1977 Fiesta Bowl
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
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.