This Date In Hurricanes History...October 30, 1981
Brought to you by the UM Sports Hall of Fame!
From The Ibis yearbook...
It was a climax to a great Homecoming as the Miami Hurricanes upset the #1 ranked team in the nation, the Penn State Nittany Lions, 17-14. A Jim Kelly to Larry Brodsky 80 yard touchdown strike sparked the win for Miami.
The game, which was seen by over fifteen million people on ABC national television, featured quarterback Jim Kelly at his best. Ironically, the junior from East Brady, Pennsylvania, was recruited by Penn State coach Joe Paterno to play linebacker; however, Kelly felt he was a quarterback by trade and turned down Paterno's offer.
The defense, which has been spectacular all season, had one of its finest games, holding the Nittany Lions scoreless three times when they were inside the Miami ten yard line.
"This victory is a major step forward for our team." commented Coach Schnellenberger; he continued "we came out, we played physical; we did what we had to do early in the game. I told our guys that this would be the win of a lifetime, something they would remember always."
Penn State quarterback Todd Blackledge had 358 yards passing, but was intercepted twice by defensive back Fred Marion, and the Miami defense thwarted 2 late drives by recovering fumbles on the rain-soaked Orange Bowl turf, in front of the Homecoming Game crowd of only 32,117, securing the Canes first ever victory over a #1 ranked team !
The Hurricanes would finish the season with a 9-2 record, with victories over Florida, Florida State (State Champs), and Notre Dame; their only losses at #4 Texas (14-7) and #16 Mississippi State (14-10). Due to NCAA probation, the team did not play in a bowl game, but with this victory over the #1 ranked team in the nation, laid the foundation for the future and the 1983 National Championship !
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