There are some fantastic, history-laden matchups in college football. The Iron Bowl matchup of Auburn and Alabama, ‘The Game’ between Michigan and Ohio State, and even the historical tension between Notre Dame and Miami all come to mind. The Penn State and Washington series…not so much.
Penn State and Washington have only ever squared off twice in the histories of the two programs. The Nittany Lions are 2-0 in those meetings, hoping to move to 3-0 following the Fiesta Bowl.
In 1983, Joe Paterno led the 7-4-1 Nittany Lions to the Aloha Bowl to take on the Washington Huskies led by head coach Don James. A crowd of 37,212 came out to watch a Penn State offense that didn’t play (or score) quite like the present squad.
After nabbing a field goal on their opening possession, the Nittany Lions fell behind 7-3 after Washington’s Danny Greene took a punt 57 yards to the house. Penn State would come back behind some stellar defense, as D.J. Dozier eventually gave the reigning national champs a 13-10 win in Honolulu.
The 1921 matchup between the two sides was not such a nail biter. Hugo Bezdek’s Nittany Lions traveled out to Seattle, Washington in their last game of the season. Penn State had hopes of keeping its unbeaten record alive, as the team had won seven games and tied two up to that point.
So on December 3, 5’9″, 160-pound quarterback Glen Killinger led Penn State to a 21-7 win over the Huskies. Killinger was a Harrisburg native who would go on to receive All-American honors that season. The quarterback had a crack at the NFL for the Canton Bulldogs and New York Giants, followed by the AFL with the Philadelphia Quakers. Killinger was later inducted into the College Football Hall of Fame in 1971 as a player.