1988 Fiesta Bowl
Florida State 31, Nebraska 28
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
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.