1982 Fiesta Bowl

Penn State 26, USC 10

1982 fiesta bowl
January 1, 1982

Attendance: 71,053

Offensive Player of the Game: Curt Warner, Penn State

Defensive Player of the Game: Leo Wisniewski, Penn State

Sportsmanship Award: George Achica, USC

Head Coaches: Joe Paterno, Penn State - John Robinson, USC

Weather: Cloudy, light showers

Television: NBC

Payout Per Team: $637,533.25

There were two battles taking place on the wet, soggy Sun Devil Stadium field during the 1982 Fiesta Bowl.

One was the battle between Penn State and USC, and the other was the dazzling competition between Heisman Trophy winner Marcus Allen and the always-dangerous Curt Warner.

In the first Fiesta Bowl to be played on New Year’s Day, Penn State outplayed USC to record a 26-10 victory, and Warner outdistanced Allen to earn his second consecutive offensive player of the game honors.

Allen entered the game as college football’s top player, but it was Warner who left with the hardware.

For the second straight Fiesta Bowl, Warner scored the first time he touched the ball, this time on a 17-yard scamper, and wound up with 145 yards on 26 carries and a pair of touchdowns.

Allen, meanwhile, was held to 85 yards on 30 carries and coughed up the football on two separate occasions. He was never able to get on track against the tenacious Nittany Lion defense.

After falling behind 7-0, Chip Banks got the Trojans on the board by taking a Todd Blackledge interception 20 yards for a touchdown.

Penn State then scored 17 unanswered points on two touchdowns and a field goal. One score came on a 52-yard bomb from Blackledge to Gregg Garrity in the second quarter.

USC added a field goal, but both teams went scoreless in the fourth quarter and the Nittany Lions held on for the victory.

PSU concluded its season with a No. 3 national ranking, while improving its Fiesta Bowl mark to 3-0.

Quarter Scores

Scoring
1
2
3
4
F
Penn State
7
10
9
0
26
USC
7
0
3
0
10

Yardstick

PSU
USC
20
First Downs
19
51-218
Rushes-Yards
41-60
175
Passing Yards
202
11-24-2
Passes
16-32-3
78
Return Yards
38
4-50.8
Punts
5-40.2
3-2
Fumbles-Lost
3-2
7-70
Penalties - Yards
7-49

How They Scored

PSU
USC
7
0
Curt Warner 17 yard run (Brian Franco kick)
7
7
Chip Banks 20 yard interception return (Steve Jordan kick)
14
7
Gregg Garrity 52 yard pass from Todd Blackledge (Franco kick)
17
7
Franco 21 yard field goal
24
7
Warner 21 yard run (Franco kick)
24
10
Jordan 37 yard field goal
26
10
Safety. Dave Paffenroth’s punt blocked out of end zone

Individual Statistics

Rushing
PSU
Curt Warner 26-145, Mike Meade 9-60, Jon Williams 10-24, Tom Barr 2-7, Kenny Jackson 2-(-6), Todd Blackledge 2-(-12).
USC
Marcus Allen 30-85, Todd Spencer 3-16, Doug Mackenzie 1-3, John Mazur 4-(-19), Sean Salisbury 3-(-25).
Passing
PSU
Todd Blackledge 11-24-2-175.
USC
John Mazur 11-23-2-123, Sean Salisbury 5-8-1-79, Marcus Allen 0-1-0-0.
Receiving
PSU
Kenny Jackson 3-55, Gregg Garrity 1-52, Vyto Kab 2-43, Curt Warner 3-10, Jon Williams 1-8, Mike McCloskey 1-7.
USC
Timmie Ware 4-75, Jeff Simmons 3-51, Marcus Allen 5-39, Todd Spencer 3-30, Fred Cornwall 1-7.