Unbeaten 1986 National Championship Team Featured Saturday on BTN's Big Ten Elite

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Linebacker Shane Conlan was a 1986 team co-captain and two-time All-American

Linebacker Shane Conlan was a 1986 team co-captain and two-time All-American

Oct. 3, 2013

UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. - Penn State's undefeated 1986 National Championship team will be featured Saturday, Oct. 5 in the latest episode of the Big Ten Network's Big Ten Elite series.

The one-hour program includes interviews with players and coaches from the Nittany Lions' 1986 team, which finished 12-0 after defeating No. 1 Miami (Fla.) in a thrilling title clash in the Fiesta Bowl. Penn State won its second National Championship in four years under Coach Joe Paterno.

Big Ten Elite: 1986 Penn State Football debuts Saturday at 4 p.m. after the Penn State-Indiana game on BTN. The show is scheduled to re-air Saturday (10 p.m.), Oct. 8 (10 p.m.) and Oct. 10 (2 p.m.).

Team captains Shane Conlan, John Shaffer and Bob White are among the former players interviewed for Big Ten Elite: 1986 Penn State Football. Trey Bauer, Duffy Cobbs, Massimo Manca, Brian Siverling and Blair Thomas are among the other players who were interviewed, in addition to assistant coaches Tom Bradley, Frank Rocco and Jim Williams.

The 1986 season was capped by Penn State's dramatic 14-10 victory over No. 1 Miami in the Fiesta Bowl. In the "Duel in the Desert" on January 2, 1987, the Nittany Lions picked off Hurricanes' quarterback Vinny Testaverde five times. More than 70 million people watched the thrilling prime-time telecast on NBC, breaking the previous record for a college football telecast.

The 1986 Nittany Lions were one of five Paterno teams that finished the season unbeaten, joining the 1968 (11-0), 1969 (11-0), 1973 (12-0) and 1994 (12-0) squads.

The 1986 team produced many Penn State household names, including team captains Conlan, Shaffer, White and Steve Smith. The squad also produced four All-Americans, as linebacker Conlan, tackle Chris Conlin, running back D.J. Dozier and defensive tackle Tim Johnson all were honored. Conlan, who made two interceptions in the title win over Miami, was a two-time first-team All-American.

 

 

A program record 13 Nittany Lions were selected in the 1987 NFL Draft, led by first round picks Conlan (Buffalo) and Dozier (Minnesota).

Scott Henry, a Penn State graduate, was the producer for Big Ten Elite: 1986 Penn State Football.

Coach Bill O'Brien's Nittany Lions (3-1) begin Big Ten play at Indiana (2-2) Saturday at 12 p.m. on BTN. Coverage begins at 10:30 a.m. on the Penn State Sports Network and GoPSUsports.com.

Penn State single game tickets for the Illinois (Nov. 2), Purdue (Nov. 16) and Nebraska (Nov. 23) contests, as well as club seating in Beaver Stadium, are available by visiting GoPSUsports.com/tickets or calling 1-800-NITTANY weekdays from 8 a.m.-5 p.m.

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