2002 Fiesta Bowl

Oregon 38, Colorado 16

2002 fiesta bowl
January 1, 2002

Attendance: 74,118

Offensive Player of the Game: Joey Harrington, Oregon

Defensive Player of the Game: Steve Smith, Oregon

Sportsmanship Award: Roman Hollowell, Colorado

Head Coaches: Mike Bellotti, Oregon - Gary Barnett, Colorado

Weather: Clear, warm

Television: ABC

Payout Per Team: $11,700,000

At the beginning of the 2001 college football season, the University of Oregon purchased a 10-story billboard in New York City to promote senior quarterback Joey Harrington for the Heisman Trophy.

On the day of the 2002 Fiesta Bowl, Harrington must have looked at least that big to the Colorado Buffaloes, as he threw four touchdown passes to lead the Ducks to a convincing 38-16 victory in one of the most anticipated games of the year.

The game was billed as the “Just in Case National Title Game.” Oregon entered the Fiesta Bowl ranked second in the Associated Press and USA Today/ESPN polls, while Colorado was a close third in both polls. But it was Nebraska that got the nod to play Miami in the Rose Bowl when the Cornhuskers edged the Buffs in the final Bowl Championship Series poll.

With the win, the Ducks had a chance to claim a split national championship, but Miami was able to defeat Nebraska two days later and cap an undefeated season and consensus national championship.

On this day, however, it was all about Joey “Heisman.” The senior razzled and dazzled the sold-out crowd of 74,118 with pinpoint passes and flawless composure, as he led the Ducks to a 38-7 lead before the Buffs knew what had hit them.

Harrington finished the day with 350 yards passing and four touchdowns, including a 79-yard dart to Samie Parker, tying a record for longest pass reception in Fiesta Bowl history. He also hooked up on touchdown passes with Keenan Howry (28 yards), Onterrio Smith (six yards) and Justin Peelle (four yards).

The performance by Harrington was convincing, but what was even more impressive was the way the Ducks defense clamped down on the potent Colorado running attack. The Buffs entered the game as the hottest team in the country, after knocking off Nebraska, 62-36, and Texas, 39-37, in the Big 12 Championship game.

The Ducks defense limited Colorado to just 49 yards rushing, recorded four sacks and had three interceptions, all by cornerback Steve Smith, to completely shut down the Buffalo offense.

Quarter Scores

Scoring
1
2
3
4
F
Oregon
7
14
7
10
38
Colorado
7
0
0
9
16

Yardstick

ORE
COL
22
First Downs
20
28-150
Rushes-Yards
31-49
350
Passing Yards
279
28-42-1
Passes
24-47-3
39
Return Yards
39
5-36.2
Punts
5-40.8
0-0
Fumbles-Lost
1-0
8-74
Penalties-Yards
8-55

How They Scored

ORE
COL
0
7
Brandon Drumm 1 yard run (Pat Brougham kick)
7
7
Keenan Howry 28 yard pass from Joey Harrington (Jared Siegel kick)
14
7
Samie Parker 79 yard pass from Harrington (Siegel kick)
21
7
Onterrio Smith 6 yard pass from Harrington (Siegel kick)
28
7
Maurice Morris 49 yard run (Siegel kick)
31
7
Siegel 47 yard field goal
38
7
Justin Peelle 4 yard pass from Harrington (Siegel kick)
38
10
Jeremy Flores 39 yard field goal
38
16
Daniel Graham 4 yard pass from Craig Ochs (kick failed)

Individual Statistics

Rushing
ORE
Onterrio Smith 14-51, Maurice Morris 11-89, Josh Line 2-7, Jason Willis 1-3.
COL
Chris Brown 9-30, Cortlen Johnson 8-24, Bobby Purify 6-19, Craig Ochs 5-(-20), Bobby Pesavento 2-(-5), Brandon Drumm 1-1.
Passing
ORE
Joey Harrington 28-42-1-350.
COL
Bobby Pesavento 11-27-2-139, Craig Ochs 13-20-1-140.
Receiving
ORE
Samie Parker 9-162, Jason Willis 6-62, Justin Peelle 5-66, Keenan Howry 3-33, Onterrio Smith 3-8, Josh Line 1-16, George Wrightster 1-3.
COL
Daniel Graham 10-89, Derek McCoy 5-66, Cortlen Johnson 3-50, Matt Brunson 3-35, Cedric Cormier 2-25, Marcus Houston 1-14.