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The Greatest Sports Comeback Ever

Last night, the Dallas Mavericks pulled off a huge comeback in Game #4 of the Western Conference Finals.

The Mavs trailed by 15 points with only 5 minutes to play but rallied for a 112-105 victory over the Oklahoma City Thunder to take a 3-1 lead in the series.

As great as that comeback was, it wasn’t the greatest of all-time.

That honor goes to the 1984 Maryland Football team.  The Terps trailed the defending National Champion Miami Hurricanes 31-0 at halftime but somehow pulled off a 42-40 shocker.

At halftime, Maryland was not only down 31-0 but they were outgained 324-57.

Maryland Head Coach Bobby Ross replaced the ineffective Stan Gelbaugh for Frank Reich to start the 3rd quarter.  Reich went onto complete 12 of 16 passes for 260 yards and three touchdowns, leading Maryland to an amazing 42-40 win.  Reich also rushed for a score.

Maryland scored on 6 straight possessions.  They trailed 34-21 after 3 quarters.  And scored 21 more points in the 4th quarter.  At the time, this was the biggest comeback in college football history.

I actually watched this game.  I just remember the Terps were getting crushed so badly that my friend, Tarik, and I went down in his basement to Colecovision.

We lost track of time a bit and came back upstairs just as Reich was hitting Greg Hill with this touchdown over the middle to make it 31-14 in the 3rd quarter (see video below).

When then watched the Terps score 3 more TD’s and were completely entrenched in this game.

Then, with about nine and a half minutes left to play, Reich threw a long pass that glanced off a Miami defender’s hands and landed in the hands of Maryland’s Greg Hill.  That long score gave the Terps a 35-34 lead.  (See below for video of that play).

It almost seemed like everything went right for Maryland.  While I was watching it, I just thought maybe they would be able to make it close but to win it - no way.

I don’t think I truly realized what had happened that night until years later when Reich led the Buffalo Bills to an amazing comeback against the Houston Oilers in 1992. 

Then it hit me that I had witnessed history.  I’m glad we came upstairs to check the score out of curiosity.

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