Orange Bowl

1961

Missouri 21
Navy 14

January 2, 1961 – Orange Bowl Stadium
 
Navy’s Weapon Silenced
Missouri held Navy Heisman Trophy and Maxwell Award winner Joe Bellino to just four yards rushing and came away a 21-14 winner on a day of big plays.
 
Bellino, however, made one play that left his impact on the Orange Bowl. With the Tigers leading 21-6 in the fourth quarter, the senior snatched a 27-yard Harold Spooner pass that "simply was out of his reach." Missouri coach Dan Devine later called it the greatest catch he had ever seen.
 
Navy defensive back Greg Mather set the "big play" tone in the opening quarter on a 98-yard return of a picked off lateral that Missouri halfback Donnie Smith had tried to direct to quarterback Ron Taylor.
 
The Middies recovered a fumble on the next series, but Norm Beal's 90-yard interception return of a Spooner pass made it 7-6.
 
Missouri avenged a 1960 Orange Bowl loss and would have finished the season as national champion had it not been for a regular season-ending loss to Kansas.
 

  MIZZ NAVY
First Downs 19 9
Rushing Attempts 66 24
Rushing Yards 296 -8
Passes Attempted 6 23
Passes Completed 1 13
Had Intercepted 0 4
Passing Yards 5 176
Total Offense 301 168
Punts/Avg. 4/30.5 7/35.4
Fumbles/Lost  5/3 2/0
Penalties/Yards 1/15 1/4

 

SCORE BY QUARTERS            
Missouri 7 7 0 7 - 21
Navy 6 0 0 8 - 14


SCORING SUMMARY
NAVY: Mather 98-yard fumble return (kick failed); MIZZ: Beal 90-yard interception return (Tobin kick); MIZZ: D. Smith 4-yard run (Tobin kick); MIZZ: Taylor 1-yard run (Tobin kick); NAVY: Bellino 27-yard pass from Spooner (Luper pass from Spooner)
 
Missouri Head Coach: Dan Devine
Navy Head Coach: Wayne Hardin