The 1991 Mobil Cotton Bowl Classic was a post-season college football game played on January 1, 1991. It pitted the #3 Texas Longhorns, champions of the SWC conference, against the independent #5 Miami Hurricanes. A highly anticipated matchup, however, soon turned into a blowout as Miami crushed Texas, 46–3. The game was filled with record numbers of penalties, as Miami was flagged 16 times for 202 yards, compared to 68 total penalty yards for Texas. Miami's 43-point margin of victory also set record, as did Craig Erickson's four touchdown passes.
The Miami Hurricanes opened the season as defending national champions. However, they endured a shocking road loss to Brigham Young, 28–21. The Hurricanes would win their next 4 games, before another loss to Notre Dame (29-20) knocked them out of contention for the national championship. The Hurricanes ended with a 9-2 record to receive an invitation to the Cotton Bowl Classic.
The Texas Longhorns had a 5-6 record in their previous season, and had not made a bowl game since 1987. They began the season ranked #23. After a 29-22 loss to Colorado dropped them out of the rankings, the Longhorns would go on to the famed "Shock the Nation" tour, winning their next 9 games - including wins against #4 Oklahoma (14–13) and #3 Houston (45–24) - to capture the SWC Championship and a pregame #3 ranking.
The win was a continuation of Miami's rise to dominance. After finishing the season #3, they would go on to be named AP National Champions the following year. Meanwhile, Texas fired coach David McWilliams following a 5-6 campaign in 1991. The Longhorns would not play in another New Year's Day bowl game until 1995, and would not win another major bowl game until 1998, Mack Brown's first year at Texas.