PSU snapshot: 1985

Shane Conlan

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

Year: 1985

Coach: Joe Paterno

Final record: 11-1

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

Regular-season wins: Maryland, Temple, East Carolina, Rutgers, Alabama, Syracuse, West Virginia, Boston College, Cincinnati, Notre Dame, Pitt

Bowl game: Lost to Oklahoma, 25-10, in the Orange Bowl

Team stat leaders: D.J. Dozier rushed for 723 yards; John Shaffer passed for 1,366 yards; Ray Roundtree caught 15 passes for 285 yards; Massimo Manca made 21 of 26 field goal attempts; Rogers Alexander had 102 tackles; Don Graham had 7 sacks; Ray Isom intercepted 4 passes

All-Americans: S Michael Zordich, LB Shane Conlan

Neil Rudel’s take: The seeds of another national-championship run were planted by this team, which began the season by winning at Maryland (somehow ranked No. 7) on the strength of Mike Zordich’s pick-6. No Lion team lived — and thrived — in the shadow of its end zone as the defense repeatedly came up big. Seven of the Lions’ first eight wins were decided by a TD or less. PSU steadily climbed the rankings and ascended to No. 1 by smashing Notre Dame in the rain. (The Lions were No. 2 in the UPI poll behind Florida, which was coached by Galen Hall.) A matchup with Oklahoma took place in the Orange Bowl, uniting Paterno and Barry Switzer, whom JoePa once ripped in what he thought was an off-the-record comment. On this trip, Switzer got the last laugh with a 25-10 win that earned the Sooners the No. 1 ranking.


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