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

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

Jerry DiPaola
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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