Alabama vs. Michigan in 1988

J. Bank

Although Alabama and Michigan are considered two of the oldest, proudest and successful programs in college football history, they didn't meet until the second Hall of Fame Bowl in Tampa, Fla.

Howard Cross caught a touchdown pass and Bobby Humphrey had two runs for touchdowns, but Michigan won 28-24 on a fourth-down play in the final minute  as the game more than lived up to the hype. 

Bill Curry was the coach that year for Alabama. Michigan's legendary head coach Bo Schembechler had heart surgery a few weeks before the bowl game so Gary Moeller filled in and coached the Wolverines. 

NBC televised the game nationally and 60,156 fans packed into Tampa Stadium, which had a 60,000 capacity. 


Alabama opened the scoring on a 51-yard field goal by Philip Doyle at 8:43 in the first quarter, but then Michigan responded by taking a commanding lead as All-American halfback Jamie Morris, who finished with a career-high 234 rushing yards, scored three unanswered touchdowns. 

Two came in the second quarter from 25 and 14 yards out, enabling Michigan to take a 14-3 halftime lead. On Michigan’s second possession of the third quarter, Morris broke through the left side of his line for a 77-yard touchdown sprint with 9:36 remaining.

Down 21-3, the Crimson Tide offense finally countered with three touchdowns of its own to re-take the lead. 

With 4:55 left in the third quarter, Cross took a 16-yard scoring strike from quarterback Jeff Dunn to complete a 72-yard drive.

Alabama failed on the two-point conversion, but they scored on the subsequent possession with an 85-yard drive capped by All-American tailback Bobby Humphrey leaping over from the 1-yard line.

After forcing Michigan to punt on its next two possessions, the passing of Dunn and the running of Humphrey completed a 79-yard drive with Humphrey scoring on a 17-yard touchdown run. Dunn completed a two-point play to Clayton Whitehurst for a 24-21 lead with 4:49 remaining to play.

However, starting from its own 38-yard line after the kickoff, Michigan quickly moved to Alabama’s 20-yard line where the Wolverines faced a fourth-and-three situation. Quarterback Demetrius Brown connected with John Kolesar for the game-winning touchdown. It was the flanker's only reception of the game. 

Dunn was 23-for-40 for 269 yards and Humphrey rushed for 149 yards on 27 attempts.

The Hall of Fame Bowl, which was called the Hall of Fame Classic when played at Legion Field in Birmingham from 1977-85, is now known as the Outback Bowl. It's still played in Tampa, at Raymond James Stadium.