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The 1989 Sugar Bowl was the 57th edition of the annual game. It featured the fourth-ranked Florida State Seminoles and the seventh-ranked Auburn Tigers. The game was a defensive slugfest, with the final score Florida State 13, Auburn 7.

1989 USF&G Sugar Bowl
1234 Total
Florida State 10300 13
Auburn 0700 7
DateJanuary 2, 1989
StadiumLouisiana Superdome
LocationNew Orleans, Louisiana
United States TV coverage
AnnouncersAl Michaels, Frank Gifford and Dan Dierdorf
Sugar Bowl
 < 1988  1990

Florida State played well on its first offensive possession. Running back Dayne Williams capped an 84-yard drive with a 2-yard touchdown run, making the early score Florida State 7, Auburn 0. That would mark the only touchdown Florida State would score in the game. Auburn quarterback Reggie Slack first pass of the game was intercepted by strong safety Stan Shiver at the Auburn 44-yard line. Florida State would cap the ensuing four play drive with a 25-yard Bill Mason field goal making it 10–0 Florida State.

At the end of the first quarter, Florida State defensive back Dedrick Dodge intercepted a Reggie Slack pass at the Auburn 38-yard line. Florida State's ensuing drive was capped by Mason's second field goal of the game, a 31-yarder, more than three minutes into the second quarter. That would be Florida State's last score of the game. With 4:09 left in the first half, Reggie Slack threw a 20-yard touchdown pass to Walter Reeves, on a playaction pass, making it Florida State 13, Auburn 7. Neither team would score the rest of the game.

The game was filled with several mistakes from Florida State. Running back Sammie Smith score on a 69-yard touchdown run was wiped out by a holding penalty. Despite the penalty, he would still finish the game with a game high 115 yards rushing. Florida State had first and goal at the Auburn 4-yard line, but came up empty after a fake field goal missed. These errors nearly cost Florida State the game.

With 3:30 left in the game, Auburn drove from its own 4-yard line to Florida State's 22-yard line. With five seconds left, after a defensive pass interference penalty went uncalled that would have put the Tigers at the one-yard line with first and goal to go, Reggie Slack's pass was intercepted in the end zone by Deion Sanders, sealing Florida State's win.


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