1982 Fiesta Bowl
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
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.