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The Miracle in Miami, 25 years later

Posted by Chad Finn, Globe Staff  November 23, 2009 12:30 PM

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The details still remain fresh in our minds after all these years.

The mighty University of Miami leads Boston College, 45-41 . . . six seconds left . . . Eagles' ball at the Miami 47 . . . one last shot at the end zone . . . one last shot at a permanent place in football lore . . . quarterback Doug Flutie takes the snap . . . feeling the rush, led by Hurricanes All-American Jerome Brown, he rolls right and lets it fly . . . three Eagles receivers wait in the end zone, a play known as "Flood Tip" . . . the pass soars over the fingertips of a pair of Miami defensive backs, and then, improbably, miraculously if you prefer . . .. there's receiver Gerard Phelan, in the back of the end zone, falling to the ground and clutching the ball . . . Boston College 47, Miami 41 . . . and with that, a college football legend is born.

Yes, the details remain fresh -- but it's hard to believe Flutie's Hail Mary pass, forever known as "The Miracle in Miami," happened 25 years ago today. Now, as in then, it seemed the appropriate ending -- though they may disagree in Miami -- to a game that was back-and-forth and relentlessly entertaining.

The teams combined for 1,273 yards of total offense. Miami star quarterback Bernie Kosar threw for 447. But he was surpassed by Flutie, who threw for 472 yards that afternoon en route to winning the Heisman Trophy in 1984.

His star-making performance and the BC victory was an instant classic to be sure, and it remains the defining moment of Flutie's football career. But we know around here -- drop kick, anyone? -- it wasn't his only highlight.

So here, on the anniversary of a football miracle, is a look back at Flutie's career, 25 years after he first made his name.

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