The 1950s

January 2, 1950

Longshot Santa Clara Upsets ‘Cats

Santa Clara    21    Kentucky    13

Underdog Santa Clara scored 14 third-quarter points and withstood the challenge of Kentucky quarterback Babe Parilli to gain a 21-13 win. It was Bear Bryant and Kentucky's first major bowl appearance. Santa Clara's 3,300-mile, four-day trip by train to Miami marked its only appearance in the Orange Bowl.

January 1, 1951

Miami Loses On Safety

Clemson    15    Miami    14

Clemson backup defensive guard Sterling Smith nailed Miami halfback Frank Smith for a safety late in the game to give the Tigers a 15-14 win over the Hurricanes.

January 1, 1952

Late Field Goal Beats Baylor

Georgia Tech    17    Baylor    14

Georgia Tech broke a 14-14 tie late in the fourth quarter on a 22-yard Pepper Rodgers field goal to beat Baylor 17-14 on a hot, muggy day in Miami. Undefeated and once-tied Georgia Tech came into the game as co-champion of the Southeastern Conference while Baylor was the Southwest Conference's runner-up.

January 1, 1953

Orange Bowl Televised for First Time

Alabama    61    Syracuse    6

Heavily-favored Alabama surprised no one as it dominated Syracuse in the most lopsided Orange Bowl Classic in history. The Crimson Tide held a 21-6 halftime advantage and tacked on 20 points in each of the final quarters to embarrass the Orangemen, 61-6.

January 1, 1954

Sooner Defense Shuts Down No.1

Oklahoma    7    Maryland    0

Top-ranked University of Maryland, minus All-America quarterback Bernie Faloney, was shut out for the first time in 51 games by fourth-ranked Oklahoma, 7-0, in the 20th Orange Bowl Classic. The Terrapins, champions of the new Atlantic Coast Conference, were college football's dynasty. During the regular season, the Maryland defense had allowed a mere 84 rushing yards per game. The match-up was the first of five straight Atlantic Coast Conference-Big Seven clashes.

January 1, 1955

Duke Turns Nebraska Blue

Duke    34    Nebraska    7

Duke won the Atlantic Coast Conference in 1954 and Oklahoma won the Big Seven, but the Sooners stayed home because of a conference rule that prohibited consecutive Orange Bowl appearances. This allowed runner-up Nebraska to enter the game, which they lost to the Blue Devils, 34-7.

January 2, 1956

No. 1 Oklahoma Keeps Streaking

Oklahoma    20    Maryland    6

Oklahoma's 30-game winning streak remained intact as it swept by a strong Maryland squad, 20-6, in a rematch of the '54 Orange Bowl. Read more here.

January 1, 1957

Comeback for Tigers Falls Short

Colorado    27    Clemson    21

Clemson mounted one of the greatest comebacks in Orange Bowl history, but fell short when Colorado intercepted a pass deep in its territory on the last play of the game. In that final series, Clemson's Willie Smith recovered a Buffalo fumble at the Colorado 27 with his team trailing 27-21. But the Buff’s Bob Stransky intercepted quarterback Charlie Bussey's pass to save the game.

January 1, 1958

Sooners Flurry Breaks Open Game

Oklahoma    48    Duke    21

Fourth-ranked Oklahoma unleashed a furious attack in the fourth quarter, scoring 27 unanswered points to break open a close game with Duke. With the score 21-14, Oklahoma capitalized on three Duke miscues, scoring three times in the next 3:23 and turning this one into a 48-21 rout. A crowd of 76,561 was on hand.

January 1, 1959

Big Plays Propel Sooners

Oklahoma    21    Syracuse    6

Oklahoma hit Syracuse with three "homerun" plays, and was fortunate to escape the Silver Anniversary Orange Bowl with a 21-6 win. Syracuse dominated the Sooners in every category, including total yardage.

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