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The 1982 edition of the Orange Bowl was played on January 1 at the Orange Bowl in Miami, Florida.[1][2] It featured the Nebraska Cornhuskers of the Big Eight Conference and the top-ranked and undefeated Clemson Tigers of the Atlantic Coast Conference.

1982 Orange Bowl
1234 Total
Clemson 66100 22
Nebraska 7008 15
DateJanuary 1, 1982
StadiumOrange Bowl
LocationMiami, Florida
MVPHomer Jordan (QB, Clemson)
Jeff Davis         (LB, Clemson)
FavoriteNebraska by 4½ points [1]
United States TV coverage
AnnouncersDon Criqui and John Brodie
Orange Bowl
 < 1981  1983

Led by head coach Danny Ford, Clemson came into the game unbeaten at 11–0 and ranked #1, attempting to win its first national championship.[3] Nebraska had started the 1981 season poorly, but then won their next eight games to emerge at 9–2 and fourth in the polls. Earlier in the day, #2 Georgia and #3 Alabama had both lost (24–20 to #8 Pittsburgh and 14–12 to #6 Texas respectively), opening the door for the Orange Bowl victor to claim the national title; Nebraska was favored by 4½ points.[1]


Game summaryEdit

Clemson scored first on a 41-yard field goal by Donald Igwebuike to take a 3–0 lead. Nebraska then succeeded with a trick play, as running back Mike Rozier threw a 25-yard halfback pass to Anthony Steels for a touchdown and a 7–3 lead. Igwebuike kicked a 37-yard field goal to pull Clemson to 7–6. Following a Nebraska fumble, Cliff Austin scored on a 2-yard touchdown run as and Clemson led 12–7 at halftime.

In the third quarter, Clemson's Homer Jordan threw a 13-yard touchdown pass to Perry Tuttle and Igwebuike added another field goal, this time a 36-yarder, and Clemson extended their lead to fifteen points at 22–7.

In the fourth quarter, Roger Craig scored for the Huskers on a 26-yard touchdown run. Following a Nebraska penalty on the first two-point try, Craig then scored from the eight on a two-point conversion attempt which closed the margin to 22–15. The Huskers got the ball back, but penalties ultimately killed the drive and forced them to punt the ball back to Clemson; the Tigers maintained possession for the bulk of the last six minutes and secured their first national championship in college football.[1][3][4][5] They remained atop both final polls, while Nebraska dropped to eleventh (AP) and ninth (UPI).[6]


First quarter

  • Clemson - Field goal, Donald Igwebuike 41
  • Nebraska - Anthony Steels 25 pass from Mike Rozier (Kevin l kick)
  • Clemson - Field goal, Igwebuike 37

Second quarter

  • Clemson - Cliff Austin 2 run (pass failed)

Third quarter

Fourth quarter



Statistics   Clemson    Nebraska 
First Downs 17 13
Rushes–yards 52–155 40–193
Passing yards 134 63
Passes 11–22–1 6–17–0
Total yards 289 256
Punts–average 4–46 6–43
Fumbles–lost 3–0 3–2
Turnovers by 1 2
Penalties-yards 7–57 8–64
Time of possession 32:22 27:38


  1. ^ a b c d Papanek, John (January 11, 1982). "Year of the Tigers". Sports Illustrated. p. 14.
  2. ^ "Clemson locks up national title on 22-15 victory". Reading Eagle. (Pennsylvania). Associated Press. January 2, 1982. p. 10.
  3. ^ a b c "Clemson peels off a national title". Eugene Register-Guard. (Oregon). Associated Press. January 2, 1982. p. 1B.
  4. ^ "No question: Clemson is best". Milwaukee Journal. (Los Angeles Times, AP, UPI). January 2, 1982. p. 11.
  5. ^ "Clemson keeps its claim on No. 1". Milwaukee Sentinel. wire services. January 2, 1982. p. 1, part 2.
  6. ^ "Polls agree that Tigers are No. 1". Eugene Register-Guard. (Oregon). wire services. January 3, 1982. p. 3E.
  7. ^ a b "Orange Bowl". Milwaukee Sentinel. (box score). January 2, 1982. p. 5, part 2.
  8. ^ "Orange Bowl". Eugene Register-Guard. (Oregon). (box score). January 2, 1982. p. 3B.

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