1961 Ernie Davis edit

1961 - ERNIE DAVIS rushed 30 times for 140 yards and ran a touchdown in to lead the Syracuse Orangemen over Miami in the Third Annual AutoZone Liberty Bowl. Earlier in the year, Davis became the first Syracuse player to ever receive the Heisman Trophy; more importantly, however, he was the first African-American to win the coveted award. His 2,386 career rushing yards broke the Syracuse record previously held by football great Jim Brown. Tragically, Ernie Davis died two years after graduating. He was a victim of leukemia, which ironically is a disease that St. Jude Children’s Hospital has made tremendous strides in treating.

1962 Terry Baker Heisman edit

1962 - The AutoZone Liberty Bowl hosted its second Heisman Trophy winner in Oregon State’s TERRY BAKER. Baker led the Beavers to a 6-0 victory over Villanova. His 99-yard touchdown run in the 4th Annual AutoZone Liberty Bowlstill stands as the longest touchdown scamper in the games illustrious history. Baker still holds the school record for longest run from scrimmage and is 2nd all-time in total offense, 2nd all-time in passing, and 10th all-time in career rushing yards.

1983 4edit

1983 - DOUG FLUTIE, who would go on to win the Heisman the next year, completed 15 of 37passes for 287 yards and 3 touchdowns in a losing effort as his Boston College Eagles fell to the Notre Dame Fighting Irish 19-18. Flutie, who received the game’s Most Valuable Player award, holds records at Boston College in: career passing yards and career total offense. Flutie was a starting quarterback in the NFL for the Buffalo Bills and San Diego Chargers after a seven-year career in the Canadian Football League.

1984 3edit

1984 - Heisman Trophy winner-to-be BO JACKSON led his Auburn Tigers to a 21-15 victory over the Arkansas Razorbacks. Bo was named the games Most Valuable Player as he ran for 90 yards on 18 carries and 2 touchdowns. Jackson received the Heisman a year later and went on to be one of sport’s most popular athletes. His ability to break away from tacklers with the NFL’s Los Angeles Raiders was complemented by his ability to hit the home run ball. He made his professional baseball debut with Memphis’ AA Chicks and went on to play for both the Kansas City Royals and Chicago WhiteSox.

Click on each player's name for more information.

Allen Lazard, Iowa State 2017
Trenton Thompson, Georgia 2016
Alex Collins, Arkansas 2015
Kyle Allen, Texas A&M 2014
Dak Prescott, Mississippi State 2013
Trey Watts, Tulsa 2012
Isaiah Pead, Cincinnati 2011
Latavius Murray, UCF 2010
Ryan Mallett, Arkansas 2009
Ventrell Jenkins, Kentucky 2008
Derek Pegues, Mississippi State 2007
Blake Mitchell, South Carolina 2006
Paul Smith, Tulsa 2005
Stefan LeFors, Louisville 2004
Morgan Scalley, Utah 2003
LaTarence Dunbar, TCU 2002
David Ragone, Louisville 2001
Cecil Sapp, Colorado State 2000
Adalius Thomas, Southern Mississippi 1999
Shaun King, Tulane 1998
Sherrod Gideon, Southern Mississippi 1997
Malcolm Thomas, Syracuse 1996
Kwame Ellis, Stanford 1995
Johnny Johnson, Illinois 1994
Jeff Brohm, Louisville 1993
Cassius Ware, Ole Miss 1992
Rob Perez, Air Force 1991
Rob Perez, Air Force 1990
Randy Baldwin, Ole Miss 1989
Dave Schnell, Indiana 1988
Greg Thomas, Arkansas 1987
Jeff Francis, Tennessee 1986
Cody Carlson, Baylor 1985
Bo Jackson, Auburn* 1984
Doug Flutie, Boston College* 1983
Jeremiah Castille, Alabama 1982
Eddie Meyers, Navy 1981
Mark Herrmann, Purdue 1980
Roch Hontas, Tulane 1979
James Wilder, Missouri 1978
Matt Kupec, North Carolina 1977
Barry Krauss, Alabama 1976
Ricky Bell, USC 1975
Randy White, Maryland 1974
Stan Fritts, North Carolina State 1973
Jim Stevens, Georgia Tech 1972
Joe Ferguson, Arkansas 1971
David Abercrombie, Tulane 1970
Bob Anderson, Colorado 1969
Steve Hindman, Ole Miss 1968
Jim Donnan, North Carolina State 1967
Jimmy Cox, Miami (Fla.) 1966
Tom Bryan, Auburn 1965
Ernest Allen, Utah 1964
Ode Burrell, Mississippi State 1963
Terry Baker, Oregon State* 1962
Dick Easterly, Syracuse 1961
Dick Hoak, Penn State 1960
Jay Huffman, Penn State 1959
*Heisman Trophy Winner


Listed Alphabetically with Teams and Years.

Click on each coach's name for more information.

