Alabama's first appearance in the Orange Bowl was nearly one to forget. The Crimson Tide had endured a three-loss season, while Boston College was coming off its regular-season finale against Holy Cross, a 55-12 pasting that knocked the Golden Eagles from No. 1 in the polls and a chance to claim the national championship.
Consequently, Boston College was looking for redemption when it arrived in Miami, and jumped out to a 14-0 lead in the first quarter on touchdown runs of 65 and 35 yards by Eagles halfback Mike Holovak.
However, while awaiting the kickoff, Alabama’s All-American center Joe Domnanovich called his team into a huddle.
“Don’t give up,” he said, simply but firmly. “We haven’t had a chance to go with the ball yet. We’re going to receive and we’re going to run them into the ground.”
Twenty minutes later, at halftime, Alabama was in front, 22-21, and dominated the second half for a 37-21 victory.
Russ Craft, Dave Brown, Johnny August and Russ Mosley led the ground attack that took a toll on the Boston College defense.
Bobby Tom Jenkins ran 40 yards for one score.
George Hecht booted a 25-yard field goal just before halftime to put Alabama ahead for good.
In the third quarter, Wheeler Leeth scored on a 14-yard pass from Mosley, Ted Cook grabbed a 17-yard touchdown pass from August, and Jenkins scored on 40- and 1-yard runs.
August also ran one in, faking a pass and taking off around the right end for a 15-yard score.
Fittingly, Domnanovich ended up scoring points as well by tackling an Eagle in the end zone for a safety.
“When you’re beaten as clearly and as splendidly as was Boston College today, the only thing to do is stand and salute as the victors go by," Boston Post columnist Bill Cullingham wrote. "It was a fine game, played in the truest tradition of sportsmanship, brilliantly won and gallantly lost in a magnificent setting, so in taste with the times that none who saw it will ever forget it.”