dame rallied late in the fourth quarter to upset the favored Gators, 39–28.[3][4][5]

The game is also known as "The Cheerios Bowl," due to the comment a waiter supposedly told Irish head coach Lou Holtz at a restaurant that "the difference between Cheerios and Notre Dame is that Cheerios belong in a bowl."

Teams

Main article: 1991 NCAA Division I-A football season

Notre Dame

Main article: 1991 Notre Dame Fighting Irish football team

Florida

Main article: 1991 Florida Gators football team

Game summary

The game kicked off shortly after 7:30 p.m. CST, following the Rose Bowl on ABC, and shortly after the start of the Orange Bowl on NBC, which matched top-ranked Miami and #11 Nebraska.[6]

The Florida Gators built an early 7–0 lead when their Heisman Trophy candidate, quarterback Shane Matthews, found All-SEC wide receiver Willie Jackson on a 15-yard touchdown pass. Florida led 10–0 at the end of the first quarter, after Arden Czyzewski added a 26-yard field goal to cap the quarter.

Czyzewski added a 24-yard field goal, early in the second quarter, allowing the Gators to take a 13–0 lead. Notre Dame quarterback Rick Mirer capped a methodical drive with a perfect 40-yard touchdown pass to wideout Lake Dawson, making it 13–7 Gators. The Gators led 16–7 at half, after Czyzewski's third field goal of the game. In the third quarter, Notre Dame got a 23-yard field goal from Kevin Pendergast, and a 4-yard touchdown pass form Rick Mirer to Irv Smith to take a 17–16 lead into the 4th quarter.

In the fourth quarter, Czyzewski's 37-yard field goal made it 19–17, and his fifth field goal of the game gave the Gators a 22–17 lead with under twelve minutes remaining. Notre Dame's Jerome Bettis then took over the game, as he rushed for touchdowns of 3 and 49 yards, and the Irish led 32–22. Florida quickly responded with a 36-yard score from Matthews to Harrison Houston with 2:28 left to reduce the lead to four points at 32–28.

Notre Dame put the game out of reach following Bettis' third rushing touchdown of the quarter, a 39-yarder, to push the score to 39–28, which was the final. Bettis finished with 150 yards rushing and was the game's MVP, scoring his three touchdowns in less than three minutes. Florida quarterback Shane Matthews set Sugar Bowl records for passing yards (370), and completions (28). Florida lost despite outgaining Notre Dame 511–433, and committing only two turnovers to Notre Dame's four.[3][4][5]

Scoring

First quarter
Second quarter
Third quarter
Fourth quarter
Source:[3][4][5]

Statistics

Statistics Notre Dame     Florida    
First Downs 23 29
Rushes–yards 49–279 33–141
Passing yards 154 370
Passes (C–A–I) 14–19–1 28–58–2
Total Offense 68–433 91–511
Return yards 31 4
Punts–average 2–34.0 2–52.5
Fumbles–lost 4–3 0–0
Turnovers 4 2
Penalties–yards 3–15 4–40
Time of possession 29:00 31:00
Source:[3][4][5]

Aftermath

Notre Dame climbed five spots to thirteenth in the final AP poll and Florida fell to seventh.[7]

References

  1. ^ "Orange Bowl Odds". Orange Bowl Odds.
  2. ^ "Betting line". Orange Bowl Odds. p. D7.
  3. ^ a b c d "Fighting Irish run wild in second half comeback". Eugene Register-Guard. (Oregon). Associated Press. January 2, 1992. p. 3B.
  4. ^ a b c d "Irish give the critics a rebuttal". Pittsburgh Press. news services. January 2, 1992. p. C3.
  5. ^ a b c d Shearer, Ed (January 2, 1992). "Irish top Gators on Bettis TDs". Wilmington Star-News. (North Carolina). p. 6B.
  6. ^ "College football". Toledo Blade. (Ohio). January 1, 1992. p. 30.
  7. ^ "Polls render split decision". Reading Eagle. (Pennsylvania). Associated Press. January 2, 1992. p. D1.