Penn State has had so many great football teams over the years. Since the 1970’s the program has been one of the best in the country. This list highlights our top 5 Penn State football teams of all-time.
5. 1973 12-0 (Orange Bowl – W)
Starting off our countdown we have the 1973 team. Coached by Joe Paterno, this team was one of the most underrated Penn State teams of all-time. The Nittany Lions ended the year undefeated after beating LSU in the Orange Bowl; however they finished the year #5 in the country. Running back, John Cappelletti finished the year with 1591 yards and 17 touchdowns.
4. 1981 10-2 (Fiesta Bowl – W)
Number 4 belongs to the 1981 team. Besides the two losses to Alabama and Miami, the team was dominant. Penn State averaged 30.9 points per game while only giving up 13.5 points per game and finished the year with the #1 strength of schedule in the whole country. Penn State smothered #1 Pittsburgh 48-14 in the final regular season game. The Nittany Lions finished the season ranked #3 after beating USC 26-10 in the Fiesta Bowl.
3. 1986 12-0 (Fiesta Bowl – W)
At our #3 spot we have the 1986 team. This team was full of talent as they were led by Shane Conlan, D.J. Dozier, Tim Manoa, and Steve Smith. 13 Lions were drafted in the 1987 NFL draft. Penn State defeated Miami 14-10 in the Fiesta Bowl to finish the season ranked #1.
2. 1982 11-1 (Sugar Bowl – W)
At #2 we have the 1982 team. The Nittany Lions finished the year with wins versus #13 Notre Dame, #5 Pittsburgh, and #1 Georgia in the Sugar Bowl. This propelled them to finish the year ranked #1 in the country and become National Champions.
1. 1994 12-0 (Rose Bowl – W)
The 1994 team goes down as our best Penn State team of all-time. The Nittany Lions finished 12-0 and beat Oregon 38-20 in the Rose Bowl. The team was dominant as they averaged 47.0 points per game while only giving up 21.0 points per game. The team was led by Kerry Collins, Ki-Jana Carter, Bobby Engram, and Freddie Scott. The Nittany Lions finished the season ranked #2 in the final AP Poll as Nebraska finished at the top.