During USA's first three seasons (1980-1982), they broadcast several games (they in essence, cherry picked games from regional and national syndicators like Raycom, Mizlou, and Katz) a week. These broadcasts were shown on a tape delayed basis as much as two days later. For USA's final three seasons (1983-1986), they narrowed their coverage to only one game a week. Initially, the games were selected from virtually every conference. However, in the later years, USA would frequently (but not exclusively) air games involving Pittsburgh, Penn State, Notre Dame, Boston College and Maryland. More to the point, by 1984, USA primarily aired games from the Big Eight Conference.
The biggest highlight of University of Maryland quarterback Frank Reich's college career was the comeback he led against the University of MiamiHurricanes on November 10, 1984 at the Orange Bowl Stadium. Reich came off the bench to play for Stan Gelbaugh, who had previously replaced him as the starter after Reich separated his shoulder in the fourth week of the season against Wake Forest. Miami quarterback Bernie Kosar had led the 'Canes to a 31-0 lead at halftime. At the start of the third quarter, Reich led the Maryland Terrapins multiple scoring drives. Three touchdowns in the third quarter and a fourth at the start of the final quarter turned what was a blowout into a close game. With the score 34-28 Miami, Reich hit Greg Hill with a 68-yard touchdown pass which deflected off the hands of Miami safety Darrell Fullington to take the lead. Maryland scored once more to cap a 42-9 second half, and won the game 42-40, completing what was then the biggest comeback in NCAA history.
1985 Cherry Bowl - The end of NCAA control over television rights resulted in a major increase in televised games, and TV rights fees dropped sharply amid the resulting glut, something not anticipated by the Cherry Bowl organizers.