Photo credit - IU Archives

This date in IU football history: Hoosiers defeat South Carolina in 1988 Liberty Bowl

December 28, 1988 — On a frigid day in Memphis, Tenn., Indiana came out red hot at the 1988 Liberty Bowl.

The Hoosiers took a 17-0 lead into halftime over South Carolina, and they had outgained the Gamecocks 301 yards to 53 at the break.

But things would get interesting on the 22 degree evening in late December.

Playing in front of just over 39,210 at the Liberty Bowl Memorial Stadium, South Carolina blocked an IU punt and returned it for a touchdown early in the third quarter, and a Gamecock field goal made it just a 20-10 Hoosiers lead with 3:36 left in the third quarter.

Despite total statistical domination, IU fans had an uneasy feeling as the third quarter came to an end.  Several Indiana mistakes had allowed the Gamecocks to stay within striking distance.  But as he did most of the day, IU quarterback Dave Schnell would have the answer.

On the first snap of the fourth quarter, Schnell, the game’s Most Valuable Player, hooked up with wide receiver Rob Turner on an 88-yard touchdown pass that upped the IU lead to 27-10.

The Hoosiers would go on to win it 34-10.

Indiana was led by Schnell who completed 16-of-31 passes for 378 yards. Running back Anthony Thompson led the Hoosiers with 140 yards rushing.  Thompson had two touchdowns on the day and tied the Big Ten single-season touchdown record in the process with 26.  Turner had five catches for 182 yards.

The game saw the Hoosiers roll up a Liberty Bowl record total of 575 yards, while holding South Carolina to 153, including just 23 yards rushing.  IU’s defense added three interceptions.

The bowl win capped off an 8-3-1 season for IU and head coach Bill Mallory that included a 36-15 win over Kentucky, a 41-7 win over Ohio State, and a 52-7 win over Purdue.

Video credit – Galen Clavio


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