Since football first originated, the sport has been filled with climactic bouts of great magnitude and excitement. The time limit on the games almost certainly means that some games will go down to the wire. Having been a sports fan for many, many years, I have had the opportunity to witness many of these great football jousting matches, either in replay or in live action, and have picked a few as favorites of my own, which I will share with you now.
Number One: 1984 Boston College defeats Miami
With seconds left on the clock, the BC Eagles were down 45-41 and on the Miami 48. The outcome seemed hopeless for the Eagles until QB Doug Flutie took the snap, evaded the pass rush, and threw a Hail Mary touchdown pass from inside his own 40 yardline to an open Gerard Phelan in the endzone to seal the defeat of the Canes.
Number Two: 2005 USC defeats Notre Dame
Matt Leinhart bulled his way into the endzone for a three-yard touchdown as time expired on the Irish, and USC went on to continue their win streak against their bitter rivals in South Bend. In a see-saw battle featuring two of the nation's premier offenses, fans got what they wanted as scoring went back and forth until the very end of regulation.
Number Three: 2001 Oklahoma State defeats Oklahoma
With only 1:36 remaining in the game, freshman quarterback Josh Fields threw a 14-yard touchdown pass to Rashaun Woods at the edge of the endzone to seal a huge upset for the Cowboys and a catastrophic loss for the Sooners that knocked OU out of the national title picture.
Number Four: 1999 UNLV defeats Baylor
Keven Steele's first game as Baylor head coach resembled the rest of his tenure as Baylor continued to descend from the glory years under former head coaches Chuck Reedy and Grant Teaff. With Baylor up three and only eight seconds on the clock, Steele decided to go for it. The ball was handed off to RB Darrell Bush who was stood up and then stripped by the Running Rebel defense. UNLV defensive back Keven Thomas then returned the fumble recovery 101 yards for the go-ahead touchdown and the win.
Number Five: 1994 Colorado defeats Michigan
Kordell Stewart threw a 73-yard (in the air) touchdown pass to wide receiver Michael Westbrook to shock the Wolverine nation in front of more than 100,000 fans. The drive started from the Colorado fifteen, with the previous play being a twenty-one yard pass to Westbrook, again from Stewart.
As long as there remains a competitive fire within the players in the NCAA, along with the fans who drive the football machine, great games will be more than happenstance but a fixture in the world of collegiate athletics.
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