If you ask anybody on the 1987 edition of the SU Football Team about the ending of the West Virginia game, what was the final game of the regular season, they'll probably tell you that Don MacPherson's 17 yard pass to Pat Kelly with 10 seconds left was inevitable. The touchdown , of course , led to the decision to go for two points and win the game in dramatic fashion 32-31, completing the undefeated regular season.
"At no point throughout the entire season did we ever feel that we couldn't win the game," reflects former SU running back Robert Drummond on this 25th anniversary of the famous game, "So when we got down in games, even the West Virginia game, the last home game of the season, we knew it."
"The play call (for the Kelly touchdown) was 7 87," recalls former SU Head Coach Dick MacPherson, "and Donnie MacPherson looked at me and said Yah!! And Pa Kelly for the rest of his life cried every time, he said I couldn't believe that Coach MacPherson was going to throw the ball to me, because it was just so beautiful."
And so was the decision win the game outright on the next play. Michael Owens' two-point conversion run completed what was an amazing regular season, and the head coach remembers the decision to go for two as being an easy one.
"I made the decision," recalls Coach Mac, "but if I had made any other decision I think they would have killed me."
"You don't play, you don't practice, you don't do things to tie a game," says Drummond, "you know what's the use, what's the purpose of even preparing for it."
W hile controversy would follow at the Sugar Bowl when Auburn, ironically and infamously, chose to end the game in a tie, the SU Football team of 1987 will forever be bonded, and forever be undefeated.
"Anybody who was associated with the '87 football team, that's the time they talk about, " says Coach Mac, "t hey don't talk about '84, '85 or '86, they don't talk about '88, '89 or '90. '98 was a thing that nobody will ever forget."