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PSU snapshot: 1976

Kurt Allerman

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

Year: 1976

Coach: Joe Paterno

Final record: 7-5

Final ranking: Not ranked

Regular-season wins: Stanford, Army, Syracuse, West Virginia, Temple, N.C. State, Miami (Fla.)

Regular-season losses: Ohio State, Iowa, Kentucky, Pitt

Bowl game: Lost to Notre Dame, 20-9, in the Gator Bowl

Team stat leaders: Steve Geise rushed for 560 yards; Chuck Fusina passed for 1,260 yards and 11 TDs; Mickey Shuler caught 21 passes for 281 yards; Kurt Allerman had 87 tackles; Tony Petruccio had 7 sacks; Matt Millen and Bill Crummy each had 3 interceptions

All-American: LB Kurt Allerman

Neil Rudel’s take: This became a transitional year. After scoring a combined 34 points in their first four games — three losses, including 12-7 in Columbus — quarterback John Andress was replaced by sophomore Chuck Fusina. The switch helped Nits win six straight, including Paterno’s 100th career win at NC State (vs. Lou Holtz), before Johnny Majors moved Tony Dorsett to fullback to win 24-7 at Three Rivers Stadium, preserving the Panthers’ No. 1 ranking. The Lions went to the Gator Bowl and lost to Notre Dame, finishing 7-5. Ridge Riley, creator of “The Football Letter” and author of “Road to Number One” died of a heart attack in Paterno’s kitchen. He was replaced by John Black, who wrote the last chapter of the book and continues to this day.

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