1997 Fiesta Bowl

Penn State 38, Texas 15

1997 fiesta bowl
January 1, 1997

Attendance: 65,106

Offensive Player of the Game: Curtis Enis, Penn State

Defensive Player of the Game: Brandon Noble, Penn State

Sportsmanship Award: Ryan Fiebiger, Texas

Head Coaches: Joe Paterno, Penn State - John Mackovic, Texas

Weather: Clear, warm

Television: CBS

Payout Per Team: $8,600,000

About every five years, Penn State head coach Joe Paterno takes his Nittany Lions to Tempe for the Fiesta Bowl.

All he’s done in those games is record a perfect 5-0 record and claim the 1987 national championship.

The 1997 Fiesta Bowl just added to his legendary status. Penn State shut down a high-powered Texas offense in the second half and rushed for 330 yards to record its record sixth Fiesta Bowl victory in as many appearances.

The Nittany Lions trailed 12-7 at halftime but exploded in the third quarter, outscoring Texas 21-3, en route to a 38-15 victory.

Curtis Enis did the majority of the damage for the Penn State ground attack, rushing for 95 yards and two touchdowns and adding a touchdown reception and a two-point conversion.

On defense, the Nittany Lions allowed only a second half field goal, while containing the Longhorns big play trio of quarterback James Brown, running back Ricky Williams and wide receiver Mike Adams. Williams tied a Fiesta Bowl record with nine receptions, but averaged just over two yards a catch.

It was two big plays after intermission that got the Penn State offense rolling. Kenny Watson returned the second half kick off 81 yards to set up an Aaron Harris touchdown run, and Chafie Fields recorded the longest run in Fiesta Bowl history, an 84-yard dazzler on a double reverse that ended with a one-yard touchdown dive by full-back Anthony Cleary.

Quarter Scores

Scoring
1
2
3
4
F
Penn State
7
0
21
10
38
Texas
3
9
3
0
15

Yardstick

TEX
PSU
19
First Downs
19
30-73
Rushes-Yards
44-330
287
Passing Yards
95
27-43-1
Passes
12-20-0
2
Return Yards
44
6-37.7
Punts
5-35.6
2-1
Fumbles-Lost
0-0
8-57
Penalties-Yards
4-49

How They Scored

TEX
PSU
0
7
Curtis Enis 4 yard pass from Wally Richardson (Brett Conway kick)
3
7
Phil Dawson 28 yard field goal
6
7
Dawson 28 yard field goal
12
7
Ricky Williams 7 yard run (pass failed)
12
15
Aaron Harris 5 yard run (Enis pass from Richardson)
15
15
Dawson 48 yard field goal
15
22
Enis 2 yard run (Conway kick)
15
28
Anthony Cleary 1 yard run (kick failed)
15
31
Conway 23 yard field goal
15
38
Enis 12 yard run (Conway kick)

Individual Statistics

Rushing
TEX
Ricky Williams 11-48, Shon Mitchell 7-24, Priest Holmes 6-11, James Brown 6-(-10).
PSU
Curtis Enis 16-95, Chris Eberly 7-54, Cordell Mitchell 6-45, Anthony Cleary 5-31, Aaron Harris 4-13, Jason Sload 2-7, Wally Richardson 2-(-2), Chafie Fields, 1-84, Jeff Nixon 1-3.
Passing
TEX
James Brown 26-42-1-254, Cody Danaher 1-1-0-33.
PSU
Wally Richardson 12-20-0-95.
Receiving
TEX
Williams 9-24, Matt Davis 5-72, Mike Adams 4-73, Wayne McGarity 3-27, Pat Fitzgerald 2-31, Priest Holmes 2-15, Bryant Westbrook 1-33, Bryan White 1-12.
PSU
Cuncho Brown 3-32, Joe Jurevicius 2-22, Chris Eberly 2-19, Curtis Enis 2-15, Aaron Harris 2-5, Chris Campbell 1-2.