Date: January 1, 1994
Location: Orange Bowl, Miami FL
Opponent: No. 2 Nebraska Cornhuskers
On big stages, big players make big plays, and there were certainly many to pick from in the game that would net Florida State its first national championship. FSU compiled a 11-1 record, falling only at Notre Dame, while Nebraska was 11-0. The ’Noles held the AP No. 1 rank the whole season, except the week after losing to Notre Dame. ND lost its next game, as Boston College hit a 41-yard field goal as time expired to best the Irish. No. 1 Florida State and No. 2 Nebraska met in the Orange Bowl with a national title at stake.
The lead changed hands a few times, with Florida State having to settle for too many field goals while Nebraska was able to get in the end zone. Late in the third quarter, it looked like the ’Noles were ready to pull away, but the ’Huskers had different ideas.
FSU took an 8-point lead on a Scott Bentley field goal with about 3 minutes left in the 3rd quarter, but Nebraska responded with a 7-play, 73-yard drive resulting in a touchdown, bringing the Cornhuskers within 2 of the Seminoles. UN head coach Tom Osborne did not hesitate in calling for a 2-point play, looking to tie the game up early in the 4th quarter.
Coming out in a Power-I, Nebraska motioned a receiver across the line before snapping the ball and running play action to Lawrence Phillips. Orange Bowl MVP Tommy Frazier rolled out to his right and had Gerald Armstrong open in the end zone but a hard charging Devin Bush made the pass difficult. Frazier had to move more laterally than he would have liked early in the play because of the penetration Derrick Brooks got even though he was cut blocked by Corey Schlesinger and the race to the corner of the end zone was on.
Ken Alexander was never fooled on the play and sprinted to the sideline, forcing Frazier to cut upfield instead of diving for the pylon. Derrick Alexander, working on a stunt, was free to motor down the line of scrimmage following Ken Alexander’s lead and the two were able to shove Frazier out of bounce before he was able to make it into the end zone.
Both teams would trade field goals but Nebraska kicker Byron Bennett missed a 45-yard game winning field wide left and the ‘Noles would win by 2 points.