History repeats itself in Penn State victory at Beaver Stadium, 37 years later | TribLIVE.com
Pitt

History repeats itself in Penn State victory at Beaver Stadium, 37 years later

Jerry DiPaola
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Pittsburgh head coach Pat Narduzzi reacts in an NCAA college football game against Penn State in State College, Pa., on Saturday, Sept. 14, 2019. (AP Photo/Barry Reeger)

Pat Narduzzi isn’t the only Pitt coach to opt for a field goal in the fourth quarter of a close game when his team was on the 1-yard line.

But he’s the only one to defend the decision.

In 1982, No. 5 Pitt was trailing No. 2 Penn State, 16-7, in the fourth quarter before a record crowd of 85,522 at Beaver Stadium. First-year Pitt coach Foge Fazio, over the grumbling of his players, turned down the chance to score a touchdown and ordered a field goal.

Eric Schubert’s kick was good, but Penn State got the ball back and kicked another field goal – the fourth that day by Nick Gancitano – to win, 19-10, on the way to its first national championship.

Later, the New York Times reported Fazio regretted the decision to kick a field goal.

”If I had to do it over, I probably would go for the touchdown,” he said. “I thought the ball was a little farther out, between the 1 and 2.”

Because Pitt trailed by nine in 1982 and only seven Saturday, the scenarios aren’t identical. But in both cases, a touchdown from the 1 would have increased Pitt’s chance of winning with a field goal.

Penn State’s quarterback that day was Todd Blackledge, who was the color analyst for ABC-TV’s telecast Saturday.

Get the latest news about Pitt football and all things Panthers athletics.

Jerry DiPaola is a Tribune-Review staff writer. You can contact Jerry by email at [email protected] or via Twitter .

Categories: Sports | Penn State | Pitt
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