Monday night's attendance of 34,217 was "very satisfying," according to Freedom Bowl Executive Director Don Andersen. More than 42,000 tickets were sold, but Andersen had feared the weekend's rainy weather would affect the crowd.
He also was pleased with the demand for $15 tickets. It was the first time in the bowl's eight-game history that any seat in Anaheim Stadium had gone for less than $28.
The "cheap" seats were all located in the south end zone sections. Andersen said he didn't know what portion of the gate those seats made up.
"Not too bad for an experiment," Andersen said. "It's a worthwhile deal, and I think we'll continue with it."
The Freedom Bowl record is 51,422 for the 1986 UCLA-Brigham Young game. Last season's 32-31 victory by Colorado State over Oregon drew 41,450.
Dodger Manager Tommy Lasorda gave a pep talk to the Tulsa University team this week and was a press box guest at Monday night's game. Lasorda's Tulsa connection? Dodger coach Bill Russell's daughter, Amy, is a senior at Tulsa, and both Russells were with Lasorda in the press box.
"I told (Tulsa) my luck has been really good with football," Lasorda said.
It isn't the first time Lasorda has delivered a talk to a team playing SDSU. He also spoke with Air Force, he said, before the Falcons played SDSU in Tokyo in the 1981 Mirage Bowl. Air Force defeated SDSU in that game, 21-16.
Lasorda's pregame prediction: Tulsa, 27-17.
"I gotta stay with the team I talked to," Lasorda said.
Bill Russell's prediction: Tulsa, 35-21.
Punter Gus Frerotte's 14-yard punt with Tulsa leading 21-17 with 9 minutes left in the game seemed to signal big trouble for the Golden Hurricane. As it turned out, it didn't have much of an impact, but Frerotte was still worried.
"I though I had really hurt the team with that shanked punt," he said. "The defense came back and saved me."
Said Tulsa Coach Dave Rader: "He's been known to shank 'em."
Frerrote later redeemed himself with a 54-yard boomer that San Diego State's T.C. Wright fumbled, setting up Tulsa's final touchdown.
"I'd been punting in the net all through the game, and then Coach (Rockey) Felker told me not to punt into it," Frerrote said. "So I didn't use the net before my big punt and everything went perfectly on that one. I think that was the key play in the fourth quarter because it really knocked the wind out of them and pumped us up."
About that botched onside kick that went six yards instead of the required 10 after SDSU's first touchdown. . . .
"The play was planned," SDSU kicker Andy Trakas said. "It was my fault. It didn't go 10 yards. I didn't execute it the way I was supposed to. There's not much else I can say."
Punter Jason Savorn said the play had been planned for weeks.
Although the numbers will not be added up for a few days, San Diego State athletic officials figured they made some sort of profit on the game. They had budgeted for a profit of about $150,000, assuming they sold 7,000 tickets.
Athletic Director Fred Miller said SDSU sold "about" 8,000 tickets. Miller also said the Aztecs gave away about 2,000 to San Diego military people. The cost of those tickets will be split between SDSU and the Western Athletic Conference.
Tulsa's Ron Jackson quickly became an unlikely hero during Tulsa's 28-17 victory over San Diego State in the Freedom Bowl Monday night.
Subbing for Chris Hughley, the nation's fifth-leading rusher who was suspended for academic reasons, Jackson set a Freedom Bowl record with 46 carries. He gained 211 yards.
"The week before the game, I was nervous and didn't eat much," Jackson said. "I was expecting to carry the ball 30 times.