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THE NITTANY LIONS held a 20--3 lead in the second quarter following two touchdown runs by Curt Warner (177 total yards), who outshone Heisman winner Herschel Walker (103 yards). Georgia clawed its way back, scoring two touchdowns by the third quarter to cut Penn State's advantage to three, but a 47-yard touchdown pass by Todd Blackledge to Greg Garrity and two late Nittany Lions first downs gave PSU its first outright national title.
NO. 2 PENN STATE 14 NO. 1 MIAMI 10 JANUARY 2, 1987 FIESTA BOWL
PENN STATE GAINED just 162 total yards and eight first downs to Miami's 445 and 22, but Hurricanes quarterback Vinny Testaverde threw five interceptions, the last of which came on fourth down (courtesy of Nittany Lions linebacker Pete Giftopoulos) at the Penn State goal line with 18 seconds remaining.
NO. 2 MIAMI 20 NO. 1 OKLAHOMA 14 JANUARY 1, 1988 ORANGE BOWL
OKLAHOMA TIED the game 7--7 seconds before halftime, but the Hurricanes took a 17--7 lead by scoring on their first two third-quarter possessions: an Orange Bowl--record 56-yard field goal from Greg Cox and a 23-yard touchdown pass from QB Steve Walsh (4) to wideout Michael Irvin. The Sooners closed the gap late with a fumblerooskie that led to a 29-yard touchdown by guard Mark Hutson, but a real fumble with less than a minute left cost them the game.
NO. 1 TENNESSEE 23 NO. 2 FLORIDA STATE 16 JANUARY 4, 1999 FIESTA BOWL
FLORIDA STATE was in search of its second national title in five seasons, while Tennessee hoped to end its 48-year championship drought. The Vols scored two touchdowns in 25 seconds in the second quarter (one was a pick-six), but the Seminoles narrowed the gap to 14--9 by the half. The effort by Tennessee receiver Peerless Price (37) was unmatched, though, as he caught four passes for 199 yards, including a then Fiesta Bowl--record 79-yard touchdown reception with 9:17 to go in the fourth quarter that effectively put the game out of reach.