PSU season snapshot: 1983

A daily series featuring each Penn State football season from 1947-2019:

Year: 1983

Coach: Joe Paterno

Final record: 8-4-1

Final ranking: UPI No. 17

Regular-season wins: Temple, Rutgers, Alabama, Syracuse, West Virginia, Brown, Notre Dame

Regular-season losses: Nebraska, Cincinnati, Iowa, Boston College

Regular-season ties: Pitt

Bowl game: Beat Washington, 13-10, in the Aloha Bowl

Team stat leaders: D.J. Dozier rushed for 1,002 yards; Doug Strang passed for 1,944 yards and 19 TDs; Kevin Baugh caught 36 passes for 547 yards; Nick Gancitano made 17 of 21 field goal attempts; Harry Hamilton had 100 tackles; Rogers Alexander had 6 sacks; Michael Zordich intercepted 3 passes

All-American: WR Kenny Jackson

Neil Rudel’s take: Just as the Lion camp didn’t recover from the 1978 loss to Alabama, they went the other way after winning the national title, celebrating and going 0-3 for the first time in school history. Dick Anderson took the Rutgers job, and Fran Ganter became offensive coordinator. An ill-advised matchup against Nebraska in the Kickoff Classic (Giants Stadium) was arranged, and the Huskers, smarting from their last-second loss a year earlier, cruised, 44-6. It took a stunning loss to Cincinnati and a shootout loss to Iowa before Doug Strang regrouped, and the Lions didn’t lose in nine of their last 10 games, eight wins plus a 24-24 last-second tie at Pitt on Nick Gancitano’s field goal as time expired. The offensive highlight was the unveiling of true freshman tailback D.J. Dozier. The year ended with a 10-3 win against Washington in the Aloha Bowl, the first game in which Joe Paterno didn’t wear a tie (he wore a lei instead).


Today's breaking news and more in your inbox

I'm interested in (please check all that apply)


Starting at $4.39/week.

Subscribe Today