1980 Fiesta Bowl

The 1980 Fiesta Bowl featured the Ohio State Buckeyes and the Penn State Nittany Lions. This was the last Fiesta Bowl played in December until 1997.

1980 Fiesta Bowl
Penn State Nittany Lions Ohio State Buckeyes
(9–2) (9–2)
Independent Big Ten
31 19
Head coach: 
Joe Paterno
Head coach: 
Earle Bruce
1234 Total
Penn State 73714 31
Ohio State 61300 19
DateDecember 26, 1980
StadiumSun Devil Stadium
LocationTempe, Arizona
MVPRB Curt Warner (Penn State)
DE Frank Case (Penn State)
United States TV coverage
AnnouncersCharlie Jones and Len Dawson


Penn State had played three ranked opponents during the season (#3 Nebraska, #9 Missouri, and #4 Pittsburgh), and had only won the second one. They were looking to beat a ranked opponent to finish their season in their first Fiesta Bowl appearance since 1977. Ohio State had finished 2nd in the Big Ten Conference after losing to Michigan which dropped them from #5 to #11. This was their first Fiesta Bowl appearance.

Game summary

Curt Warner would start the scoring with a 64-yard touchdown run on the first play from scrimmage, giving the Nittany Lions the early lead. Not to be deterred, Art Schlichter threw a touchdown pass to Doug Donley, but the extra point failed, narrowing the lead to only 7-6. But the Buckeyes responded again with a Gary Williams touchdown catch from Schlichter to give the Buckeyes the lead, though the PAT missed once again. Schlichter threw another touchdown pass to Donley to increase the lead to 19-7 (the PAT being successful this time). Herb Menhardt kicked a 38-yard field goal to make it 19-10 at halftime. It seemed Schlichter and his team were poised to win the game, due to him throwing 15 of 22 for 244 yards and three touchdowns while Penn State had just one early touchdown. But the second half is when the Nittany Lions came alive. Todd Blackledge, despite throwing 8 for 22 for only 117 yards the whole game, scored early in the third quarter on a 3-yard run to narrow the lead to 19-17. Schlichter went 5 for 13 in the second half for 58 yards with two interceptions and zero touchdowns as the Buckeyes were shut out. In the fourth quarter, the Nittany Lions turned on the running game, as Jonathan Williams scored on a four-yard touchdown run that gave them the lead, and a few minutes later Booker Moore piled on with a 37-yard touchdown run as the two teams played to a standstill from then on as Penn State won 31-19.[1]


The Nittany Lions would go to two more Fiesta Bowls before the decade ended, winning one of their two titles at Tempe. The Buckeyes would wait four more years for their next Fiesta Bowl appearance, in 1984. As of 2017, this is the only bowl meeting between Penn State and Ohio State. The two teams now compete in the Big Ten Conference, and have met each other on a yearly basis since 1993.


Statistics PSU OSU
First Downs 22 23
Yards Rushing 351 110
Yards Passing 177 302
Return Yards 74 10
Total Yards 602 442
Punts-Average 5-40.8 7-38.7
Fumbles-Lost 1-1 1-0
Interceptions 0 2
Penalties-Yards 1-10 2-30


  1. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2014-12-30. Retrieved 2014-12-30.CS1 maint: Archived copy as title (link)
1950 Rose Bowl

The 1950 Rose Bowl was a college football bowl game played between Ohio State University and University of California at the Rose Bowl in Pasadena, California. The game was a rematch of the 1921 Rose Bowl where both Ohio State and Cal played in the teams' first bowl game. Ohio State came out with the win, 17–14. The MVP was Fred "Curly" Morrison of Ohio State. The game took place on January 2, 1950, because New Year's Day had fallen on a Sunday.

1955 Rose Bowl

The 1955 Rose Bowl was a college football game played between the University of Southern California (USC) and the Ohio State University. Ohio State won the game, 20–7.Woody Hayes came into his first Rose Bowl tied for the national championship with PCC champion UCLA. However, #2 UCLA was locked out of the game because of the "no-repeat" rule.

1978 Gator Bowl

The 1978 Gator Bowl was a college football bowl game played between the Ohio State Buckeyes and Clemson Tigers on December 29, 1978. Clemson won the contest, 17–15. The game is most remembered for an incident in which long time Ohio State head coach Woody Hayes punched a Clemson player after a play, leading to Hayes' firing the next day.

