PSU season snapshot: 1997

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

Year: 1997

Coach: Joe Paterno

Final record: 9-3

Final ranking: AP No. 16, USA Today/CNN No. 17

Regular-season wins: Pitt, Temple, Louisville, Illinois, Ohio State, Minnesota, Northwestern, Purdue, Wisconsin

Regular-season losses: Michigan, Michigan State

Bowl game: Lost to Florida, 21-6, in the Citrus Bowl

Team stat leaders: Curtis Enis rushed for 1,363 yards and 19 TDs; Mike McQueary passed for 2,211 yards and 17 TDs; Joe Jurevicius caught 39 passes for 817 yards and 10 TDs; Jim Nelson had 91 tackles; Chris Snyder had 7 sacks; Aaron Collins intercepted 3 passes

All-American: RB Curtis Enis

Neil Rudel’s take: Some cracks showed in the foundation as State came out of the chute 7-0, including a 31-27 home win keyed by Curtis Enis and Aaron Harris over No. 7 Ohio State. A major letdown happened the next week and the Lions survived a Minnesota scare, 16-15, which included a call so bad against the Gophers that Joe Paterno visited the Minny locker room to say so. A matchup of the No. 2 Nits and No. 4 Michigan didn’t materialize as the Wolverines took PSU to the woodshed, winning 34-8, en route to a split national title. If that wasn’t bad enough, Michigan State administered a 49-14 licking in the regular-season finale. Then Enis was caught in Harrisburg with an agent during the holiday season. That got him suspended for the Citrus Bowl, which the Lions lost to Florida, 21-6.


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