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The Games of Our Lives: Rest from our Labors

With Penn State gearing up for its biggest out-of-conference in nearly a decade, I figure you have plenty to read and talk about. But in case you missed any of the first eight from “The Games of Our Lives” series, here are quick links to those games. Happy Labor Day!


We’re well through the seventies…with the first Fiesta Bowl win ever over home-team Arizona State in 1977 and a drubbing of top-five Maryland in 1978.

Then, we worked through the first dynastic period of the eighties with a nifty 48 unanswered points against #1 Pittsburgh in 1981, a victorious 1982 clash of the titans with Nebraska in Happy Valley, and Joe Paterno’s first championship victory, over Georgia in the 1983 Sugar Bowl.

While the 1985 team went through the regular season undefeated, the next game in the series jumps to the all-time David and Goliath classic–the 1987 Fiesta Bowl victory over heavy-favorite Miami.

A tiny downturn in the program followed but the team geared back up in 1989 with a Holiday Bowl shootout against Ty Detmer and BYU. Two years later, Penn State exploded over a talented Tennessee squad in the Fiesta Bowl.

Next week, we’ll take a look at the up-and-coming juggernaut with the PSU season finale of 1993, a one-point win over Michigan State. In the meantime, here’s hoping Penn State beats #2 Alabama and creates another “Game of Our Lives” for the Penn State nation!


The 20-part “The Games of Our Lives” series is featured every Monday on Nittany Lions Den. These excerpts and more will be available as The Saturdays of Our Lives: A Generation of Penn State Football Victories by Ryan J. Murphy (available spring 2012 by Father’s Press).