1978 Sugar Bowl

The 1978 Sugar Bowl, part of the 1977 bowl game season, took place on January 2, 1978, at the Louisiana Superdome in New Orleans, Louisiana. The competing teams were the Alabama Crimson Tide, representing the Southeastern Conference (SEC) and the Ohio State Buckeyes of the Big Ten Conference. The teams were led by their respective hall of fame head coaches, Bear Bryant and Woody Hayes, who were the winningest active coaches. Slightly favored, third-ranked Alabama won in a rout, 35–6.

1979 Pittsburgh Panthers football team

The 1979 Pittsburgh Panthers football team represented the University of Pittsburgh in the 1979 NCAA Division I-A football season. The Panthers competed in the 1980 Fiesta Bowl. Pitt was awarded the Lambert-Meadowlands Trophy as the champion of the East.

1980 Ohio State Buckeyes football team

The 1980 Ohio State Buckeyes football team was an American football team that represented Ohio State University during the 1980 Big Ten Conference football season. In their second season under head coach Earle Bruce, the Buckeyes began the season ranked No. 1 in the pre-season AP Poll. They finished in a tie for second place in the Big Ten Conference (Big Ten), compiled a 9–3 (7–1 against Big Ten opponents), lost to Penn State in the 1980 Fiesta Bowl, were ranked No. 15 in the final AP Poll, and outscored all opponents by a combined total of 387 to 181. The team played its home games at Ohio Stadium in Columbus, Ohio.

The team's statistical leaders included quarterback Art Schlichter with 1,930 passing yards, running back Calvin Murray with 1,267 rushing yards, wide receiver Doug Donley with 887 receiving yards, and placekicker Vlade Janakievski with 90 points scored. Several Ohio State players also ranked among the Big Ten leaders in various statistical categories, including the following:

Calvin Murray led the Big Ten with 1,267 rushing yards, 1,471 yards from scrimmage, and 6.5 yards per rushing attempt.

Vlade Janakievski led the Big Ten with 90 points scored and 45 extra points made, and ranked second with 15 field goals made and a 68.2 field goal percentage.

Doug Donley led the Big Ten with 20.6 yard per reception and ranked fifth with 887 receiving yards.

Art Schlichter ranked second in the Big Ten with a 139.7 passing efficiency rating, 8.5 yards per pass attempt, and 22 total touchdowns, and third with 1,930 passing yards, a 54.0 pass completion percentage, and 2,255 total yards.

Tim Spencer ranked fourth in the Big Ten with 5.3 yards per rushing attempt and eight rushing touchdowns.

1981 Liberty Bowl

The 1981 Liberty Bowl was a postseason college football bowl game held on December 30, 1981, in Memphis, Tennessee, at Liberty Bowl Memorial Stadium. The game featured the conference independent Navy Midshipmen facing the Ohio State Buckeyes from the Big Ten Conference. Ohio State won the game 31–28.

1982 Holiday Bowl

The 1982 Holiday Bowl was a college football bowl game played December 17, 1982, in San Diego, California. It was part of the 1982 NCAA Division I-A football season. It featured the 17th ranked Ohio State Buckeyes, and the unranked BYU Cougars.

1985 Florida Citrus Bowl

The 1985 Florida Citrus Bowl was the 40th held. It featured the BYU Cougars and the Ohio State Buckeyes.

1985 Rose Bowl

The 1985 Rose Bowl Game was a postseason college football bowl game between the USC Trojans of the Pacific-10 Conference and Ohio State Buckeyes of the Big Ten Conference, held on New Year’s Day in the Rose Bowl in Pasadena, California.

The game resulted in a 20–17 victory for the underdog Trojans.

1987 Cotton Bowl Classic

The 1987 Cotton Bowl Classic was the 51st such held. It matched the Texas A&M Aggies and the Ohio State Buckeyes.

1990 Liberty Bowl

The 1990 Liberty Bowl was an American college football bowl game played on December 27, 1990 at Liberty Bowl Memorial Stadium in Memphis, Tennessee. The game matched the Air Force Falcons against the Ohio State Buckeyes. Air Force won the game by a score of 23–11.

1992 Hall of Fame Bowl

The 1992 Hall of Fame Bowl featured the 16th-ranked Syracuse Orangemen, and the 25th-ranked Ohio State Buckeyes. It was the sixth edition to the Hall of Fame Bowl.

Syracuse scored first on a 50-yard touchdown pass from Marvin Graves to David Hill for a 7–0 lead. Graves ran three yards for a touchdown as Syracuse led 14–0 after the first quarter. In the second quarter, Ohio State's Williams kicked a 34-yard field goal.

