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Bowl Notes : SUGAR

January 02, 1986|ASSOCIATED PRESS

Miami Coach Jimmy Johnson offered no excuses but did offer reasons for the second-ranked Hurricanes' 35-7 loss to No. 8 Tennessee in the Sugar Bowl. And those reasons began with the Hurricanes themselves.

"I talked all month long about how this wasn't an underdog situation. Tennessee proved that tonight," said Johnson, whose team entered the game an eight-point favorite in hopes of winning a second national championship in three years.

"Penalties hurt us. Crowd noise was a factor. That's not to make excuses. . . . Tennessee played a great game and we did not."

Johnson had made it clear that he felt Miami deserved to be No. 1 if the Hurricanes beat Tennessee and if No. 3 Oklahoma knocked off top-ranked Penn State in the Orange Bowl.

Oklahoma beat the Nittany Lions, but by the time that game ended in Miami, Johnson and his team were already looking ahead to next season, when the Hurricanes return 21 of 22 starters.

"As I told the team, every man gets beat, but a true champion comes back," Johnson said. "I don't want one game to take anything away from what this team accomplished. We had a great season."

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