1991 Fiesta Bowl
Offensive Player of the Game: Browning Nagle, Louisville
Defensive Player of the Game: Ray Buchanan, Louisville
Sportsmanship Award: Efrum Thomas, Alabama
Head Coaches: Howard Schnellenberger, Louisville - Gene Stallings, Alabama
Weather: Scattered clouds
Payout Per Team: $2,200,000
Louisville entered the 1991 Fiesta Bowlas a huge underdog and with a dream to fulfill.
The Cardinals did just that and a little bit more, as they jumped out to a 25-0 lead after just the first quarter and held on to trounce SEC power-house Ala-bama, 34-7, before a crowd of 69,098.
Louisville senior quarterback Browning Nagle, the offensive player of the game, was virtually unstoppable, completing 20 of 33 aerials for three touchdowns and a Fiesta Bowl record 451 passing yards. He threw two scoring passes to Anthony Cummings and tied the Fiesta record for longest completion with a 70-yard scoring toss to Latrell Ware.
The Cardinals scored on their last three possessions of the first quarter, with Nagle connecting on two scoring strikes. Louisville also scored after Ricky McFadden blocked a punt and Ray Buchanan recovered in the end zone for a touchdown.
Ralph Dawkins had a five-yard touchdown run in the first quarter scoring explosion, as Louisville jumped out to a 25-0 lead, just 15 minutes after the singing of the National Anthem.
Alabama got on the scoreboard in the second quarter, when Charles Gardner took advantage of Nagle’s only mistake of the day, taking an interception 49 yards for a score.
But the Cardinals defense took control, allowing only 85 total yards in the second half and just 189 in the entire game.
Louisville had 458 passing yards, which was the most ever allowed by an Alabama team.