NEW ORLEANS, Jan. 1- Missouri weathered the fourth quarter passing
heroics of Steve Spurrier today and defeated Florida, 20-18, in the
Sugar Bowl. The Gators, trailing 20-0, came to life in the fourth
quarter behind the passing wizardry of Spurrier, a junior quarterback.
With the score 20-12, Spurrier took the Gators on an 81-yard drive,
capped by a sensational touchdown catch by Charley Casey, an
all-American end. The Gators then tried a 2-point conversion, which
would have tied the score, but Spurrier's pass went astray. Florida's
final score came with four minutes left in the game. The Gators had one
other chance to pull the game out, but Missouri's defense held.
Missouri struck for 17 points in the second quarter behind an engulfing
defense and the slashing running of Charlie Brown and Gary Lone, the
Bill Bates booted his second field goal of the game, a 34-yarder. in the
third quarter. It gave Missouri a commanding 20-0 lead and proved to be
the winning margin before the complexion of the game changed quickly in
the final stanza.
Spurrier, who rewrote the Sugar Bowl passing records, engineered an
86-yard drive to give Florida its first score. An attempted pass for 2
points failed. Then the Gators recovered a fumble by Earl Denny on the
Tigers 10. Spurrier connected with John Feiber, a halfback, on an
eight-yard pass. On the next play, Spurrier ran for the Gators' second
touchdown. A pass attempt for the 2-point conversion again failed.
dominated action in the first half. Brown, the Tigers' speedy halfback,
scored the game's first touchdown on a 10-yard burst. The relentless
Missouri defense then recovered a fumbled punt by Jack Harper. Two plays
later, Johnny Roland, a halfback, hit Denny on an 11 yard scoring pass.
Later in the second period, Bates kicked a 37-yard field goal.
Brown, who brought the crowd to its feet with an electrifying 60-yard
run, wound up as the game's top rusher. He picked up 122 yards in 22
carries. The tough Missouri defense held Florida to minus two yards
rushing. Spurrier was completely frustrated in the first half by
Missouri's crashing ends, Dan Schuppan and Tom Lynn.
The Gators only real threat before the fourth quarter came in the
.second period when Spurrier led a 70-yard march to the Missouri 10.
However, Schuppan then recovered a Spurrier fumble on the Missouri 25,
one play after a 15-yard penalty against the Gators.
Spurrier completed 27 of 45 passes for 352 yards. His efforts broke the
record for most passes attempted and for most completed, set by Davy
O'Brien of Texas Christian in the 1939 game. Spurrier became the first
player from the losing team to be named the game's most outstanding
player in the history of the Sugar Bowl. He broke six bowl records in
MU- Brown 16 run (Bates kick)
MU- Denny 11 pass from Roland (Bates kick)
MU- FG Bates 27
MU- FG Bates 34
UF- Harper 22 pass from Spurrier (pass failed)
UF- Casey 21 pass from Spurrier (play failed)
UF- Spurrier 2 run (Trammell pass failed)
UF- Poe 2-11
MU- Brown 23-121, Lane 19-76
UF- Spurrier 27-45-352
UM- Lane 4-13-39
UF- Casey 5-108, Brown 9-88, Harper 4-66, Trapp 5-53
UM- Phelps 2-11, Walker 1-14