PSU snapshot: 1973

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

Year: 1973

Coach: Joe Paterno

Final record: 12-0

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

Regular-season wins: Stanford, Navy, Iowa, Air Force, Army, Syracuse, West Virginia, Maryland, N.C. State, Ohio, Pitt

Bowl game: Beat LSU, 16-9, in the Orange Bowl

Team stat leaders: John Cappelletti rushed for 1,522 yards and 17 TDs; Tom Shuman passed for 1,375 yards and 13 TDs; Gary Hayman caught 30 passes for 525 yards and averaged 19.2 yards per punt return; Mike Hartenstine had 104 tackles; Jim Bradley had 4 interceptions

All-Americans: RB John Cappelletti, DT Randy Crowder, LB Ed O’Neil

Neil Rudel’s take: John Cappelletti became Penn State’s first (and to this day only) Heisman Trophy winner and his moving acceptance speech, dedicated to his brother Joey (stricken with leukemia), later inspired the movie, “Something for Joey.” Cappy was the centerpiece of the 12-0 season, the first PSU team to win 12 games after beating LSU in the Orange Bowl. It still finished No. 5 due to its Eastern schedule. Randy Crowder became first Black player to captain the team. Another first: Women performed in the Blue Band for the first time. Local note: Altoona’s Brad Benson became the first true freshman, along with Dave Shukri, to play in a game since 1951.


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