the game

Game Recaps : 1990s



MVP: Blair Thomas, Penn State
NORTH COACH: Marty Schottenheimer, Chiefs
SOUTH COACH: Buddy Ryan, Eagles
TOP PLAYERS: Richmond Webb, Bryce Paup, Terrance Mathis, Leroy Butler

The North rode the talented legs of Penn State's Blair Thomas and a dominating defense to a resounding 41-0 victory over the South. Thomas was virtually unstoppable as he gained 137 yards on only 11 carries, scored a touchdown and earned overall MVP honors.

Minnesota's Darrell Thompson added two rushing touchdowns and LSU quarterback Tommy Hodson threw for two more as the North offense bombed the South with a Senior Bowl record 34 first-half points while the North defense pitched the Senior Bowl's first-ever shutout.


AFC 38, NFC 28

MVP: Alvin Harper, Tennessee
AFC COACH: Marty Schottenheimer, Chiefs
NFC COACH: Jim Mora, Saints
TOP PLAYERS: Brett Favre, Ricky Watters, Aeneas Williams, Jake Reed, Ed McCaffrey

The 1991 Senior Bowl marked the beginning of a short-lived era in Senior Bowl history as teams were no longer divided along North and South lines, but instead were named AFC and NFC after the two conferences in the NFL.

The contest itself was highlighted by numerous big plays, led by MVP Alvin Harper's two TD catches, which helped the AFC to a 38-28 win. Quarterbacks Donald Hollas of Rice and Louisville's Browning Nagle hit Harper for scoring strikes of 54 and 38 yards to help the AFC jump out to a 17-0 lead.

The NFC's offense was led by Southern Miss quarterback Brett Favre and Notre Dame RB Ricky Watters, who gained 76 yards rushing and scored a touchdown.


AFC 13, NFC 10

MVP: Tony Smith, Southern Miss
AFC COACH: Art Shell, Raiders
NFC COACH: Mike Ditka, Bears
TOP PLAYERS: Robert Brooks, Jimmy Smith, Dale Carter, Levon Kirkland

Another Southern Mississippi star, running back Tony Smith, rushed for 72 yards to earn MVP honors and lead the AFC to a 13-10 victory over the NFC. The real story of the day, however, was the inclement weather which forced fans to endure steady rain, brisk winds and 38 degree temperatures.

Those who were able to tough it out saw a thrilling contest as the AFC held a 13-3 lead late in the game before Notre Dame's Tony Brooks brought the NFC to within three on a six-yard TD run with 1:25 remaining. A lost AFC fumble on its own 45 with 1:05 left gave the NFC a chance to win, but the NFC could not capitalize as a sack and two incomplete passes sealed the game for the AFC.


NFC 21, AFC 6

MVP: Eric Hunter, Purdue
AFC COACH: Ted Marchibroda, Colts
NFC COACH: Bill Belichick, Browns
TOP PLAYERS: Michael Strahan, Blaine Bishop, Elvis Grbac, Trent Green

In the last contest to feature the AFC-NFC format, Purdue quarterback Eric Hunter threw two TD passes to earn MVP honors and help the NFC to a 21-6 win. Hunter threw a 14-yarder to Rice's Trevor Cobb to open the scoring, but the AFC then countered with a 16-yard TD reception to Syracuse's Qadry Ismail. With 17 seconds left in the half, Michigan's Elvis Grbac hit Notre Dame's Reggie Brooks on a 27-yard pass play for a 14-6 NFC lead, which it never relinquished.



MVP: Stan White, Auburn
NORTH COACH: Rich Kotite, Eagles
SOUTH COACH: Don Shula, Dolphins
TOP PLAYERS: Charlie Garner, Todd Steussie, Bryant Young, Larry Allen, Kevin Mawae, Tom Nalen

While being called by many as the greatest Senior Bowl game ever played, the 1994 game also has to rank as one of the most significant games in the event's history as the contest returned to the North-South team format that was previously used from 1950-90.

The South carved out a 28-17 fourth quarter lead on the strength of a 128-yard, one TD rushing performance by Tennessee's Charlie Garner and two TD passes by Auburn quarterback Stan White, the game's MVP. The North attack included an electrifying 98-yard second quarter kickoff return by Notre Dame's Lake Dawson.

Trailing 28-17 with 5:43 left, the North then blitzed the South with two short rushing TD's - both of which were set up by long pass receptions by Michigan's Derrick Alexander - to take a 32-28 lead with 3:11 remaining. After a Garner kickoff return and North penalty, the South took over at the 50-yard line. On first and 10, White saw Alabama's Kevin Lee sprint past his defender down the middle of the field and threw a perfect pass that Lee caught in stride to give the South a lead, 35-32, that sent the crowd into a frenzy.



