Biggest 180s in Sports History: Hail Flutie

Scott McLaughlin
December 17, 2018 - 1:30 pm

Thirty-four years before the Dolphins’ incredible walk-off touchdown against the Patriots last week, there was a different Miracle in Miami, and that one went in the Boston team’s favor.

On Nov. 23, 1984, the No. 10 Boston College Eagles and No. 12 Miami Hurricanes engaged in an epic shootout in the Orange Bowl, with quarterbacks Doug Flutie and Bernie Kosar each throwing for more than 400 yards.

Kosar and the Hurricanes mounted a clock-eating drive late in the fourth quarter and took a 45-41 lead with just 28 seconds remaining to seemingly clinch the victory.

But Flutie had other ideas. He completed two quick passes to get the Eagles from their own 20-yard line across midfield to Miami’s 48. An incomplete pass with six seconds remaining left BC facing a Hail Mary situation and set up one of the most memorable finishes in sports history (as well as one of the most memorable radio calls, which you can hear in the video below).

Flutie took the snap and scrambled away from pressure, and actually wound up launching the pass from 15 yards behind the line of scrimmage. Perhaps underestimating Flutie’s arm, the Miami defenders did not get all the way back to the end zone, and the ball sailed right over their heads into the waiting arms of wide receiver Gerard Phelan to give the Eagles a stunning 47-45 win.

Flutie won the Heisman Trophy a week later (voting had actually concluded before the game against Miami) and BC went on to beat Houston in the Cotton Bowl and finish the season ranked fifth in the country.


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