PSU season snapshot: 1999


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

Year: 1999

Coach: Joe Paterno

Final record: 10-3

Final ranking: AP No. 11, ESPN/USA Today No. 11

Regular-season wins: Arizona, Akron, Pitt, Miami (Fla.), Indiana, Iowa, Ohio State, Purdue, Illinois

Regular-season losses: Minnesota, Michigan, Michigan State

Bowl game: Beat Texas A&M, 24-0, in the Alamo Bowl

Team stat leaders: Eric McCoo rushed for 739 yards; Kevin Thompson passed for 1,916 yards and 13 TDs; Chafie Fields caught 39 passes for 692 yards; Travis Forney made 21 of 26 field goal attempts; Brandon Short had 103 tackles; Courtney Brown had 13.5 sacks

All-Americans: LB LaVar Arrington, DE Courtney Brown, LB Brandon Short

Neil Rudel’s take: Jerry Sandusky, long-time defensive coordinator and once universally revered as a humanitarian, announced in July that he’d be retiring after the season. The Lions opened by dominating Arizona and then, ranked No. 3, escaped a scare at Miami when Kevin Thompson hit Chafie Fields with a late TD pass. They stayed at No. 2 until Minnesota pulled off a shocking 24-23 upset, triggering an emotional collapse that included losses to Michigan (led by Tom Brady) at Michigan State. A 24-0 shutout of Texas A&M in the Alamo Bowl — a long way from the midseason plans — saw Sandusky carried off the field. Who knew? With a star-studded defense that produced the top two picks in the following year’s draft, Courtney Brown and LaVar Arrington, along with Brandon Short, Paterno later admitted, “We didn’t get enough out of that team.”


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