1980 Orange Bowl

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1980 Orange Bowl
1234 Total
Florida State 7000 7
Oklahoma 01707 24
DateJanuary 1, 1980
StadiumOrange Bowl
LocationMiami, Florida
MVPQB J. C. Watts (Oklahoma)
FS Bud Hebert (Oklahoma)
FavoriteOklahoma by 7½ points [1]
United States TV coverage
AnnouncersDon Criqui, John Brodie,
and Bob Trumpy
Orange Bowl
 < 1979  1981

The 1980 Orange Bowl was a postseason college football bowl game played on January 1, 1980, at the Orange Bowl in Miami, Florida, between the Oklahoma Sooners and the Florida State Seminoles.[2][3][4]


Oklahoma was champion of the Big Eight Conference for the seventh straight year and third consecutive Orange Bowl appearance. This was Florida State's first Orange Bowl appearance as they tried to finish their season off with a perfect undefeated season; they were on a fifteen-game win streak, which began in October 1978.

Game summary[edit]

Mike Whiting gave the Seminoles a 7–0 lead on his touchdown run, but that would be their only score of the day. A fumbled field goal snap, three turnovers, over 100 yards of rushing by quarterback J. C. Watts and halfback Billy Sims, and 24 unanswered points by Oklahoma doomed the Seminoles. It all started with a Watts run for a touchdown in the second quarter. After the kickoff, the Seminoles turned the ball over on an interception, giving the ball back to Oklahoma. Stanley Wilson then scored a touchdown run to make it 14-7. Mike Keeling added a field goal late in the quarter to give the Sooners a 17–7 lead at halftime.

The second half scoring was limited to one Oklahoma touchdown from 22 yards out in the fourth quarter; Watts ran for 12 yards before lateralling the ball to Sims, who took it the rest of the way for a 24–7 lead, the final score.[5] The Sooners ran for 411 yards on 59 carries, an average of nearly seven yards per carry, while having twice as many total yards as the Seminoles.[6][7]


The two teams met again in this bowl the following year, and Oklahoma won by a point. Through the 2017 season, Florida State has made postseason games in every season since this game.


Statistics Oklahoma Florida State
First Downs 23 12
Yards Rushing 411 82
Yards Passing 36 100
Total Yards 447 182
Punts-Average 4-25.0 9-42.2
Fumbles-Lost 5-4 1-0
Interceptions 0 3
Penalties-Yards 3-27 4-20


  1. ^ "Latest line". Pittsburgh Post-Gazette. January 1, 1980. p. 22.
  2. ^ Achenbach, Jim (January 2, 1980). "Sooners' quick TD's spill FSU 24-7". Sarasota Herald-Tribune. (Florida). p. 1E.
  3. ^ "Sooners stifle FSU". Spokesman-Review. (Spokane, Washington). Associated Press. January 2, 1980. p. C1.
  4. ^ "Oklahoma's quickness destroys Florida State passing attack". Eugene Register-Guard. (Oregon). UPI. January 2, 1980. p. 4D.
  5. ^ http://www.soonerstats.com/football/games/recap.cfm?GameID=786#.VYMHRPm6eM8
  6. ^ AP (January 2, 1980). "Oklahoma rolls, 24-7; Florida State streak ends". The Pantagraph. Bloomington, Illinois. Retrieved June 18, 2015.
  7. ^ http://game.orangebowl.org/orange-bowl-history/the-history-of-the-orange-bowl/1980s/1980/