1989 Fiesta Bowl

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1989 Sunkist Fiesta Bowl
1 2 3 4 Total
West Virginia 0 6 7 8 21
Notre Dame 9 14 3 8 34
Date January 2, 1989
Season 1988
Stadium Sun Devil Stadium
Location Tempe, Arizona
MVP QB Tony Rice & LB Frank Stams
Attendance 74,911
United States TV coverage
Network NBC
Announcers Dick Enberg and Merlin Olsen
Nielsen ratings 17.0
Fiesta Bowl
 < 1988  1990

The 1989 Sunkist Fiesta Bowl, played on January 2, 1989, was the 18th edition of the Fiesta Bowl. The game featured the Notre Dame Fighting Irish, and the West Virginia Mountaineers. With both teams coming into the game undefeated, the Fiesta Bowl was the stage for the "National Championship" for the second time in three years. As in 1987, the Fiesta Bowl featured two independent schools squaring off for the national title. However, it was not a #1 vs. #2 matchup as the second-ranked Miami Hurricanes, like Notre Dame and West Virginia independent, chose to play in the Orange Bowl.

Also, as in 1987, the game was played on January 2. However, this was not due to any special circumstances like the 1987 game was as New Year's Day fell on a Sunday in 1989 and per protocols all of the bowls that would normally take place that day were played on January 2.

Notre Dame would control the game throughout to claim their record 11th National Championship. As of 2016, this remains the last championship for the Irish.

Billy Hackett started the scoring with a 45-yard field goal to give Notre Dame an early 3–0 lead. Running back Anthony Johnson then scored on a 1-yard touchdown run to give Notre Dame a 9–0 lead. The ensuing extra point missed, and the score remained 9–0. Early in the second quarter, Rodney Culver added a 5-yard touchdown run to increase Notre Dame's lead to 16–0. Charlie Baumann of West Virginia scored on a 29-yard field goal to cut the lead to 16–3.

Later in the second quarter, Tony Rice threw a 29-yard touchdown pass to Raghib Ismail, to extend the lead to 23–3. Charlie Baumann added a 31-yard field goal before halftime, to make it 23–6, Notre Dame. Early in the third quarter, Reggie Ho added a 32-yard field goal to increase the Irish lead to 26–6.

WVU quarterback Major Harris hit Grantis Bell for a 17-yard touchdown pass, cutting the lead to 26–13. He later left the game with an injury. Tony Rice threw a 3-yard touchdown pass to Frank Jacobs. Rice later took it in himself for the 2-point conversion, giving Notre Dame a 34–13 lead. WVU scored with a 3-yard touchdown run by Reggie Rembert, Rembert also converted the 2-point conversion, making the score 34–21. Notre Dame sealed the game, by intercepting a pass in the end zone.

Scoring summary[edit]

Scoring Summary Score
1st Quarter
ND — Billy Hackett 45-yard field goal ND 3-0
ND — Anthony Johnson 1 Yard rush (pat failed) ND 9-0
2nd Quarter
ND — Rodney Culver 5-yard rush (Reggie Ho kick) ND 16-0
WV — Charlie Baumann 29-yard field goal ND 16-3
ND — Tony Rice 29-yard pass to Raghib Ismail (Reggie Ho kick) ND 23-3
WV — Charlie Baumann 32-yard field goal ND 23-6
3rd Quarter
ND — Reggie Ho 32-yard field goal ND 26-6
WV — Major Harris 17-yard pass to Grantis Bell (Charlie Baumann kick) ND 26-13
4th Quarter
ND — Tony Rice 3-yard pass to Frank Jacobs (Tony Rice run for 2-point conversion) ND 34-13
WV — Reggie Rembert 3-yard rush (Greg Jones pass to Reggie Rembert for 2-point conversion) ND 34-21