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1974 Orange Bowl


1974 Orange Bowl

1974 Orange Bowl
1 2 3 4 Total
Penn State 3 13 0 0 16
LSU 7 0 2 0 9
Date January 1, 1974
Season 1973
Stadium Miami Orange Bowl
Location Miami, Florida
MVP QB Tom Shuman (Penn State)
DT Randy Crowder (Penn State)
Referee James M. Artley (SEC)
(split crew between SEC and ECAC)
Attendance 60,477
United States TV coverage
Network NBC
Announcers Jim Simpson and Kyle Rote

The 1974 Orange Bowl featured the Penn State Nittany Lions and the LSU Tigers.


  • Background 1
  • Game summary 2
  • Aftermath 3
  • Statistics 4
  • References 5


The Tigers won their first nine games of the season and seemed to be heading to a SEC title when they lost to Alabama 21-7 at home. A loss to Tulane the following week, the first victory for the Green Wave over the Tigers since 1948 (LSU was 22-0-2 vs. its in-state rival in between), only added to the frustration in Baton Rouge.

Penn State, which completed its third perfect regular season since 1968, had their first Heisman Trophy winner with running back John Cappelletti. The Nittany Lions were aiming to end 1973 the same way they did 1968 and 1969 by winning in Miami. The Lions nipped Kansas 15-14 in the 1969 Orange Bowl and stymied Missouri 10-3 the next year.

Game summary

Steve Rogers gave LSU an early lead on his touchdown run, but Penn State responded with a field goal by Chris Bahr by the end of the first quarter to make it 7-3. Early in the second quarter, Chuck Herd caught a 72 yard pass from Tom Shuman for a touchdown to give the Nittany Lions a lead they did not relinquish as Penn State added on with a Cappelletti run to have a 16-7 halftime lead. The only scoring in the second half came on a safety as the Tigers could not muster up points despite outgaining the Nittany Lions by over 90 yards.[1]


The Tigers would not finish higher than 3rd in the Southeastern Conference until 1982, which resulted in them gaining smaller bowl invites during that time. LSU stumbled to 5-5-1 in 1974 and 4-7 in 1975, its only non-winning seasons during Charles McClendon's 18-year tenure in Baton Rouge (1962-79).

With the win, the Nittany Lions had their third undefeated season in six years, though it was a minor consolation given the fact they did not compete in the championship game once again.


Statistics PSU LSU
First Downs 9 18
Yards Rushing 43 57
Yards Passing 28 205
Total Yards 185 274
Punts-Average 7-34.7 8-46.8
Fumbles-Lost 1-0 3-1
Interceptions 1 1
Penalties-Yards 3-37 3-30


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