Hail Flutie

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Hail Flutie
1234 Total
Boston College 1414316 47
Miami 7141014 45
DateNovember 23, 1984
StadiumMiami Orange Bowl
LocationMiami, Florida
United States TV coverage
AnnouncersBrent Musburger, Ara Parseghian, and Pat Haden

The Hail Flutie game, also known as the Miracle in Miami, is a college football game that took place between the Boston College Eagles and the 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.[1] 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.

The game[edit]

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".[2]

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[edit]

CBS TV announcer Brent Musburger:

Boston College radio announcer Dan Davis:

...(OH, HE GOT IT!)... (HE GOT IT!) was said by the statistician Dick Tarpey.


  1. ^ FOX Sports: Ten Best Damn unforgettable sports moments
  2. ^ "Doug Flutie". A Football Life. 2014-10-17. NFL Network.

See also[edit]