To celebrate the local bowl’s 25th anniversary milestone, the Review-Journal will rank the top 25 moments in Las Vegas Bowl history. We’ll relive one moment per day until game day on Dec. 17 at Sam Boyd Stadium:
Moment No. 19: North Carolina becomes bowl’s only ACC team
Date: Dec. 19, 1998.
Score: North Carolina 20, San Diego State.
Back story: North Carolina became the first and only team from the Atlantic Coast Conference to play in the Las Vegas Bowl. It became the only bowl to host teams that started the season 0-3 while the game was marred by 48 mph winds.
Game: On a windy day at Sam Boyd Stadium, the Tar Heels held off San Diego State thanks to quarterback Ronald Curry’s 93 yards rushing, including a 48-yard first-quarter touchdown run. Safety David Bomar’s blocked-punt recovery in the end zone for a touchdown was the decisive score in a game that saw only three points scored in the second half. The Aztecs’ bid to tie the game died with 59 seconds to play when UNC’s Keith Newman intercepted a pass with 59 seconds to play on the goal line.
Since: Curry was moved to wide receiver when he was drafted by the Oakland Raiders, for whom he whom played seven of nine NFL seasons. He retired in 2009 and has since been an assistant coach, this season with the New Orleans Saints.
Contact Gilbert Manzano at firstname.lastname@example.org or 702-383-0492. Follow @gmanzano24 on Twitter.