Welcome to Linebacker-U.com’s annual (hopefully it stays an annual event) Special Bowl Game Edition of 10 Minutes or Less. This year, Penn State travels down to Dallas for the Ticket City Bowl, played in the old Cotton Bowl, against the Houston Cougars. These teams have met twice before this weekend, but only once in the modern era. Today we bring you the video highlights of that classic 1977 battle…
Back in the day, scheduling tough non-regional opponents was commonplace for major college football teams. Considering there were only 11 games to work with, and resume was everything in the eyes of the pollsters, it was a system that–for all its faults–gave fans and viewers more great matchups than ever before. Penn State obliged in its 1977 home opener, when the No. 9 Houston Cougars came to Happy Valley to face the No. 10 Nittany Lions.
Penn State was off a season-opening win over Rutgers in the Meadowlands of New Jersey. Houston was playing on a short week, as the Cougars season opener against UCLA was a victory on Monday night.
It was a classic battle between strength and speed, not at all unlike this weekend’s bowl game between these two teams. In 1977, Penn State played defense as everyone knew it could, while Houston played some of the best offensive football the nation had seen.