All summer long, I had told Mike just how much I wanted to do a 10 MOL on this particular game. Unfortunately, real world problems such as school, work, and moving to a new town got in the way of progress for most of the summer. Fear not, however, as I have finally made the time out to bring you this classic beatdown of perhaps the most overhyped team in college football history. It is also highly appropriate given the recent reports that Penn State is expected to give equal playing time to Rob Bolden and Matt McGloin next weekend against Indiana State.
You see, this game comes from a very brief era in the 90′s when two-quarterback systems were being dubbed as the next great innovation in college football. Arizona boasted Keith Smith, an ex-baseball player who could sidearm the hell out of the football and Ortege Jenkins, an ex-basketball player whose scrambling abilities were second-to-none. In addition to their two-headed QB monster, Arizona’s tailback Trung Candidate (who ironically, was near the top of preseason Heisman lists) and wide receiver Dennis Northcutt were also expected to make waves that season, as well.
As it turned out, the buzzsaw known as Penn State’s defense led by LaVar Arrington and Courtney Brown shut down Arizona’s offensive attack. Meanwhile, Chafie Fields racked up a quick pair of touchdowns and before you knew it, Penn State led 14-0 just six minutes into the ballgame, never to look back as they went on to record a 41-7 victory, which would’ve been a shutout had it not been for a couple of garbage-time fumbles.
Neither team lived up to their billing as preseason #3 and #4, respectively. Arizona went 6-6, missed out on a bowl game, and in the decade since, has floundered somewhere between mediocrity and pure suckage. Penn State meanwhile, suffered a devastating Homecoming loss to an upstart Minnesota team which had a snowball-effect on the program for years to come. It also marked the beginning of the end of the two-quarterback experiment throughout college football, as teams began to realize that having two quarterbacks really meant you had no good quarterbacks.
Regardless of what happened later that 1999 season, this game still makes for excellent viewing 12 years later and brings one back to a more innocent time period in Penn State football, right before the onset of the “Dark Years.”