PSU season snapshot

Dennis Onkotz

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

Year: 1968

Coach: Joe Paterno

Final record: 11-0

Final ranking: AP No. 2, UPI No. 3

Regular-season wins: Navy, Kansas State, West Virginia, UCLA, Boston College, Army, Miami (Fla.), Maryland, Pitt, Syracuse

Bowl game: Beat Kansas, 15-14, in the Orange Bowl

Team stat leaders: Charlie Pittman rushed for 950 yards and 14 TDs; Chuck Burkhart passed for 1,170 yards; Ted Kwalick caught 31 passes for 403 yards; Neal Smith intercepted 8 passes

All-Americans: TE Ted Kwalick, LB Dennis Onkotz

Neil Rudel’s take: The Nittany Lions closed 1967 ranked No. 10 and opened ’68 as No. 10 but quickly ascended into the top five and stayed at No. 3 throughout the year. First unbeaten regular season since 1947. Altoona’s Mike Reid and Bishop McCort’s Steve Smear were junior captains. Nits escaped Orange Bowl by rallying for miraculous 15-14 win over Kansas (and John Riggins) in last minute after Jayhawks had 12 on field for late failed PSU two-point try, providing another chance that Bobby Campbell cashed in. (Replays later revealed Kansas had 12 on the field for four consecutive plays). Chuck Burkhart’s 3-yard rushing TD, after a long pass to Campbell, had pulled Nits within 14-13 when Joe Paterno elected to go for the win. Nit finished No. 2 behind Ohio State. On a personal note, Orange Bowl was when my dad sprung for our first color TV.


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