PSU season snapshot: 1969

Courtesy of Penn State Athletics

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

Year: 1969

Coach: Joe Paterno

Final record: 11-0

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

Regular-season wins: Navy, Colorado, Kansas State, West Virginia, Syracuse, Ohio, Boston College, Maryland, Pitt, N.C. State

Bowl game: Beat Missouri, 10-3, in the Orange Bowl

Team stat leaders: Charlie Pittman rushed for 706 yards and 10 TDs; Chuck Burkhart passed for 805 yards; Greg Edmonds caught 20 passes for 246 yards; Dennis Onkotz had 97 tackles; Neal Smith intercepted 10 passes

All-Americans: DT Mike Reid, RB Charlie Pittman, S Neal Smith, LB Dennis Onkotz

Neil Rudel’s take: The Paterno era was clearly established with its second straight unbeaten season behind two years of incredible defense that would be eventually rivaled only by the 1985-86 units. Along with Reid, Steve Smear, Dennis Onkotz, Jack Ham, John Ebersole, Jim Kates and Neal Smith, among others, Lions overpowered Missouri in the Orange Bowl, intercepting seven passes en route to 10-3 win. No. 2 ranking was hollow because team — not thinking No. 1 Ohio State would lose (in those days, the bowl bids were determined by Thanksgiving) — passed on chance to play Texas in the Cotton Bowl for No. 1. Lions had two scares, winning at Kansas City 17-14 and Syracuse 15-14, but, like 1968, did not play a ranked team until the bowl game. Paterno used the poll snub to later beef up the schedule.


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