1985 Fiesta Bowl: A step back for both teams
After back-to-back Pac 10 championships and Rose Bowl wins in 1982 and 1983, the Bruins lost three games in the regular season and USC claimed the conference title along with a trip to Pasadena. Terry Donahue’s team beat USC for the third straight season but had to settle for a Fiesta Bowl appearance in Tempe Arizona.
Jimmy Johnson had led his Miami Hurricanes to a national title in 1984, but they lost four times in the regular season and UCLA made it five with a 39-37 Fiesta Bowl victory. Bernie Kosar led Miami to a 21-7 second-quarter lead but responded with 15 unanswered points to go into halftime ahead 22-21.
Then in the fourth quarter, Miami scored a touchdown with 2:58 remaining to take a 37-36 lead. Steve Bono, UCLA’s quarterback, led the Bruins on a comeback drive and All-American kicker John Lee kicked the game-winning field goal from 23 yards out.
UCLA finished the 1984 season at 9-3 and was ranked No. 9 in the AP Poll. This was Donahue’s third straight New Year’s Day bowl game win.