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NBC Sports To Air Penn State’s Historic 1987 Fiesta Bowl Victory May 1

Mark your calendars for a Penn State football classic, folks.

As part of its “NBC Sports From the Vault” series, NBC Sports will air Penn State’s historic victory in the 1987 Fiesta Bowl at 9:30 p.m. on Friday, May 1.

Courtesy of NBC Sports Network

The game featured No. 2 Penn State against No. 1 Miami and served as the National Championship for the 1986 season. Both teams entered the game undefeated.

Joe Paterno’s squad was led by the likes of quarterback John Shaffer, running back DJ Dozier, and linebacker Shane Conlan, among others. Penn State had four All-Americans that season, including Conlan and Dozier, defensive tackle Tim Johnson, and offensive tackle Chris Conlin.

In what was a game for the ages, Miami out-gained the Nittany Lions 445 yards to 162 but had seven turnovers, including five interceptions thrown by Heisman winner Vinny Testaverde. With just seconds remaining, the Hurricanes were on Penn State’s goal line, but linebacker Pete Giftopoulos recorded his second interception of the game to give the Nittany Lions a 14-10 victory.

The win allowed Joe Paterno to win his second national championship as Penn State’s head coach. His first came a few years earlier in 1982. The Nittany Lions finished that season 12-0 in what was their first undefeated campaign since 1973. They didn’t repeat that feat again until 1994.

Penn State hasn’t won a national championship since that historic 1986 campaign. Highlights from the Nittany Lions’ victory in the Fiesta Bowl can be watched here.

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About the Author

Will Pegler

Will is a senior majoring in digital and print journalism and is an associate editor for Onward State. He is from Darien, Connecticut and is a lifelong Penn State football fan. He loves a good 80's comedy movie, Peaky Blinders, The Office, and the New York Yankees and Giants. You can catch some of his ridiculous sports takes on his Twitter @gritdude and yell at him on his email [email protected]

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