1983 Cotton Bowl Classic

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1983 Cotton Bowl Classic
1234 Total
Pittsburgh 0300 3
SMU 0070 7
Date January 1, 1983
Season 1982
Stadium Cotton Bowl Stadium
Location Dallas, Texas
MVP SS Wes Hopkins (SMU)
QB Lance McIlhenny (SMU)
Referee Jimmy Harper (SEC)
Attendance 71,147
United States TV coverage
Network CBS
Announcers Lindsey Nelson, Pat Haden and Pat O'Brien
Cotton Bowl Classic
 < 1982  1984

The 1983 Cotton Bowl Classic was a postseason college football bowl game between the Pittsburgh Panthers and the SMU Mustangs. Despite the two teams combining for 622 yards, only 10 points were scored in the game as there were four turnovers, the final one deciding the game. However, two future Pro Football Hall of Famers were drafted in the 1st round: SMU Running back Eric Dickerson and Pittsburgh Quarterback Dan Marino.

Game summary[edit]

Temperatures were in the low 30s (°F) with light rain and sleet as undefeated SMU met Pittsburgh in the 1983 Cotton Bowl. Pittsburgh drove to the SMU 1-yard line on the game's opening series but Panther halfback Joe McCall fumbled, and Mustang safety Wes Hopkins fell on the loose ball at the 2-yard line. SMU and Pittsburgh did not score in the half, the first scoreless first half in the Cotton Bowl in 22 years.

On their first possession of the second quarter, the Panthers scored first when Eric Schubert booted a 43-yard field goal. SMU went on an 80-yard drive, with Lance McIlhenny's nine-yard touchdown run early in the fourth quarter, which would be the only touchdown of the day. Following the ensuing kickoff, senior quarterback Dan Marino engineered a drive which put the Panthers in scoring position at the SMU 7-yard line. On third-and goal, Marino threw a pass, but it was tipped by Hopkins and intercepted in the end zone by Blane Smith, helping to clinch the victory for SMU, who finished without a loss for the season.[1]


Statistics SMU Pittsburgh
First Downs 22 17
Yards Rushing 226 114
Yards Passing 101 181
Total offense - Yards 327 295
Punts-Average 4-38.0 3-44.7
Fumbles-Lost 4-2 1-1
Interceptions 1 0
Penalties-Yards 2-30 8-74

Rushing: SMU - Dickerson 27-124 Pittsburgh - Thomas 19-69

Passing: SMU - McIlhenny 5-8-101 Pittsburgh - Marino 19-37-181

Receiving: SMU - James 3-39 Pittsburgh - McCall 5-58, Thomas 5-38