The 1988 Sunkist Fiesta Bowl, played on January 1, 1988, was the 17th edition of the Fiesta Bowl. The game featured the Nebraska Cornhuskers, and the Florida State Seminoles.
Nebraska scored first following a 3 yard touchdown run from halfback Keith Jones, opening up a 7-0 lead with 9:31 left in the first quarter. With 1:15 left in the opening stanza, Dana Brinson fielded a punt, and returned it 52 yards for a touchdown, for Nebraska to open a 14-0 lead.
Florida State got on the board, after quarterback Danny McManus threw a 10 yard touchdown pass to Herb Gainer, cutting the lead in half. With 4:48 left in the first half, running back Dayne Williams scored from 4 yards out, to tie the game at 14. With 44 seconds left in the half, McManus connected with Gainer on a 25 yard connection, marking their second hook-up of the game, and the Seminoles took a 21-14 advantage into halftime.
With 11:41 left in the third quarter, Nebraska's Steve Taylor notched the equalizer, rumbling in from 2 yards out, tying the game at 21. Florida State settled for a field goal, and claimed a 24-21 lead with 7:49 left in the quarter. With just 40 seconds left in the quarter, running back Tyreese Knox scored on a 4 yard touchdown run, giving Nebraska a 28-24 lead.
In the fourth quarter, Nebraska got the ball back on its own 26 yard line. Following a methodical drive, they managed to move all the way to the FSU 2 yard line for a first and goal. Tyreese Knox took the handoff, looking for a sure touchdown, when a defender forced a fumble at the goal line, recovered by Florida State. Following 10 plays, on an 82 yard drive, Florida State had moved to the Nebraska 15. McManus threw a 15 yard touchdown pass to Ronald Lewis to give Florida State the clinching 31-28 score.
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