In the third quarter, Biskup kicked a 32-yard field goal to give Syracuse a 17–3 lead. Ohio State's Carlos Snow ran two yards for a touchdown to cut the lead to 17–10. In the fourth quarter, Ohio State recovered a blocked punt in the end zone for a touchdown to tie it at 17. Syracuse scored the gamewinning touchdown on a 60-yard bomb from Marvin Graves to Antonio Johnson. Syracuse won the game by a 24–17 margin.

1993 Florida Citrus Bowl

The 1993 Florida Citrus Bowl was a college football bowl game played between the Big Ten Conference's Ohio State Buckeyes and the Southeastern Conference's Georgia Bulldogs. The game was dominated by the running back. Georgia's Garrison Hearst ad two touchdowns and was named the game's MVP. Ohio State's Robert Smith had a touchdown and ran for over 100 yards. Georgia won 21–14.

1993 Holiday Bowl

The 1993 Holiday Bowl was a college football bowl game played December 30, 1993, in San Diego, California. It was part of the 1993 NCAA Division I-A football season. It featured the tenth ranked Ohio State Buckeyes, and the unranked BYU Cougars. It was famous for coach John Cooper's famous bowl win guarantee, which he came through on.

2001 Outback Bowl

The 2001 edition to the Outback Bowl featured the South Carolina Gamecocks, and the Ohio State Buckeyes.

After a scoreless first quarter, South Carolina's kicker Jason Corse put the Gamecocks on the board with a 23-yard field goal, giving USC an early three to nothing lead. That score would hold until halftime, with both teams playing terrific defense.

In the third quarter, South Carolina's Ryan Brewer rushed seven yards for a touchdown, increasing the margin to ten to nothing. South Carolina's defense held again and got the ball back. South Carolina fumbled on that drive, and Ohio State's Mike Gurr recovered the fumble in the end zone for a touchdown, pulling OSU to within three points.

Early in the fourth quarter, quarterback Phil Petty found Ryan Brewer for a 28-yard touchdown pass, increasing the lead to seventeen to seven. With seven minutes left in the game, Brewer again scored from two yards out, making the final 24 to seven.

Ohio State's head coach, John Cooper, was fired following the game.

2012 Gator Bowl

The 2012 TaxSlayer.com Gator Bowl, the 67th edition of the game, was a post-season American college football bowl game, held on January 2, 2012 at EverBank Field in Jacksonville, Florida as part of the 2011–12 NCAA Bowl season. TaxSlayer.com was named the corporate title sponsor on September 1, 2011. The game, which was telecasted at 1:00 p.m. ET on ESPN2, featured the Ohio State Buckeyes of the Big Ten Conference versus the Florida Gators of the Southeastern Conference.The game was a rematch of the 2007 BCS National Championship Game, where Florida emerged victorious. Florida's head coach for the 2007 game, Urban Meyer, was named head coach at Ohio State in November 2011 and took over the Buckeye football program in the 2012 season. As such, this game is sometimes referred to as the Urban Meyer Bowl.

2016 Fiesta Bowl (January)

The 2016 Fiesta Bowl was a college football bowl game that was played on January 1, 2016 at University of Phoenix Stadium in Glendale, Arizona. The 44th Fiesta Bowl was one of the New Year's Bowls. It was one of the 2015–16 bowl games that concluded the 2015 FBS football season.

The game was televised on ESPN and ESPN Deportes, and broadcast on ESPN Radio and XM Satellite Radio, with the kickoff time set for 1:00 P.M. ET (11 A.M. MT). Sponsored by obstacle racing series BattleFrog, it was officially known as the BattleFrog Fiesta Bowl.Coincidentally, it took place 10 years after the 2006 Fiesta Bowl, that was also played by Ohio State and Notre Dame. That was also the last time Notre Dame participated in the Fiesta Bowl.

Ohio State wound up beating Notre Dame, 44-28.

Ohio State–Penn State football rivalry

The Ohio State–Penn State football rivalry is an American college football rivalry between the Ohio State Buckeyes and the Penn State Nittany Lions. Ohio State leads the series 20–14.

The programs met eight times before 1993 when Penn State joined the Big Ten Conference. Since 1993, the teams have played annually, and the series continues as an annual Big Ten East division game.

1980–81 NCAA football bowl game season
History & conference tie-ins

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