Arnsparger, Bill LSU 1985
Bailiff, David Rice 2013
Battle, Bill Tennessee 1971, 1974
Bell, Alex Villanova 1962
Bellard , Emory Texas A&M 1975
Bicknell, Jack Boston College 1983
Bielema, Bret Arkansas 2015
Blankenship, Bill Tulsa 2012
Bower, Jeff Southern Mississippi 1997, 1999, 2003
Brewer, Billy Ole Miss 1989, 1992
Briles, Art Houston 2006
Brooks, Rich Kentucky 2008
Broyles, Frank Arkansas 1971
Bruce, Earl Ohio State 1981
Bryant, Paul "Bear" Alabama 1959, 1969, 1976, 1982
Campbell, Matt Iowa State  2017
Casanova, Len Oregon 1960
Claiborne, Jerry Maryland 1974
Claiborne, Jerry Virginia Tech 1966, 1968
Cooper, John Ohio State 1990
Corum, Gene West Virginia 1964
Croom, Sylvester Mississippi State 2007
Crowder, Eddie Colorado 1969, 1970
Crowton, Gary Brigham Young 2001
Davis, Paul Mississippi State 1963
DeBerry, Fisher Air Force 1989, 1990 1991, 1992
Donahue, Terry UCLA 1976
Dooley, Bill North Carolina 1977
Dooley, Vince Georgia 1967, 1987
Dye, Pat Auburn 1984
Edwards, Earle North Carolina State 1963, 1967
Edwards, Lavell BYU 1998
Engle , Rip Penn State 1959, 1960
Fambrough, Don Kansas 1973
Faust, Gerry Notre Dame 1983
Franklin, James Vanderbilt 2011
Fulcher, William Georgia Tech 1972
Gustafson, Andy Miami-FL 1961
Gutekunst, John Minnesota 1986
Harris, Walt Pittsburgh 1997
Hatfield, Kenny Arkansas 1984, 1987
Hawkins, Dan Boise State 2004
Helton, Kim Houston 1996
Hill, Pat Fresno State 2005
Holgorsen, Dana West Virginia 2014
Holtz, Lou North Carolina State 1973
Holtz, Skip East Carolina 2008, 2009
Jones, Butch Cincinnati 2011
Jordon, Shug Auburn 1965
Kragthorpe, Steve Tulsa 2005
Logan, Steve East Carolina 1994, 1995
Lubick, Sonny Colorado State 1999, 2000, 2002
Majors, Johnny Iowa State 1972
Majors, Johnny Tennessee 1986
Mallory, Bill Indiana 1988
McClendon, Charlie LSU 1978
McKay, John Southern California 1975
Meyer, Urban Utah 2003
Morrison, Joe South Carolina 1988
Mullen, Dan Mississippi State 2013
Norvell, Mike  Memphis  2017
Nagle, Ray Utah 1964
O'Leary, George UCF 2007,2010
Osborne, Tom Nebraska 1977
Pasqualoni, Paul Syracuse 1996
Paterno, Joe Penn State 1979
Patterson, Gary TCU 2002, 2016
Perles, George Michigan State 1993
Petrino, Bobby Louisville & Arkansas 2004, 2009
Pittman, Jim Tulane 1970
Powers , Warren Missouri 1978, 1980
Prothro, Tommy Oregon State 1962
Rhoads, Paul Iowa State 2012
Richt, Mark Georgia 2010
Scelfo, Chris Tulane 1998
Schnellenberger, Howard Louisville 1993
Schwartzwalder, Ben Syracuse 1961
Sherrill, Jackie Mississippi State 1991
Smart, Kirby Georgia 2016
Smith, John L. Louisville 2000, 2001
Smith, Larry Tulane 1979
Snyder, Bill Kansas State 2015
Spurrier, Steve South Carolina 2006
Sumlin, Kevin Texas A&M 2014
Tate, Charlie Miami-FL 1966
Teaff, Grant Baylor 1985
Tepper, Lou Illinois 1994
Vaught, John Ole Miss 1965, 1968
Welsh, George Navy 1981
White, Mike Illinois 1982
Willingham, Tyrone Stanford 1995
Young, Jim Purdue 1980


The AutoZone Liberty Bowl takes place annually at Liberty Bowl Memorial Stadium in Memphis, Tennessee. The Bowl is the seventh oldest college bowl game and is one of the most tradition-rich and patriotic bowl games in America.

The AutoZone Liberty Bowl game was founded in Philadelphia in 1959 and the inaugural game featured a match-up between Penn State and Alabama. That game began a tradition of great stars and exciting football and was the first of 59 thrilling chapters in the history of the AutoZone Liberty Bowl Football Classic.

After five years in Philadelphia, the game moved indoors to Atlantic City Convention Center for one year and in the process became the first indoor college bowl game. Every AutoZone Liberty Bowl since 1965 has been held at Liberty Bowl Memorial Stadium in Memphis.

The AutoZone Liberty Bowl has enjoyed many highlights through the years. The Bowl has hosted all-time great coaches such as Paul “Bear” Bryant, Lou Holtz, Tom Osborne, Steve Spurrier and Bill Snyder. The Bowl’s history also includes four Heisman Trophy winners (Ernie Davis, Terry Baker, Doug Flutie and Bo Jackson) and other stars such as Archie Manning and Donovan McNabb.

