Lions’ Tales from 1980-1989
The decade of big hair and the Rubik’s Cube
Many believe the decade of the 80s to be the greatest in Penn State Football history. Others believe that is up for debate. Much is made of Penn State’s two national championships during the decade. The decade witnessed mostly outstanding win/loss records. Playing the normal Eastern schedule, powerhouse teams like Texas A&M, Nebraska, and Missouri were scheduled and created exciting match ups. One of the more memorable games in the 80s was the 1982 Nebraska game in Happy Valley which Penn State won 27-24. It was a game that captured the imagination of the fans. It was an exciting last minute win that left those in attendance euphoric. Folks lingered in the stands for a long time, not wanting to leave the stadium. Students paraded around the field continuing to cheer well past the end of the game. Penn State was rambling toward a run at a National Championship and was elated after the win over Nebraska only to go to Alabama the next week and lose. The loss created doubt regarding Penn State’s chances of a National Championship. On the plane ride home from, the team was convinced it was not over and they had a good shot at winning the rest of their games. They ran the table, and won a show down with Georgia to win Penn State’s first official National Championship. Average seasons in 1984-85 rebuilt a powerhouse for the 1986 team. An undefeated regular season in 1986 led to another showdown for the national championship trophy. The Lions defeated the University of Miami Hurricane 14:10 to capture the second national championship trophy of the decade.
Cast members who played from 1980-1989.