Nittany Lion Football Team To Battle Nebraska in Primetime Clash in Beaver Stadium
STATE COLLEGE, Pa., April 8, 2002 -- Penn State will welcome Nebraska back to Beaver Stadium for the first time in 20 years on September 14 and the two powerhouses will collide in a primetime contest on ABC Sports.
The clash will begin at 8:00 p.m. ET. The contest will be either a national or split national telecast on ABC.
The battle between the Nittany Lions and Cornhuskers will be the first meeting between the schools since Nebraska won in the inaugural Kickoff Classic in 1983. Penn State leads the series, 6-5, including a 4-1 mark at home. The two squads will meet again on Sept. 13, 2003 in Lincoln.
Nebraska's last visit to Happy Valley was on Sept. 25, 1982, as the No. 8 Nittany Lions captured a dramatic, last second 27-24 win over the No. 2 'Huskers in one of the most thrilling games in Beaver Stadium history. Nebraska quarterback Turner Gill scored with 1:18 to play to give the visitors a 24-21 lead. The Nittany Lions took over on their own 35-yard line and quarterback Todd Blackledge engineered the dramatic game-winning drive. His 15-yard completion to tight end Mike McCloskey just inside the sideline took the ball to the NU two. Blackledge then rifled a low throw to tight end Kirk Bowman, who cradled the ball for the winning score with just four seconds to play sending most of the then-record crowd of 85,304 into delirium.
The victory moved Penn State to 4-0, and, after a 42-21 loss at Alabama the next week, the Nittany Lions won their last seven games, capped by a 27-23 Sugar Bowl victory over No. 1 Georgia to capture the school's first national championship.
The Penn State-Nebraska clash will be just the seventh night game in Beaver Stadium's 42-year history. The last was on Sept. 1, 2001 when Miami opened the newly expanded facility. A record crowd of 109,313 was on hand. The other night games the stadium has hosted since opening in 1960: Sept. 6, 1986 vs. Temple; Sept. 12, 1987 vs. Alabama; Oct. 15, 1988 vs. Syracuse, Sept. 21, 1991 vs. BYU and Sept. 25, 1993 vs. Rutgers. There have been 244 games played in Beaver Stadium, with the Lions owning a 197-47 (80.7) mark, including 3-3 in night tilts.
Coach Joe Paterno's squad is in the midst of spring drills, which culminate with the Blue-White game on Saturday, April 20 at 1:30 p.m. in Beaver Stadium. An autograph session with the players will begin at 12:00 p.m.
2002 PENN STATE FOOTBALL SCHEDULE
August 31 vs. Central Florida, Time TBA