History Shows Nebraska-Miami Game Will Be an Epic Clash

Erin Sorensen@erinsorensenContributor ISeptember 17, 2014

University of Miami fullback Cleveland Gary (43) dives over the top of the Nebraska defensive line during action in the 55th Orange Bowl Classic in Miami on Jan. 2, 1989. Nebraska stoped Gary after a short gain.(AP Photo/Steve Murphy)
Steve Murphy/Associated Press

Miami and Nebraska haven't met in the regular season since 1976. Yet the two have met many times during the postseason. As a result, a rivalry (of sorts) was born.

Twelve years after the two last met, Miami travels to Nebraska to face the Cornhuskers once again. If history has any say, the meeting will be nothing short of epic.

In fact, it doesn't matter that neither are competing for a national title in this meeting. What makes this matchup under the lights so big is the history that lies behind it.

The Huskers and the Hurricanes first met in Miami in 1951. Since that first meeting, the two have faced off a total of 10 times. The all-time series is currently tied 5-5.

Nebraska vs. Miami - All-Time Series
1/3/2002Pasadena (Rose Bowl)37-14 L
1/1/1995Miami (Orange Bowl)24-17 W
1/1/1992Miami (Orange Bowl)22-0 L
1/2/1989Miami (Orange Bowl)23-3 L
1/2/1984Miami (Orange Bowl)30-31 L
10/2/1976Lincoln17-9 W
10/4/1975Lincoln31-16 W
12/15/1962New York (Gotham Bowl)36-34 W
10/17/1953Lincoln20-16 W
11/30/1951Miami19-7 L

Of all the previous meetings, the one that resonates most with fans is the 1984 Orange Bowl National Championship. Down by a touchdown, the Huskers fought their way back to make it 31-30 with 48 seconds left on the clock. It was at that moment that former head coach Tom Osborne made a big decision. He went for two.

Unfortunately, the two-point conversion failed, but it's still something Husker fans discuss to this day. During Nebraska's weekly press conference, head coach Bo Pelini was asked what he would have done in the same situation.

Would he have also gone for two? “Yeah, I would have," he said, per Huskers.com.

It's been 30 years since that game took place. Yet it's one both Nebraska and Miami fans keep discussing. It's proof that this clash is much more than just any other game on the schedule.

The last meeting between the two has also left fans talking, too. Meeting in Pasadena for the 2002 Rose Bowl National Championship, Miami took a quick 34-0 lead before halftime. The Huskers never recovered, losing 37-14.

Twelve years later, fans still remember that game. It's part of the reason why game tickets are 70 percent higher for this matchup than the season average, per Jesse Lawrence of Forbes. Nebraska fans are willing to pay to hopefully witness redemption for that game.

Things have changed in those 12 years, yet there is poetic justice to this meeting. Sports Illustrated's Evan Scott Schwartz summed it up best:

Nebraska coach Bo Pelini has never faced the Hurricanes while with the Cornhuskers, but he’s notched at least nine wins each season since taking over in 2008. The Canes have been adrift for several seasons but climbed as high as No. 7 in 2013, their highest ranking under fourth-year coach Al Golden.

As for the overall series? In a slightly poetic twist, given that Osborne refused to play for a tie, Miami and Nebraska are tied at 5-5. Now that overtime exists, this game should break that deadlock.

The history between Miami and Nebraska has been nothing short of interesting since they first met in 1976. Five of their matchups, for instance, have been in either the Rose Bowl or Orange Bowl, per HuskerMax.com. Of those five, Nebraska only won one.

With the shift in conferences, rivalries have slowly taken a hit for most programs. For Nebraska, playing Miami is a return to the past and an opportunity to revisit a rival.

It's nostalgia at its finest. However, it's not just the memories that make this matchup enticing. It's the fact that these two teams have built a history on playing for championships.

There's no championship on the line this time, but both teams could use the win. And as history has shown, anything can happen.


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