1988 Fiesta Bowl

Florida State 31, Nebraska 28

1988 fiesta bowl
January 1, 1988

Attendance: 72,112

Offensive Player of the Game: Danny McManus, Florida State

Defensive Player of the Game: Neil Smith, Nebraska

Sportsmanship Award: Steve Forch, Nebraska

Head Coaches: Bobby Bowden, Florida State - Tom Osborne, Nebraska

Weather: Clear, chilly

Television: NBC

Payout Per Team: $2,000,030

Florida State head coach Bobby Bowden took a chance, going for a fourth down and 15 with 3:07 left to play and his Seminoles trailing 28-24.

The gamble paid off as quarterback Danny McManus hit Ronald Lewis on a 15-yard slant pattern that produced a touchdown and a 31-28 Florida State victory in the 1988 Fiesta Bowl, another classic gridiron tug-of-war.

Nebraska’s offense got off to the early start, scoring twice in the first quarter to take a 14-0 lead. The first score came on a three-yard run by Keith Jones, which followed a 27-yard punt return that left the Cornhuskers only 18 yards from paydirt.

Nebraska scored again at the end of the quarter when Dana Brinson took a punt 52 yards for a touchdown.

Florida State then got on track, scoring three touchdowns in the second quarter to take a 21-14 lead into halftime. A four-yard TD run by Dayne Williams was sandwiched by two touchdown passes from McManus to Herb Gainer.

The Cornhuskers took the opening kick of the second half and went 77 yards on seven plays, scoring on a quarterback sneak by Steve Taylor to even the score at 21-21.

Florida State regained the lead on a 32-yard field goal by Derek Schmidt. Tyreese Knox scored on a four-yard run at the end of the third quarter to put the Cornhuskers out front, 28-24.

The Seminoles then went on their game-winning drive, going 97 yards in just under four minutes. McManus, who was named the offensive player of the game, connected on seven of nine passes on the drive, including the game-winner.

Quarter Scores

Scoring
1
2
3
4
F
Florida State
0
21
3
7
31
Nebraska
14
0
14
0
28

Yardstick

NEB
FSU
20
First Downs
26
54-242
Rushes-Yards
29-82
142
Passing Yards
375
7-14-1
Passes
28-51-1
192
Return Yards
15
4-35.5
Punts
4-29.5
4-2
Fumbles-Lost
2-1
9-78
Penalties-Yards
2-20

How They Scored

NEB
FSU
7
0
Keith Jones 3 yard run (Chris Drennan kick)
14
0
Dana Brinson 52 yard punt return (Drennan kick)
14
7
Herb Gainer 10 yard pass from Danny McManus (Derek Schmidt kick)
14
14
Dayne Williams 4 yard run (Schmidt kick)
14
21
Gainer 25 yard pass from McManus (Schmidt kick)
21
21
Steve Taylor 2 yard run (Drennan kick)
21
24
Schmidt 32 yard field goal
28
24
Tyreese Knox 4 yard run (Drennan kick)
28
31
Ronald Lewis 15 yard pass from McManus (Schmidt kick)

Individual Statistics

Rushing
NEB
Keith Jones 15-80, Steve Taylor 20-75, Tyreese Knox 13-62, Dana Brinson 2-16, Micha Heibel 3-7, Bryan Carpenter 1-2.
FSU
Sammie Smith 9-28, Danny McManus 5-26, Edgar Bennett 7-16, Dayne Williams 3-5, Dexter Carter 4-4, Marion Butts 1-3.
Passing
NEB
Steve Taylor 7-14-1-142.
FSU
Danny McManus 28-51-1-375.
Receiving
NEB
Morgan Gregory 3-49, Todd Milikan 2-32, Tom Banderas 1-48, Micha Heibel 1-13.
FSU
Herb Gainer 5-89, Pat Carter 5-54, Carter 4-89, Ronald Lewis 4-59, Edgar Bennett 4-47, Terry Anthony 2-29, Lawrence Dawsey 1-17, Sammie Smith 1-5, Dayne Williams 1-(-7), Marion Butts 1-(-7).