|Date||November 23, 1984|
|Stadium||Miami Orange Bowl|
|United States TV coverage|
|Announcers||Brent Musburger, Ara Parseghian, and Pat Haden|
The Hail Flutie game is a college football game that took place between the Boston College Eagles and University of Miami Hurricanes on November 23, 1984. It has been regarded by FOX Sports writer Kevin Hench as among the most memorable moments in sports. The game is most notable for a last-second Hail Mary pass from quarterback Doug Flutie to wide receiver Gerard Phelan to give Boston College the win. Miami was the defending national champion and entered the game ranked 12th in the nation. Boston College was ranked 10th with a record of 8–2 and had already accepted an invitation to the Cotton Bowl Classic at the end of the season. The game was played at the Miami Orange Bowl, and televised nationally by CBS, with Brent Musburger, Ara Parseghian, and Pat Haden commentating.
Notable achievements in the game included:
- The Hurricanes' Bernie Kosar passed for a school-record 447 yards.
- Miami running back Melvin Bratton ran for four touchdowns.
- Flutie passed for 472 yards and four touchdowns and became the first collegiate quarterback ever to surpass 10,000 yards passing in a college career.
Boston College jumped out to an early 14–0 lead in the first quarter before quarterback Bernie Kosar and Miami stormed back to tie. The two quarterbacks played phenomenal games, combining for 59–84, 919 yards, and 5 touchdowns. With 28 seconds left, Boston College trailed 45–41. Three quick plays took the Eagles from their own 20-yard line to the Hurricanes' 48-yard line.
Flutie called it the "55 Flood Tip" play, which the receivers were going to run straight routes into the end zone. Then they were to tip the football to another receiver. Flutie scrambled to his right, narrowly averting a sack. He threw the football from his own 37, requiring the 5' 9" quarterback to throw the ball at least 63 yards against 30 mph winds, after having already thrown the football 45 times during the game.
The Miami defensive backs doubted his ability to throw the ball into the end zone, so they paid no attention to Phelan as he ran behind them. The ball came straight down over the mass of players untouched into Phelan's arms for the 47–45 win.
Flutie won the Heisman Trophy shortly afterward. He later said "Without the Hail Mary pass I think I could have been very easily forgotten. We would have gone to the same bowl game, the Heisman voting was already in, and the direction [of his career], everything would have been the same, except that pass put this label on me as 'It's never over 'til it's over' guy".
The game was placed in NCAA Football video games as a "College Classic", challenging players to recreate the ending. The scenario begins with the final play, forcing players to attempt the winning throw.
Some claimed that a great increase in applications to Boston College the year after this game was a result of this game. This has been called the Flutie Effect and has been used to describe other colleges that have received an increase in applications and exposure after the success of a college athletics team.
Quotes from the play
Three wide receivers out to the right...Flutie flushed...throws it down...CAUGHT BY BOSTON COLLEGE, I DON'T BELIEVE IT! It's a touchdown! The Eagles win it! (Unbelievable!) I don't believe it! Phelan is at the bottom of that pile! Here comes the Boston College team! He threw it into the endzone! There was no time left on the clock! The ball went between two defensive backs of Miami! Jack Bicknell is the only person over there on the sidelines, he couldn't get the headset off fast enough!— CBS TV announcer Brent Musburger calling the play.
Here we go...here's your ballgame, folks, as Flutie takes the snap. He drops straight back...has some time, now scrambles away from one hit...looks...uncorks a deep one to the end zone, Phelan is down there...(OH, HE GOT IT!) DID HE GET IT? (HE GOT IT!) TOUCHDOWN!! TOUCHDOWN!! TOUCHDOWN!! TOUCHDOWN!! TOUCHDOWN BOSTON COLLEGE!! HE DID IT!! HE DID IT!! FLUTIE DID IT!! HE GOT PHELAN IN THE END ZONE!! TOUCHDOWN!! OH MY GOODNESS...WHAT A PLAY!! FLUTIE TO GERARD PHELAN!! 48 YARDS!! NO TIME ON THE CLOCK, IT'S ALL OVER!!— Boston College announcer Dan Davis calling the play.
- FOX Sports: Ten Best Damn unforgettable sports moments
- "Doug Flutie". A Football Life. 2014-10-17. NFL Network.