The Hurricanes entered the 1999 season under coach Butch Davis with much excitement, and came into the year ranked 12th in the preseason polls. Miami’s roster was stacked with great players at nearly every position, such as Ed Reed at safety and Santana Moss at receiver.
Their first game came against the ninth-ranked Buckeyes of Ohio State, who had stars of their own, like defensive backs Mike Doss and Nate Clements. The game was played at the old Giants Stadium in New Jersey, and had legendary broadcaster Brent Musburger behind the mic.
Thanks to an early James Jackson touchdown run, UM had the momentum early, and maintained a 15-9 lead with less than a minute to go before halftime.
Rather than running out the clock on the first half, Miami’s offense, under quarterback Kenny Kelley decided to air it out. On their own 33-yard line, Kelly tossed it up to Moss.
Kenny Kelly to Santana Moss pic.twitter.com/4A37HvbLdc— Caleb Smith 2019 All-Star (@hurricanesmarsh) June 3, 2019
The 67-yard touchdown pitch-and-catch was a game changer for the Hurricanes, as Miami took that momentum into the locker room, and ultimately held on for a 23-12 victory. While Kelley decided to focus on baseball following the ‘99 season, Moss would continue making big plays for years to come into his NFL career.