3rd Annual Cactus Bowl
Stadium: Arizona Stadium
Offensive Player of the Game: Vaughn Dunbar, Indiana
Defensive Player of the Game: Mark Hagen, Indiana
Head Coaches: Bill Mallory, Indiana - Grant Teaff, Baylor
Weather: Clear, 55 Degrees
Television: Turner Broadcasting (WTBS)
Payout Per Team: $650,000
Running back Vaughn Dunbar and quarterback Trent Green broke school records and the Indiana defense made several big plays as the Hoosiers recorded the only shutout in Cactus Bowl history, a 24–0 win over Baylor on a 55-degree night in Tucson.
Dunbar scored one touchdown and gained 106 yards on 28 carries for a single-season total of 1,805 yards rushing, 12 more than Anthony Thompson’s school record total in 1989. Green ran for two touchdowns and passed for 165 yards, pushing his season total to 2,267 yards to break Steve Bradley’s 1984 school mark of 2,544 yards passing.
On a night of modest offense — Indiana outgained Baylor 323–269 total yards — the Hoosiers were judicious in their approach. Turnover-free Indiana raced to a 17–0 halftime lead on a quarterback sneak by Green, a short field goal from Scott Bonnell, and a five-yard scamper by Dunbar with 12 seconds remaining before intermission.
Baylor failed to capitalize on its numerous scoring opportunities. Late in the first quarter, the Bears faked a field-goal attempt but the ball was overthrown in the end zone. Later, the Bears reached Indiana’s two-yard line late in the third quarter but were unable to score when a missed handoff caused a fumble that was recovered in the end zone by Indiana free safety Damon Watts.
IU linebacker John Miller intercepted a pass at the Hoosier 38-yard line on Baylor’s next possession, setting up a 12-play, 60-yard scoring drive capped by a four-yard touchdown run by Green to ice the outcome.
Dunbar recorded 82 of his 106 rushing yards in the first half and was named offensive player-of-the-game. Mark Hagen had 11 tackles, including two sacks, to earn defensive player-of-the-game.
For Baylor, quarterback J.J. Joe had 131 yards passing, Robert Strait finished with 72 yards rushing, and Alonzo Pierce had 32 yards receiving.