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100 Greatest Plays In Miami History: #65-Lamar Thomas catch in the ‘92 Orange Bowl

A ‘Canes legend makes a legendary catch in the Orange Bowl

NCAA Football: Miami Spring Game Reinhold Matay-USA TODAY Sports

Coming off of the Cotton Bowl thrashing of Texas in 1991 (the 1990 season), the Miami Hurricanes were primed and ready to run the table. Throughout the 1991 season, Miami only played in three games where opponents closed within 21 points. The ‘Canes beat up on Houston, edged Penn State by six, Florida State by one, and Boston College by five.

Miami headed into the 1992 Orange Bowl game against the Nebraska Cornhuskers, a familiar foe, as the number one ranked team in the nation. The Huskers were third overall but were no match for the Hurricanes. Miami’s speed and athleticism dominated the boys from Lincoln once again. This time to the tune of a 22-0 beating at home in the Orange Bowl Classic in Miami, FL.

Eventual third round draft pick of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers; Lamar Thomas was the lanky speedster and main target of Gino Torretta for two seasons. Thomas caught 39 passes in 1991 for 623 yards and six touchdowns. Thomas averaged 16 yards per catch in a run-first era of college football. Over his four year career at Miami, Thomas hauled in 23 touchdowns while averaging 15.8 yards per catch.

In the 1992 Orange Bowl Classic, Thomas made one hell of a catch flashing the ‘Canes infamous athleticism. Torretta dropped back and Thomas made sure to bring down the fade route for a 38-yard reception. It wasn’t a touchdown, or even something like Randal Hill’s 3rd and 43 yard conversion against Notre Dame. However it was the epitome of excellence that Miami flashed that night against the nations 3rd ranked scoring offense.

Dennis Erickson’s Hurricanes spread the ball around from 1989-1994 landing Coach E the head football job with the Seattle Seahawks while narrowly avoiding crippling sanctions that Butch Davis cleaned up from 1995-2000. Eventually Miami recovered, for a short time, and won the 2001 national championship in the 2002 Rose Bowl over... you guessed it, Nebraska.

Both Torretta and Thomas have become broadcasters and Thomas has coached for Hampton, Western Kentucky, Louisville, Kentucky, and the Salt Lake Stallions of the AAF.