Let’s start the week off with a fun stroll down memory lane as we look back at Penn State’s long bowl history.
What is your favorite memory from a Penn State bowl game?
After much thoughtful consideration, I have to go with the pure elation of Kevin Kelly’s field goal attempt going through the uprights to give Penn State an Orange Bowl victory against Florida State to put a bow on the magical 2005 season. It wasn’t just that one moment, but the culmination of everything that led up to it.
Penn State Football had become an afterthought outside of Happy Valley after suffering four losing seasons in the past five years. It seemed as though the ending of an era was on the horizon, followed by an uncertain future. But the 2005 team had the talent and leadership to shock the college football world, and prove that Penn State was still among the nation’s elite.
They would go on to have an 11-1 season (and not to bring up any bad memories, but just :01 from going undefeated) and head to the Orange Bowl after winning the Big Ten Championship. Waiting for them were ACC champs Florida State, who were suddenly much more dangerous with the core of its starting defense returning after healing from injuries.
The storylines were endless heading into the game as the two winningest coaches in major football history squared off for the final time. The game itself had about everything you could ask for- a back-and-forth affair, ridiculous highlight-reel plays, performances by players that came out of nowhere, and most memorably, three nerve-shredding overtime sessions. Penn State eventually came out on top, and the image of the players and coaches celebrating on the field well after the game still brings a smile to the legions of loyal Nittany Lion fans who had never lost faith.
So what say you, BSD reader? If you had to settle on just one, what is your favorite Penn State bowl memory?