1977 Fiesta Bowl

Penn State 42, Arizona State 30

1977 fiesta bowl
December 25, 1977

Attendance: 57,727

Offensive Player of the Game: Dennis Sproul, Arizona State

Defensive Player of the Game: Matt Millen, Penn State

Sportsmanship Award: Dennis Sproul, Arizona State

Head Coaches: Joe Paterno, Penn State - Frank Kush, Arizona State

Weather: Cloudy, chilly

Television: CBS

Payout Per Team: $251,948.33

Penn State was known for its shove-it-down-your-throat type football. Arizona State was known for its potent aerial assault.

In the 1977 Fiesta Bowl, the basic fundamental style proved better of the two, as the Nittany Lions flexed their muscles in the second half to pull away from Arizona State, 42-30, in front of a record crowd of 57,727.

Both teams had their chances. But Penn State took advantage of every opportunity and then some to post the very exciting victory.

The Nittany Lions turned a blocked punt and a fumble recovery into a pair of first quarter touchdowns to post a lead they would never relinquish.

Arizona State never gave up in the contest, pulling within three points just before halftime and trailing by only six points midway through the fourth quarter.

But the running of Penn State backs Steve Geise and Bob Torrey took its toll. Geise finished with 111 yards and a touchdown on 26 carries, while Torrey ran for 107 yards and a score on just nine carries.

Matt Suhey added 76 yards and two touchdowns, as the Nittany Lions racked up 268 yards on the ground.

Quarterback Dennis Sproul had a solid game for ASU, completing 23 of 47 passes for 336 yards and three touchdowns. He was named the offensive player of the game and earned the first ever Art Bodine Sportsmanship Award, which was voted on by the officials.

Quarter Scores

Scoring
1
2
3
4
F
Penn State
14
3
7
18
42
Arizona State
0
14
0
16
30

Yardstick

PSU
ASU
18
First Downs
29
50-268
Rushes-Yards
45-90
83
Passing Yards
336
9-23-0
Passes
23-47-2
91
Return Yards
1
7-40.0
Punts
5-34.8
1-0
Fumbles-Lost
1-1
12-126
Penalties - Yards
5-33

How They Scored

PSU
ASU
7
0
Joe Lally 21 yard blocked punt return (Matt Bahr kick)
14
0
Bob Torrey 3 yard pass from Chuck Fusina (Bahr kick)
14
7
Arthur Lane 11 yard pass from Dennis Sproul (Steve Hicks kick)
17
7
Bahr 22 yard field goal
17
14
Ron Washington 13 yard pass from Sproul (Hicks kick)
24
14
Steve Geise 18 yard run (Bahr kick)
31
14
Matt Suhey 3 yard run (Bahr kick)
31
21
Washington 30 yard pass from Sproul (Hicks kick)
34
21
Bahr 32 yard field goal
34
28
George Perry 1 yard run (Hicks kick)
42
28
Suhey 3 yard run (Bahr kick)
42
30
Safety. Fitzkee tackled in end zone

Individual Statistics

Rushing
PSU
Steve Geise 26-111, Bob Torrey 9-107, Matt Suhey 13-76, Chuck Fusina 2-(-26).
ASU
Mike Harris 20-56, Dennis Sproul 15-16, Arthur Lane 4-9, Newton Williams 3-6, George Perry 3-3.
Passing
PSU
Chuck Fusina 9-23-0-83.
ASU
Dennis Sproul 23-47-2-336.
Receiving
PSU
Jimmy Cefalo 3-39, Steve Geise 2-10, Scott Fitzkee 1-24, Mickey Schuler 1-7, Bob Torrey 1-3, Booker Moore 1-0.
ASU
Chris De France 7-123, John Jefferson 5-56, Ron Washington 4-76, Marshall Edwards 4-60, Arthur Lane 2-17, Newton Williams 1-4.