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PSU season snapshot: 1977

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

Year: 1977

Coach: Joe Paterno

Final record: 11-1

Final ranking: AP No. 5, UPI No. 4

Regular-season wins: Rutgers, Houston, Maryland, Utah State, Syracuse, West Virginia, Miami (Fla.), N.C. State, Temple, Pitt

Regular-season losses: Kentucky

Bowl game: Beat Arizona State, 42-30, in the Fiesta Bowl

Team stat leaders: Matt Suhey rushed for 638 yards; Chuck Fusina passed for 2,221 yards and 15 TDs; Mickey Shuler caught 33 passes for 600 yards; Rick Donaldson had 86 tackles; Bruce Clark and Matt Millen each had 6 sacks

All-Americans: OT Keith Dorney, OG Randy Sidler

Neil Rudel’s take: A 24-20 loss to Kentucky was the lone blotch as the Chuck Fusina-led offense was in high gear most of the season. Fusina had plenty of weapons in Matt Suhey, Jimmy Cefalo, Mike Guman, Scott Fitzkee, Bob Torrey, Steve Geise and Mickey Shuler. The Lions won a classic battle over Pitt, 15-13, in the snow at Pitt Stadium when Matt Millen stopped Elliott Walker on a late 2-point conversion attempt, then blew out Arizona State in their first of now seven Fiesta Bowl appearances — all wins. Joe Paterno missed the Syracuse game after his oldest son, David, was badly injured in a trampoline accident. On a personal note, this is the first season I covered Penn State football, getting a half-dozen games for The Daily Collegian.

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