1995 Orange Bowl
|1995 FedEx Orange Bowl|
|National Championship Game|
|Date||January 1, 1995|
|Stadium||Miami Orange Bowl|
|MVP||Nebraska QB Tommie Frazier and Miami WR Chris T. Jones|
|Referee||Ron Winter (Big Ten)|
|United States TV coverage|
|Announcers||Tom Hammond and Cris Collinsworth|
The 1995 Orange Bowl was a college football bowl game that was played on January 1, 1995. The game was the Bowl Coalition national championship game for the 1994 season. This 61st edition of the Orange Bowl featured the Nebraska Cornhuskers and the Miami Hurricanes. Nebraska came into the game with a 12-0 record and No. 1 AP ranking, whereas Miami came into the game with a 10-1 record and No. 3 AP ranking. The game was a rematch of the classic 1984 match-up.
Although designated as that year's national championship game by the Bowl Coalition, it was a match-up of the No. 1 and No. 3 teams in the polls, as the No. 2-ranked and undefeated Penn State was bound to play in the Rose Bowl, potentially complicating who would actually be crowned national champions following the bowls. It was not until the 1998 season and the formation of the Bowl Championship Series (BCS) that the Big Ten and Pac-10 would allow their champions to compete in national championship games outside of the Rose Bowl.
Miami placekicker Dane Prewitt scored the first points of the game with a 44-yard field goal to open up a 3-0 Miami lead. Miami quarterback Frank Costa fired a 35-yard touchdown pass to Trent Jones for a 10-0 Miami lead. Nebraska quarterback Brook Berringer threw a 19-yard touchdown pass to tight end Mark Gilman before halftime, to close the deficit to 10-7. In the third quarter, Costa threw a 44-yard touchdown pass to Jonathan Harris, to open a 17-7 third-quarter lead.
Nebraska outside linebacker Dwayne Harris sacked Costa in the end zone for a safety before the end of the third quarter, and Miami led 17–9. Fullback Cory Schlesinger scored on a 15-yard touchdown run in the fourth quarter to trim the lead to 17-15. Tommie Frazier then found tight end Eric Alford in the back of the end zone to tie the game at 17. A 14-yard touchdown run by Schlesinger gave Nebraska a 24–17 lead, and the defense held on to win the national championship.
Nebraska finished the season with a 13–0 record, and won the national championship (Coach Tom Osborne's first). Miami finished the season ranked 6th with a 10-2 record . It was Nebraska's first bowl win since the 1987 Sugar Bowl.
Less than two weeks after the game, Dennis Erickson departed the Hurricanes to take the head coaching position with the National Football League's Seattle Seahawks. Miami hired Dallas Cowboys defensive coordinator Butch Davis as Erickson's successor.