1983 Cotton Bowl Classic
|1983 Cotton Bowl Classic|
|Date||January 1, 1983|
|MVP||Wes Hopkins (SMU SS)|
Lance McIlhenny (SMU QB)
|Favorite||Pittsburgh by 2½ points|
|Referee||Jimmy Harper (SEC)|
|United States TV coverage|
|Announcers||Lindsey Nelson, Pat Haden,|
and Pat O'Brien
The 1983 Cotton Bowl Classic was the 47th edition of the college football bowl game, played at the Cotton Bowl in Dallas, Texas, on Saturday, January 1. Part of the 1982–83 bowl game season, it matched the fourth-ranked SMU Mustangs of the Southwest Conference (SWC) and the #6 Pittsburgh Panthers, an independent. A slight underdog, SMU rallied in the fourth quarter to win, 7–3.
Despite the two teams combining for 622 yards, only ten points were scored in the game as there were four turnovers, and the final one decided the game.
The Panthers won their first seven games and attained the #1 ranking, but lost at home to Notre Dame, and later fell at rival Penn State, the eventual national champion. Through 2020, this is their only appearance in the Cotton Bowl.
The Panthers 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 third quarter, the Panthers scored first when Eric Schubert booted a 43-yard field goal. SMU went on an 80-yard drive, capped by quarterback Lance McIlhenny's nine-yard touchdown run early in the fourth quarter, which was the only touchdown of the day.
Dan Marino then engineered a drive which put the Panthers in scoring position at the SMU 7-yard line. On third-and goal and under pressure, 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.
- No scoring
- No scoring
- Pittsburgh - Eric Schubert 43-yard field goal
- SMU - Lance McIlhenny 9-yard run (Jeff Harrell kick)
Statistics SMU Pittsburgh First Downs 22 17 Yards Rushing 60–153 29–104 Yards Passing 101 181 Passing 5–9–0 19–37–1 Total Offense 69–254 66–285 Punts–Average 4–38.0 3–44.7 Fumbles–Lost 4–2 1–1 Turnovers 2 2 Penalties–Yards 2–30 8–74 Time of possession 32:48 27:12
- 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
SMU climbed to second in the final AP poll and Pittsburgh fell to tenth.
- "The latest line". Pittsburgh Post-Gazette. January 1, 1983. p. 13.
- "Mustangs (11-0-1) cotton to No. 1". Eugene Register-Guard. (Oregon). Associated Press. January 2, 1983. p. 4D.
- "Cotton Bowl". Eugene Register-Guard. (Oregon). wire services reports. January 1, 1983. p. 3B.
- Putnam, Pat (January 10, 1983). "Cottoning on to No. 2, it's SMWho". Sports Illustrated: 21.
- Smizik, Bob (January 2, 1983). "Punchless Pitt kayoed by SMU in Cotton, 7-3". Pittsburgh Press. p. C1.
- "SMU stakes claim to No. 1 ranking". The Bulletin. (Bend, Oregon). UPI. January 2, 1983. p. F2.