MVP: Derrick Brooks, Florida State
NORTH COACH: Dan Reeves, Giants
SOUTH COACH: Ted Marchibroda, Colts
TOP PLAYERS: Steve McNair, Curtis Martin, Derrick Brooks, Ruben Brown, Antonio Freeman, Kerry Collins

The storybook 1994 contest was followed up by a memorable 1995 game that set Senior Bowl records both on and off the field. A record-setting crowd that helped the contest achieve its earliest sellout ever flocked to Ladd-Peebles Stadium to see Heisman Trophy finalist quarterbacks Steve McNair of Alcorn State, Kerry Collins of Penn State and Jay Barker from Alabama. However, it was a defensive player-Florida State's Derrick Brooks - who won the overall MVP. His 13 tackles led both clubs as the South won a low-scoring affair, 14-7.

Even though the teams combined for only 21 points, they offered the crowd many offensive fireworks as they combined for 803 total yards and 47 first downs. The first score came on a 47-yard interception return by North Carolina's Mike Morton, and the South stretched the lead to 14-0 when Tennessee's James Stewart ran through the North defense for a 23-yard score in the third period. The North's lone TD came on a two-yard run by Washington's Napoleon Kaufman near the end of the game.



MVP: Bobby Hoying, Ohio State
NORTH COACH: Dennis Erickson, Seahawks
SOUTH COACH: Dave Wannstedt, Bears
TOP PLAYERS: Eric Moulds, Terrell Owens, Marco Rivera, John Mobley

Another sellout crowd filled Ladd-Peebles Stadium to watch a game that featured one of the most talented rosters to ever play in the Senior Bowl. In a contest that featured more future NFL draftees (81) than any other Senior Bowl played to that date, Ohio State quarterback Bobby Hoying threw for 190 yards and two TD's - both to Notre Dame's Derrick Mayes - to win the overall MVP Award and help the North pick up a 25-10 victory.

Mayes did most of the work on the first TD pass, however, as he hauled in a five-yard toss near the sideline and then beat several defenders during a thrilling 30-yard dash to the end zone. After a 20-yard South TD toss from Florida State's Danny Kanell to Florida's Chris Doering, Hoying then engineered the two-minute offense to perfection and closed it out with a pass to Mayes, who outleaped Mississippi State defensive back Walt Harris to give the North a 15-10 halftime lead.



MVP: Pat Barnes, California
NORTH COACH: Norv Turner, Redskins
SOUTH COACH: Marty Schottenheimer, Chiefs
TOP PLAYERS: Jake Plummer, Jason Taylor, Sam Madison, Derrick Mason

California quarterback Pat Barnes stunned the South with three second quarter touchdown passes to win overall MVP honors and lead the North to a convincing 35-14 win in front of another sellout crowd of 40,646.

The South opened the scoring on a two-yard TD run by Tennessee's Jay Graham, but then Barnes hit on three TD passes to three different receivers to give the North a 21-7 halftime lead. San Diego State's George Jones then added two second half TDs for the North, including a brilliant 52-yard scamper in the third quarter, to finish off the South. South QB Jake Plummer of Arizona State closed out the scoring when he hit LSU's David LaFleur on a two-yard touchdown pass.



MVP: Dameyune Craig, Auburn
NORTH COACH: Ted Marchibroda, Ravens
SOUTH COACH: Norv Turner, Redskins
TOP PLAYERS: Keith Brooking, Hines Ward, Fred Taylor, Vonnie Holliday, Flozell Adams, Corey Chavous, Patrick Surtain

A record crowd (40,820) watched hometown hero Dameyune Craig of Auburn throw two TD passes to win MVP honors and lead the South to a convincing 31-8 win at a newly renovated Ladd-Peebles Stadium.

The South jumped out to a 10-0 first quarter lead behind the solid running of Georgia's Robert Edwards and a TD pass from Craig to Auburn teammate Fred Beasley.

The game's biggest play, however, occurred just before halftime as the North threatened at the South's eight yard line with only 29 seconds left. Florida defensive back Fred Weary stepped in front of a North pass in the flat, caught it in perfect stride and streaked untouched down the sideline for a Senior Bowl record 97-yard interception return and a 17-0 South halftime lead.



MVP: Cade McNown, UCLA
NORTH COACH: Jon Gruden, Raiders
SOUTH COACH: Tony Dungy, Bucs
TOP PLAYERS: Fernando Bryant, Donovan McNabb, Joey Porter, Al Wilson, Peerless Price, Kevin Johnson

In what was the biggest celebration in Senior Bowl history, the historic 50th annual contest saw UCLA quarterback Cade McNown throw two TD passes to earn overall MVP honors and lead the South to a thrilling 31-21 victory in front of the largest crowd (40,846) in Senior Bowl history.

In addition to appearances by members of the All-Time Senior Bowl team, such as Joe Namath and "Mean" Joe Greene, fans were also treated to an exciting see-saw contest. Nursing a four-point fourth quarter lead, the South put the game away when Emporia State's Brian Shay rambled 27 yards on a fake punt to keep a South drive alive. LSU's Kevin Faulk finished off the drive with a one-yard TD run to give the South a 24-13 lead.

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