Sugar Bowl 1983

Penn State's Gregg Garrity (19) catches a 47-yard pass to score a touchdown against Georgia in the Sugar Bowl, Saturday, Jan. 1, 1983 in New Orleans. Penn State won the game and the national championship with a score of 27 to 23. (AP Photo)

Penn State has played in bowl games on New Year's Day 25 times. The Nittany Lions are 14-10-1 in those contests. Here's a look a five of those games. One of the games secured a national championship. One toppled them from No. 1 and three completed undefeated seasons.

Two games not featured here are the Nittany Lions 14-10 win over Miami in the 1987 Fiesta Bowl that earned Penn State it's second national title, and the 1995 Rose Bowl win over Oregon.

Both of those games completed undefeated seasons, but both of those games were on Jan. 2.

Orange Bowl, 1969

Penn State 15, Kansas 14

Penn State scored a touchdown with 15 seconds left and added a two-point conversion to get the win. The Nittany Lions' initial try for two resulted in an incomplete pass, but Kansas was penalized for 12 men on the field.

On Penn State's second two-point attempt, Bob Campbell scored on a sweep around the left side to give the Nittany Lions the victory.

The winning TD was set up on a 48-yard pass from Lions quarterback Chuck Burkhart to Campbell that put the ball at the Jayhawks 3.

After Kansas stuffed two runs, Burkhart scored on a keeper around the left side.

John Riggins, who later starred in the NFL for Washington, had given Kansas a 14-7 lead on a 1-yard TD run with 12:38 left in the game.

Penn State finished the season 11-0 and finished No. 2 in the AP poll and No. 3 in the UPI Coaches poll

Here's video of Burkhart's pass to Campbell that gave Penn State first and goal. The three runs at the goal line and the two point conversion trys.

Orange Bowl, 1970

Penn State 10, Missouri 3

Penn State scored 10 points in the first quarter and that was enough for the win, as the Nittany Lions defense, led by linebacker Jack Ham, intercepted seven passes and recovered two fumbles. 

A 28-yard pass from Chuck Burkhart to Lydell Mitchell was the game's only touchdown.

Despite finishing undefeated for the second straight season, Penn State (11-0) finished second in the polls.

Here are highlights from the game. The Mitchell TD is at the 6:20 mark.

Orange Bowl, 1974

Penn State 16, LSU 9

The Nittany Lions (12-0) completed another perfect season but were voted just fifth in the polls..

After LSU took a 7-0 lead, Penn State scored on a Chris Bahr 44-yard field goal in the first quarter and added two TDs in the second quarter to get the victory.

Lions wide receiver Chuck Herd made a one-handed grab off a Tom Shuman pass to score on a 72-yard play.

And running back John Cappelletti, Penn State's only Heisman Trophy winner, scored on a 1-yard run.

Here's video of Herd's one-handed TD catch.

Sugar Bowl, 1979

Alabama 14, Penn State 7

In a game dominated by defense, a fourth-quarter goal-line stand by Alabama kept Penn State out of the end zone and denied the Nittany Lions the victory and a national title.

Going into the game, Penn State was ranked No. 1, Alabama No. 2.

Here's video of the turnover that gave the Nittany Lions the ball, and their drive that ended inside the 1.

Sugar Bowl, 1983

Penn State 27, Georgia 23

Curt Warner scored two touchdowns, Nick Gancitano kicked two field goals and a Todd Blackledge 47-yard TD pass to Gregg Garrity provided the winning margin to lead the Nittany Lions to the victory.

The gave Penn State (11-1) it's first national title. Entering the game, Penn State was ranked No. 2 and Georgia was No. 1.

Warner ran for 117 yards on 18 carries. Blackledge (13-23-0), who threw for 228 yards, was named the game's MVP. Garrity caught four passes totaling 116 yards.

Heisman Trophy winner Herschel Walker rushed for 103 yards on 28 carries and one TD.

Here are highlights from the game. The The Blackledge to Garrity TD pass is at the 30:20-mark of the video.


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