Orange Bowl

1981

Oklahoma 18
Florida State 17

January 1, 1981 – Orange Bowl Stadium
 
Wishbone Watts Airs Out FSU
Oklahoma wishbone quarterback J.C. Watts went to the air in the fourth quarter to defeat Florida State 18-17, in an exciting finish.
 
Florida State held a 17-10 lead with 3:19 remaining and Watts, who had fumbled four times and lost three, had been stymied by the Seminoles' top-ranked defense.
 
But in the final minutes, Watts passed for 74 yards on a 78-yard Sooner drive, including a 1- yard touchdown to split end Steve Rhodes with 1:33 left in the game. With the Seminoles guessing rush, Watts lofted a two-point conversion pass to tight end Forrest Valora for the lead.
 
The Seminoles had one last shot to win, but Bill Capece's 62-yard field goal attempt just missed.
 
Florida State, 10-1 coming into the game, scored first when Ricky Williams culminated a 70-yard drive with a 10-yard touchdown run. Oklahoma's Mike Keeling made good on a 53-yard field goal attempt right before halftime to cut the lead to 7-3.
 
The Sooners took the second half kickoff 78 yards, with David Overstreet scoring from the 4. Florida State then evened it up at 10-10 at the end of the third quarter on a 19-yard Capece field goal.
 
Four minutes into the fourth, a botched Sooner punt snap was recovered in the endzone by All-American cornerback Bobby Butler and the Seminoles had a 17-10 lead.
 

  OKLA FSU
First Downs 18 23
Rushing Attempts 55 60
Rushing Yards 156 212
Passes Attempted 12 15
Passes Completed 7 11
Had Intercepted 0 0
Passing Yards 128 51
Total Offense 284 263
Punts/Avg. 2/37.0 4/42.5
Fumbles/Lost  7/5 1/0
Penalties/Yards 4/32 5/58

 

SCORE BY QUARTERS            
Oklahoma 0 3 7 8 - 18
Florida State 0 7 3 7 - 17

           
SCORING SUMMARY
FSU: Williams 10-yard run (Capece kick); OKLA: Keeling 53-yard FG; OKLA: Overstreet 4-yard run (Keeling kick); FSU: Capece 19-yard FG; FSU: Butler fumble recovery (Capece kick); OKLA: Watts 11-yard pass to Rhodes (Watts pass to Valora) MOP: J.C. Watts (Oklahoma), Jarvis Coursey (Florida State)
 
Oklahoma Head Coach: Barry Switzer
Florida State Head Coach: Bobby Bowden