Football season is still a long way away but September 1st gets closer everyday. Since we all know that the season kicks off against the Alabama Crimson Tide, I felt like it’s a good time to talk a walk down memory lane and revisit the 1991 matchup between the same 2 schools who will meet in the Camping World kickoff.
The 1991 Sunkist Fiesta Bowl took place on January 1, 1991 in Tempe, Arizona at Sun Devil Stadium in front of a crowd of 69,098. Independent Louisville was led by head coach Howard Schnellenberger. Alabama was coached by Gene Stallings.
9-1-1 Louisville got invited to the Bowl game after much controversy over Arizona voters’ rejection of a state holiday in honor of the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Louisville players wore a jersey patch reading, “The Dream Lives On,” as well as a helmet decal representing the university’s cultural diversity. Alabama players wore black armbands with “MLK” on them.
The Tide defense finished the regular season ranked #3 in total defense and #1 against the pass. They had only given up 4 touchdowns in the final 7 games of the season.
Louisville hadn’t won a bowl game since 1957 and hadn’t even appeared in a bowl since 1977.
According to many, Louisville’s roster was a collection of misfits — the recruits big schools like Alabama didn’t want. In preparing his team for the Fiesta Bowl, Schnellenberger took the offensive immediately. He told the Cardinals they were “givers” because they had not been highly recruited and Alabama was a team of “takers.” Schnellenberger also hung signs in the Cardinals’ practice locker room encouraging his team to be “arrogant.”
How They Scored (per FiestaBowl.org)
|7||0||Latrell Ware 70 yard pass from Browning Nagle (Klaus Wilmsmeyer kick)|
|13||0||Ralph Dawkins 5 yard run (kick blocked)|
|19||0||Anthony Cummings 37 yard pass from Nagle (pass failed)|
|25||0||Ray Buchanan recovered blocked punt in end zone (pass failed)|
|25||7||Charles Gardner 49 yard interception return (Philip Doyle kick)|
|32||7||Cummings 19 yard pass from Nagle (Ron Bell kick)|
|34||7||Safety. Danny Woodson intentional grounding in end zone|
Individual Statistics (per FiestaBowl.org)
|ALA||Kevin Turner 6-49, Chris Anderson 7-26, Junior Sewell 5-25, Danny Woodson 8-17, Martin Houston 1-0, Derrick Lassic 1-0, Scott Etter 1-(-7), Gary Hollingsworth 4-(-15).|
|LOU||Pete Bynm 8-48, Ralph Dawkins 5-38, Curtis Lipsey 9-23, Bobby Hall 2-12, Latrell Ware 3-11, Greg Brohm 1-(-2), Jeff Brohm 2-(-3), Browning Nagle 6-(-20).|
|ALA||Gary Hollingsworth 10-23-1-59, Danny Woodson 2-10-1-35, Scott Etter 0-2-0-0.|
|LOU||Browning Nagle 20-33-1-451, Curtis Lipsey 1-1-0-7, Jeff Brohm 0-3-2-0, Erik Watts 0-2-0-0.|
|ALA||Kevin Turner 4-35, Derrick Lassic 2-35, Martin Houston 2-4, Donnie Finkley 1-15, Lamonde Russell 1-7, Steve Busky 1-3, Sewell 1-(-5).|
|LOU||Ken McKay 5-110, Curtis Lipsey 4-65, Anthony Cummings 3-69, Ralph Dawkins 3-32, Fred Jones 2-89, Latrell Ware 1-70, Eric Broomfield 1-11, Browning Nagle 1-7, Pete Bynm 1-5.|
Offensive Player of the Game:
Browning Nagle, Louisville
Defensive Player of the Game:
Ray Buchanan, Louisville
As Always, GO CARDS!