1977 Orange Bowl

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1977 Orange Bowl
1 2 3 4 Total
Colorado 10 0 0 0 10
Ohio State 7 10 3 7 27
Date January 1, 1977
Season 1976
Stadium Miami Orange Bowl
Location Miami, Florida
MVP Tom Cousineau (Ohio St. LB)
Referee Robert Carpenter (ACC)
Attendance 65,537
United States TV coverage
Network NBC
Announcers Jim Simpson and John Brodie
Orange Bowl
 < 1976  1978

The 1977 Orange Bowl featured a matchup between the Colorado Buffaloes and the Ohio State Buckeyes. The #12 Buffaloes came into the game from the Big Eight Conference with an 8–3 record. The Buckeyes came out of the Big Ten Conference with an 8–2–1 record, ranked 11th in the nation. This was the only Orange Bowl between 1976 and 1981 which did not feature Oklahoma, and the only one from 1976 through 1989 which did not include the Sooners or the Nebraska Cornhuskers (the 1979 game matched Nebraska and Oklahoma).

Colorado scored quickly, jumping out to an early 10–0 lead. However, Rod Gerald, who had not played since the seventh game of the season due to a bone chip in his lower back, came off the bench to lead the Bucks to its ninth win of the season.

Gerald rushed 14 times for 81 yards, including 17 on his first carry setting up a 36-yard scoring run by Jeff Logan. Ohio State was on the scoreboard with 3:11 to go in the first quarter.

The Buckeyes scored on their next two possessions with Tom Skladany;s 28-yard field goal with 9:33 left in the half and Pete Johnson's 3-yard run with 24 seconds remaining before halftime. That capped a 99-yard drive after a blocked Colorado field goal attempt, and gave Ohio State the lead for good. Gerald ended the scoring with a 4-yard run with a minute left in the fourth quarter, and was named the back of the game.

Ohio State with 271 yards rushing, outgained Colorado 330–271.

This was the first Orange Bowl played on natural grass in seven years, since January 1970. Poly Turf, similar to AstroTurf, was installed for the 1970 season and removed in early 1976, following Super Bowl X.

Scoring summary[edit]

First quarter[edit]

CO - Zettenberg 26 field goal, 9:04

CO - Moorehead 11 pass from Knapple (Zettenberg kick), 3:54

OSU - Logan 36 run (Skladany kick), 3:11

Second quarter[edit]

OSU - Skladany 28 field goal, 9:33

OSU - Johnson 3 run (Skladany kick), 0:24

Third quarter[edit]

OSU - Skladany 20 field goal, 2:30

Fourth quarter[edit]

OSU - Gerald 4 run (Skladany kick), 0:45