Bowls and the Heisman: The best Heisman winner bowl performances

The Sooners will face Heisman Trophy winner Johnny Manziel in the Cotton Bowl on Jan. 4. Berry Tramel takes a look at the history of Heisman winners and bowl games.
BY BERRY TRAMEL Published: December 10, 2012
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The Sooners will face Heisman Trophy winner Johnny Manziel in the Cotton Bowl on Jan. 4. Berry Tramel takes a look at the history of Heisman winners and bowl games.


Greatest Heisman bowl games

The 10 greatest individual performances by Heisman winners in bowl games:

1. 1938 Davey O'Brien, TCU: In a 15-7 Sugar Bowl victory over Carnegie-Mellon, O'Brien completed 17 of 27 passes for 224 yards, including a 44-yard TD pass. Monster numbers for pre-World War II.

2. 1972 Johnny Rodgers, Nebraska: In a 40-6 Orange Bowl rout of Notre Dame, Rodgers had a marvelous all-around game. He rushed 15 times for 81 yards and three touchdowns from his wingback position. Rodgers also had three catches for 71 yards, including a 50-yard TD reception from David Humm. As a bonus, Rodgers threw a 52-yard TD pass to Frosty Anderson.

3. 2004 Matt Leinart, Southern Cal: In a 55-19 blowout of OU in the national championship Orange Bowl, Leinart completed 18 of 35 passes for 332 yards, five touchdowns and no interceptions.

4. 1968 O.J. Simpson, Southern Cal: In a 27-16 loss to eventual national champion Ohio State, Simpson rushed 28 times for 171 yards and a touchdown, plus had eight catches for 85 yards.

5. 1962 Terry Baker, Oregon State: In a 6-0 Liberty Bowl victory over Villanova, Baker didn't post huge numbers. He rushed 13 times for 137 yards and completed nine of 21 passes for 123 yards. But that lone touchdown in the game? It came on Baker's 99-yard run in the first quarter.

6. 1996 Danny Wuerffel, Florida: In a 52-20 Sugar Bowl rout of Florida State to win the national championship, Wuerffel completed 18 of 34 passes for 306 yards, three TDs and one interception.



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