1979 Fiesta Bowl

Pittsburgh 16, Arizona 10

1979 fiesta bowl
December 25, 1979

Attendance: 55,347

Offensive Player of the Game: Mark Schubert, Pittsburgh

Defensive Player of the Game: Dave Liggins, Arizona

Sportsmanship Award: Dan Fidler, Arizona

Head Coaches: Jackie Sherrill, Pittsburgh - Tony Mason, Arizona

Weather: Clear

Television: NBC

Payout Per Team: $343,300.13

Powerful Pittsburgh arrived in Arizona with an impressive record (10-1) and an equally impressive defensive unit.

The Panthers proved their point, swarming to the ball to force four turnovers. They walked away with a 16-10 victory over Arizona in the 1979 Fiesta Bowl before a crowd of 55,347.

Pitt took advantage of the turnovers, turning three of them into points.

The Panthers were in control most of the game, thanks in part to place kicker Mark Schubert, who booted field goals of 46, 36 and 46 yards to earn outstanding offensive player of the game honors.

Schubert’s first field goal came late in the first quarter after both teams had spent most of the first 15 minutes trading punts. Pitt running back Fred Jacobs carried the ball three straight times to move the ball deep into Arizona’s territory.

But the Arizona defense held its ground, and Schubert booted a 46-yarder to break the ice.

With just 1:36 left before halftime, Pitt quarterback Dan Marino began to move the Panther offense. Taking advantage of two 15-yard penalties on Arizona, Marino moved the ball to the Arizona 15. But once again the Wildcat defense would not allow a touchdown, and Schubert drilled a 36-yard field goal with only 18 seconds left in the half.

Arizona got on the board early in the third quarter, as Brett Weber hit a 38-yard field goal to make the score 6-3.

One of the game’s key plays came at the conclusion of the third quarter, when Marino tossed a 34-yard completion to Mark Dombrowski on a second-and-36. On the third-and-two, Marino hit Ralph Still for 24 yards and, one play later, threw a 12-yard touchdown strike to Benjie Pryor to give the Panthers a 13-3 lead.

Arizona countered midway through the fourth quarter with a 46-yard completion on a halfback option pass from Hubert Oliver to Greg Jackson. Oliver scored on a one-yard run on the next play to narrow the Panther lead to 16-10.

After Pitt was forced to punt with 1:05 left in the game, Panther safety Terry White ended any hope for a Wildcat comeback, by picking off a pass with 58 seconds left.

Quarter Scores

Scoring
1
2
3
4
F
Pittsburgh
3
3
7
3
16
Arizona
0
0
3
7
10

Yardstick

PITT
ARIZ
20
First Downs
20
44-127
Rushes-Yards
38-91
172
Passing Yards
226
15-29-2
Passes
18-35-3
37
Return Yards
46
5-34.2
Punts
4-39.8
1-0
Fumbles-Lost
2-1
10-89
Penalties - Yards
7-85

How They Scored

PITT
ARIZ
3
0
Mark Schubert 46 yard field goal
6
0
Schubert 36 yard field goal
6
3
Brett Weber 38 yard field goal
13
3
Benjie Pryor 12 yard pass from Dan Marino (Schubert kick)
16
3
Schubert 46 yard field goal
16
10
Hubert Oliver 1 yard run (Bill Zivic kick)

Individual Statistics

Rushing
PITT
Randy McMillin 19-81, Fred Jacobs 7-44, Rooster Jones 7-25, Artell Hawkins 3-0, Dan Marino 8-(-23).
ARIZ
Larry Heater 15-36, Hubert Oliver 12-35, Jim Krohn 6-15, Tony Neely 1-6, Richard Hersey 4-(-1).
Passing
PITT
Dan Marino 15-29-2-172.
ARIZ
Jim Krohn 17-34-3-180, Hubert Oliver 1-1-0-46.
Receiving
PITT
Mike Dombrowski 3-61, Ralph Still 3-38, Fred Jacobs 3-1, Kenny Bowles 2-39, Cliff Moore 1-17, Benjie Pryor 1-12, Ray Jones 1-6, Randy McMillin 1-(-2).
ARIZ
Tim Holmes 7-84, Greg Jackson 5-89, Tim Haynes 3-41, Hubert Oliver 2-5, Larry Heater 1-7.