Another proud tradition is the Bowl’s terrific partnership with St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital which brings together an internationally recognized research facility and a winning college football tradition. St. Jude is dedicated to helping children throughout the world in their fight against catastrophic diseases.

Beginning in 2004, Memphis-based AutoZone, Inc., became the Bowl’s title sponsor.

The 59th Annual AutoZone Liberty Bowl will be nationally televised by ESPN.


Memorable Moments in AutoZone Liberty Bowl History

December 19, 1959 – The game marked the beginning of a great bowl tradition and also was the first of 24 consecutive bowl trips for Paul “Bear” Bryant. The game was played at Municipal Stadium in Philadelphia, PA.

December 15, 1961 – Heisman Trophy winner Ernie Davis led his Syracuse Orangemen to rally to a 15-14 win over the Miami Hurricanes. Davis was named the game’s Outstanding Back but teammate Dick Easterly won the MVP award.

December 15, 1962 – Heisman Trophy winner Terry Baker raced 99 yards with 9:24 left in the first quarter for the game’s only score. The run marked an AutoZone Liberty Bowl and Oregon State record. The mark still stands today.

December 19, 1964 – The inaugural game in Atlantic City, featuring Utah and West Virginia, marked the first time a major college bowl game was held indoors.

December 18, 1965 – Marked the first game held in Memphis, TN, and pitted Ole Miss against Auburn.

December 14, 1968 – Archie Manning led his Ole Miss Rebels to a 34-17 victory over Virginia Tech.

December 13, 1969 – Colorado running back Bobby Anderson rushed for an AutoZone Liberty Bowl record 254 yards.

December 18, 1972 – Georgia Tech’s backup quarterback Jim Stevens was named MVP after completing 12 of 15 passes for 157 yards in guiding Georgia Tech to a 31-30 victory over Iowa State.

December 17, 1973 – Lou Holtz and his N.C. State Wolfpack took a 10-10 tie in the 3rd quarter and pushed it to a 31-18 victory over Kansas.

December 20, 1976 – Terry Donahue faced off against Paul “Bear” Bryant. Bryant’s 16th ranked Crimson Tide dominated Donahue’s 7th ranked UCLA Bruins, 36-6.

December 19, 1977 – Nebraska head coach Tom Osborne called on backup quarterback Randy Garcia, who rallied the Cornhuskers with two fourth-quarter touchdown passes to beat North Carolina 21-17.

December 22, 1979 – This game marked the only time a touchdown was not scored as Joe Paterno’s Penn State Nittany Lions defeated Tulane 9-6.

December 29, 1982 – The 1982 contest marked an end to a remarkable career as Alabama head coach Paul “Bear” Bryant coached his final game. Alabama defeated Illinois 21-15 before a crowd of 54,123.

December 29, 1983 – Heisman Trophy winner Doug Flutie threw for 287 yards and three touchdowns, but Notre Dame pulled out a 19-18 victory thanks to a missed extra point. Flutie was named the game’s MVP.

December 27, 1984 – Heisman Trophy winner Bo Jackson had two touchdown runs. Jackson’s 39-yard-touchdown run late in the fourth quarter gave Auburn a 21-15 win over Arkansas.

December 29, 1991 – A record crowd of 61,497 watched as Air Force defeated Mississippi State 38-15.

December 31, 1998 – Tulane capped an undefeated season by defeating BYU 41-27.

December 29, 2000 - #23 Colorado St. defeated #22 Louisville 22-17. The Rams finished the year 11-1 and ranked #16.

December 31, 2001- For the second year in a row, the Bowl featured a match-up of two Top 25 teams as #23 Louisville downed #19 BYU 28-10.

December 31, 2004 – The first match-up of two Top 10 teams as No. 7 Louisville took on No. 10 Boise State. This was the highest scoring game in AutoZone Liberty Bowl history with Louisville defeating Boise State 44-40.

December 29, 2007 - In front of an all-time record crowd of 63,816 fans, Mississippi State defeats UCF 10-3.

January 2, 2009 - In celebration of its 50th Anniversary, the Bowl secured a January playing date for the first time in its history. Kentucky rallied from a 13-point halftime deficit to knock off East Carolina, 25-19.

January 2, 2010 - A sellout crowd of 62,742, the second largest of all-time, watched the first ever overtime game in AutoZone Liberty Bowl history as Arkansas defeated East Carolina 20-17.

August 2013 - AutoZone Liberty Bowl announces new 6-year partnerships with the Southeastern Conference and Big 12 Conference creating a SEC versus Big 12 matchup in the AutoZone Liberty Bowl from 2014 through 2019. 

February 21, 2014 - AutoZone extends its title sponsorship agreement for 6 additional years beginning in the 2014 season through the 2019 season.

January 2, 2016 - A sellout crowd of 61,136, watches Arkansas defeated Kansas State 45-23 in one of the most watched non-NY6 ESPN bowl games of the year.

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