Looking back: Fiesta Bowl history, Part II
(Editor's note: Over the next few weeks, we will take a chronological look back at Penn State's history in the Fiesta Bowl. Today, we look back at the 1980 Fiesta Bowl, which was the Nittany Lions' second appearance at the bowl.)
UNIVERSITY PARK – As we explore Penn State’s history in the Fiesta Bowl, the Nittany Lions’ second trip to the game featured a now familiar foe.
The Ohio State University.
Penn State and Ohio State met in the 1980 Fiesta Bowl and like any PSU-OSU matchup, it was a good one.
The Nittany Lions got off to a good start as Curt Warner scored on a 64-yard touchdown on the first play from scrimmage. Ohio State came right back as Art Schlichter connected with Doug Donley for a TD. The PAT failed and the Nittany Lion lead was cut to 7-6. Schlichter would throw two more touchdowns in the first half, one to Gary Williams and another to Donley. The Buckeyes went 1-for-2 on those extra points and held a 19-7 lead. Penn State would get a Herb Menhardt 38-yard field goal and it was 19-10 at halftime.
In the second half, the Nittany Lions came to life, though. Penn State QB Todd Blackledge scored on a 3-yard scamper to cut the Buckeyes’ lead to 19-17. Penn State would score two more touchdowns – Jonathan Williams hit paydirt from 4 yards out and Booker Moore scored from 37 yards out as the Nittany Lions took control of the game, 31-19.
The Penn State defense clamped down on Schlichter in the second half, holding him to just five completions on 13 attempts for 58 yards. He was also intercepted twice.
With the three second-half scores, the Nittany Lions handled Ohio State, 31-19.
The game was played on Dec. 26 at Sun Devil Stadium in Tempe, Ariz.