Many Canes fans will say the Miami/Oklahoma rivalry of the 80’s is right up there with those versus FSU, Florida and Notre Dame and they would be correct. However, most fans talk about the UM/OU game of 1986 in the Orange Bowl that helped solidify, Vinny Testeverde’s Heisman Trophy win that year. Often overlooked is the game from the prior year on Oct. 19, 1985, at Owen Field that played a pivotal role in marking Miami’s legacy as “team of the 80’s.” The Canes went to Norman, OK on that day un-ranked with a 4-1 record against then number three Oklahoma.
OU had a defense many teams feared, led by Brian Bosworth and few pundits gave Miami a chance after losing their home opener to the Gator on opening day. However, UM boasted on of the nation’s top offenses led by Testaverde, Alonzo Highsmith, Mel Bratton, Michael Irvin and Brian Blades, to name a few.
However it wasn’t Miami’s offense that set the tone, it was their defense that quickly changed the game when Jerome Brown sacked future HOF QB Troy Aikman and broke his ankle with just over 9 minutes left in the first half.
From there Vinny led the way passing for 270 yards highlighted by a 56 yard touchdown pass to Mike Irvin and Highsmith putting the Boz on his backside and standing over him in a taunting fashion saying “something to him I can’t repeat” then UM coach Jimmy Johnson told reporters after the game. Miami played error free football, yielding no turnovers on its way to a 27-14 upset on national TV. The Canes would finish the rest of that season 11-1 and a trip to the Fiesta Bowl against Penn State in the infamous “fatigues” game.