American Football Database
1961 Orange Bowl
1 2 3 4 Total
University of Missouri 7 7 0 7 Expression error: Missing operand for +.
Naval Academy 7 0 0 7 Expression error: Missing operand for +.
Date January 2, 1961
Season 1960
Stadium Orange Bowl
Location Miami, Florida
Referee W. P. Astle
Orange Bowl
 < 1960  1962

The 1961 edition to the Orange Bowl featured the fifth ranked Missouri Tigers and the fourth ranked Navy Midshipmen.

Navy jumped to a 6-0 lead with a 98-yard fumble return for a touchdown. But Missouri answered when Norm Beal intercepted Navy’s Hal Spooner, rumbling down the sideline for a 90-yard return, giving Missouri a 7-6 advantage. They then drove 80 yards for a second touchdown, and led 14-6 at half.

Missouri’s defense completely shut down the Midshipmen’s running game, including Heisman Trophy winner Joe Bellino, forcing Navy to pass. But Missouri continued to run the ball, grinding it out for 223 rushing yards. After a scoreless third quarter, Missouri drove down 64 yards, and capitalized with a 1 yard run from quarterback Ronnie Taylor. Taylor, who went 1-6, threw for only 5 total yards. Down 21-6, Joe Bellino caught a 27-yard pass from Spooner, and then made the two-point conversion, cutting the lead to 21-14. Missouri held on for the win. President Kennedy attended the game