1989 Fiesta Bowl
|1989 Sunkist Fiesta Bowl|
|Date||January 2, 1989|
|Stadium||Sun Devil Stadium|
|MVP||Tony Rice (QB, Notre Dame)|
Frank Stams (LB, Notre Dame)
|Favorite||Notre Dame by 5 points |
|United States TV coverage|
|Announcers||Dick Enberg and Merlin Olsen|
The 1989 Sunkist Fiesta Bowl, played on Monday, January 2, was the 18th edition of the Fiesta Bowl. It featured the top-ranked Notre Dame Fighting Irish and the third-ranked West Virginia Mountaineers. With both teams 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 independents squaring off for the national title.
Also, as in 1987, the game was played on January 2, but this was because 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. With NBC no longer televising the Rose Bowl, the kickoff for the Fiesta Bowl was moved three hours later, to 2:30 p.m. MST, and the game now had NBC's top broadcast team of Dick Enberg and Merlin Olsen.
After West Virginia quarterback and Heisman candidate Major Harris separated his shoulder on the third play of the game, Notre Dame took control to claim their record eleventh national championship. Though Harris would return to the game, after the lackluster performance of West Virginia's second string QB, he was severely hampered by his injury.
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, but 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. Mountaineer Charlie Baumann added a 31-yard field goal before halftime to make it 23–6.
Early in the third quarter, Reggie Ho added a 32-yard field goal to increase the Irish lead to 26–6. WVU quarterback Harris hit Grantis Bell for a 17-yard touchdown pass, cutting the lead to 26–13. He later left the game with an injury. 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, who also converted the 2-point conversion, making the score 34–21. Notre Dame sealed the win by intercepting a pass in the end zone.
|ND — Billy Hackett 45-yard field goal||ND 3-0|
|ND — Anthony Johnson 1 Yard rush (pat failed)||ND 9-0|
|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|
|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|
|ND — Tony Rice 3-yard pass to Frank Jacobs (Tony Rice run)||ND 34-13|
|WV — Reggie Rembert 3-yard rush (Greg Jones pass to Reggie Rembert)||ND 34-21|
First Downs 19 19 Rushes–yards 37–108 59–242 Passing yards 174 213 Passes 14–30–1 7–11–1 Total yards 282 455 Punts–average 7–45 4–37 Fumbles–lost 0–0 2–0 Turnovers by 1 1 Penalties-yards 3–38 11–102 Time of possession 23:17 36:43
- "The latest line". Pittsburgh Post-Gazette. January 2, 1989. p. 27.
- "Today's games". Pittsburgh Post-Gazette. January 2, 1989. p. 21.
- White, Mike (January 3, 1989). "Notre Dame blasts WVU, 34-21". Pittsburgh Post-Gazette. p. 17.
- "Fiesta Bowl". Pittsburgh Post-Gazette. (box score). January 3, 1989. p. 20.