football-fbs flag | December 28, 2013

History: Russell Athletic Bowl


The beginnings of what is now the Russell Athletic Bowl come from Miami and organizers' desire to build a companion game to the Orange Bowl and also show off its new arena, Joe Robbie Stadium, built in 1987. Miami Dolphins owner Wayne Huizenga joined forces with bowl organizers and brought on another of his businesses, Blockbuster Video, as corporate sponsor.

On Dec. 28, 1990, what is now known as the Russell Athletic Bowl was born. The first game, a matchup of Florida State and Penn State, was a huge success. Things dropped off quickly, however, and the game was moved to New Year's Day in 1993. That didn't last long; the Orange Bowl was moved to Joe Robbie Stadium in 1996. Starting in 2001, the game was moved to Orlando's Citrus Bowl, where it is still played today.

Memorable moments

• In 1999, Illinois made its first bowl appearance in five years and lit up the scoreboard, beating Virginia 63-21. Illinois scored nine touchdowns and totaled 611 yards of offense.

• Texas Tech quarterback Kliff Kingsbury threw for 375 yards and three scores for the Red Raiders as they beat Clemson 55-15 in the 2002 game. 

• In 2003, Philip Rivers threw for 475 yards and five TDs as NC State posted a 56-26 win against Kansas.

• The 2012 contest was the first overtime game in the bowl's history. Virginia Tech scored a field goal in its overtime possession while Rutgers' attempt sailed wide-right and the Hokies got a 13-10 victory.

1990Florida State24Penn State17
1993Stanford24Penn State3
1994Boston College31Virginia13
1995South Carolina24West Virginia21
1995North Carolina20Arkansas10
1996Miami (Fla.)31Virginia21
1997Georgia Tech35West Virginia30
1998Miami (Fla.)46NC State23
2000NC State38Minnesota30
2001Pittsburgh34NC State19
2002Texas Tech55Clemson15
2003NC State56Kansas26
2004Georgia Tech51Syracuse14
2007Boston College24Michigan State21
2008Florida State42Wisconsin13
2009Wisconsin20Miami (Fla.)14
2010NC State23West Virginia7
2011Florida State18Notre Dame14
2012Virginia Tech13Rutgers10 (OT)
2013Louisville36Miami (Fla.)9
No game played in 1992 as the bowl moved to New Year's Day in 1993. Two games were played in 1995 -- one on New Year's Day and one on Dec. 30.


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