football-fbs flag | January 1, 2014

History: Outback Bowl


What is now the Outback Bowl came to be when organizers of the old Hall of Fame Classic -- the National Football Foundation and the College Football Hall of Fame -- decided to move the game from Birmingham, Ala., to Tampa, Fla., and give it the Hall of Fame Bowl name in 1986. The game was renamed the Outback Bowl in 1996.

Memorable moments

• In the inaugural game in 1986, Boston College quarterback Shawn Halloran hit Kelvin Martin in the end zone with 32 seconds remaining to steal a 27-24 win from Georgia.

• Two years later, two storied programs met for the first time as Alabama faced Michigan in a thriller. With 50 seconds left, Michigan's Demetrius Brown found a diving John Kolesar for the game-winning touchdown in a 28-24 victory.

• The first true "Outback Bowl" in 1996 was played in a constant downpour. In fact, it has since been called "The Mud Bowl" because more than six inches of rain fell on game day. It didn't seem to bother Penn State, which beat Auburn 43-14.

• In 1998, Georgia quarterback Mike Bobo set an NCAA record with 19 consecutive completions, including 12 to Hines Ward in a 33-6 win against Wisconsin.

• The 2000 contest saw Drew Brees set or tie six individual bowl records -- and lose. Georgia defeated Brees and Purdue 28-25 in overtime, coming back from a 25-0 deficit. Brees threw for 378 yards, one of 22 bowl records set or tied that day.

• In 2003, Michigan may have won the game, but Florida head coach Ron Zook got a lot of the credit -- or blame. With the Gators trailing 38-30 and driving in the final minute, Zook tried a bit of trickery from the Michigan 27. Freshman cornerback-turned-receiver Vernell Brown took the ball on a reverse and inexplicably lobbed a pass downfield that was intercepted by Victor Hobson to seal the victory.

• The 2012 edition saw Michigan State beat Georgia 33-30 in three overtimes. The game featured the longest punt return in game history (Brandon Boykin's 92-yard return) and the longest receiving touchdown in game history (Tavarres King's 80-yard catch). Michigan State ended the game by blocking Blair Walsh's 47-yard field goal attempt.

1986Boston College27Georgia24
1990Auburn31Ohio State14
1992Syracuse24Ohio State17
1993Tennessee38Boston College23
1994Michigan42NC State7
1996Penn State43Auburn14
1999Penn State26Kentucky14
2000Georgia28Purdue25 (OT)
2001South Carolina24Ohio State7
2002South Carolina31Ohio State28
2007Penn State20Tennessee10
2009Iowa31South Carolina10
2010Auburn38Northwestern35 (OT)
2011Florida37Penn State24
2012Michigan State33Georgia30 (3OT)
2013South Carolina33Michigan28
No game in calendar year 1987. Beginning in 1988, games were played in January, at the end of the prior season.


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