With a revamped group of Dolphins wide receivers this year looking to create some memorable moments on the field this season, we went back to a former Miami pass catcher to talk to him about the most unforgettable memories during his time in the NFL. The Finsiders sat down with former Dolphins wide receiver O.J. McDuffie to talk about his five most memorable games in his career.
August 6th 1993: Dolphins squeak by Falcons 28-27: McDuffie’s first touchdown
After being drafted, the Dolphins expected O.J. McDuffie to not only have an impact on offense, but also on special teams. That expectation became reality immediately when McDuffie returned his first ever kickoff return 91 yards for a touchdown.
“When I got drafted by the Dolphins in the first round, they wanted me as a return guy. So my first kickoff return was a 91 yard return for a touchdown was pretty spectacular. It kind of got the monkey off my back and kind of let me relax a bit and settle into a role on the team. So that was big, and having Terry Kirby my other draftee as my escort down the field was really nice.”
October 24, 1993: Dolphins blow away Colts 41-27, McDuffie’s first regular season touchdown
The Dolphins knew they had something special in McDuffie after his first return TD in the preseason, but it was cemented on October 24 when McDuffie took back a Rohn Stark punt 71 yards to the house in the first quarter. His first return touchdown of his career.
“They (Indianapolis) had a great return guy in Clarence Verdin, and they were talking him up all week, and the first game of the season I’d actually fumbled my first punt against the Colts. So it was nice to get the touchdown return on a Sunday night. That was my first touchdown as a Dolphin so that was pretty cool.”
November 29th 1998: Dolphins take down Saints 31-10, Marino throws career touchdowns 399,400, and 401 all to McDuffie.
In a what surely is remembered as one of the pinnacles of Dan Marino’s career as well as McDuffie’s, #13 connected with #81 on three separate occasions for Dan Marino’s 399th, 400th, and 401st touchdowns passes as the Dolphins defeated the Saints 30-10 at home.
“The funny part about that was that Danny (Marino) said that he was going to throw a couple touchdowns. He was sitting at 398 and he said on my second touchdown that I get the ball, and he knew he was gonna throw a couple touchdowns against the Saints and he did. He threw 399, 400, and 401 to me and that was a special day for me.”
November 14, 1993: Dolphins beat Eagles 19-14, Shula wins #325
In a November regular season game between Miami and Philadelphia, one of football’s most hallowed records fell. Legendary Dolphins head coach Don Shula recorded his 325th victory, the most ever by a coach in the National Football League. Shula toppled Chicago Bears legend George Halas’s mark of 324, and went on to finish with 347 career wins.
“It was one of those things where it was my rookie year, and to come from Penn State, playing with coach (Joe) Paterno and then being able to play for Coach Shula was just amazing. For him to break the all time record in my rookie season, that was special, especially since a lot of people didn’t know who the quarterback was with Doug Pederson being the quarterback on that day. So that was a lot of fun.”
November 27, 1994: Dolphins Defeat Jets 28-24, The Fake Spike Game
In one of the most memorable games in Dolphins history, Miami made a late game comeback courtesy of a Dan Marino touchdown pass to Mark Ingram. But this was no ordinary comeback, because of the play that won the game. This was the legendary Fake Spike, as Marino faked out the Jets defense by pretending to clock the ball with time winding down and the Dolphins down by three, to find an open Ingram in the corner of the end zone.
“It was a play that we worked on in practice, and Bernie Kosar came up with the idea and he said one day it’s going to work but it’ll only work once. It was nice to see that it worked in a critical game against the Jets, and to see Mark Ingram have four touchdowns that day while working against a young Aaron Glenn at the cornerback position. That was obviously one of the best plays in Dolphins history.”
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