The Weirdest Scores In Penn State Sports History

The Nittany Lions have accomplished a great deal on the field over the course of Penn State’s storied history. We’ve seen legends walk in and out the doors of Beaver Stadium and Rec Hall. And, thankfully, we’ve witnessed some wacky, cartoonish things happen as part of Nittany Lion athletics over the years.

With that in mind, let’s take a deep dive through the decades of Penn State sports and look at some of the wackiest scores to ever occur.

Iowa 6, Penn State Football 4 (October 23, 2004)

Whenever Penn State and Iowa meet on the gridiron, high-scoring is not an adjective that jumps to folks’ minds. On a muggy and mild October day back in 2004, 108,000 Penn Staters packed into Beaver Stadium to witness an all-time stinker.

The affair had 14 combined punts, 315 combined yards of total offense, 10 total first downs, and only 93 combined rushing yards. By the end of the afternoon, the Hawkeyes were victorious, 6-4. Penn State’s only points came off two safeties, one of which was committed by Iowa on purpose late in the fourth quarter.

Most current Penn Staters don’t remember this game or team, but the 2004 Nittany Lions were one of the worst teams during Joe Paterno’s time at Penn State. Zack Mills was under center for the Nittany Lions that fateful afternoon, going 7-for-19 for 82 yards and two interceptions. Michael Robinson, who played a plethora of offensive positions during his time at Penn State, was the best offensive player for Nittany Lions, catching the ball three times for 52 yards and rushing for a whopping seven yards.

In retrospect, it was a pretty good defensive showing for Penn State. Drew Tate was one of the best quarterbacks in the Big Ten that year, and Penn State kept him out of the end zone. Still, 6-4 is a score that sends shivers down both fane bases’ spines.

Penn State Men’s Hockey 10, Union 3 (March 25, 2017)

Penn State hockey entered the NCAA Tournament for the first time in program history in 2017 after a miracle run and victory in the Big Ten Tournament. The first-round matchup wasn’t favorable, as No. 7 Union College came into the game with a 25-9-3 record.

The Dutchmen had two possible Hobey Baker winners in Mike Vecchione and Spencer Foo, who had a combined 125 points between them that season. That duo, matched with goaltender Alex Sakellaropoulos, made the Nittany Lions massive underdogs heading into this game.

The folks who traveled to Cincinnati were treated to an offensive shellacking by the Nittany Lions. Both teams traded goals until the score was 3-3 before the Nittany Lions put seven unanswered scores on the board, including five in the third period, to seal the 10-3 victory.

Plenty of Nittany Lions fans were in shock by the high-scoring affair. Union had won the national title in 2014, and Penn State was playing in its first tournament game in program history. The Nittany Lions tied the NCAA record for most goals in a tournament debut and were the first team in 27 years to put up a 10-spot in a tournament game.

Penn State Men’s Lacrosse 27, Robert Morris 10 (February 9, 2019)

Lacrosse is a high-scoring sport, but 27 goals in one game is ridiculous. That’s what happened in Holuba Hall two games into the 2019 season.

It took the Nittany Lions five minutes to get the goal-scoring going, but once they did they couldn’t stop. By halftime, Penn State was up 18-3. Fifteen different Nittany Lions scored in the game, with 17 at least registering a point. Grant Ament, who left Penn State as one of the best players in college lacrosse history, contributed a whopping seven points in the game. Mac O’Keefe, who just registered career goal No. 200 this past week, had six points.

This game had the most goals in a single game in program history, triumphing a record that was set in 1976 against Lafayette.

Why does this game matter? It would be the start of arguably one of the best offenses in college lacrosse history. The Nittany Lions went on to lose in the Final Four to Yale that season, but the early season thumping against Robert Morris was the best output for one of the best offenses the sport has ever seen.

Penn State Men’s Basketball 36, Wisconsin 33 (March 11, 2011)

It’s always fun to look back and have a chuckle at a game that only Penn State fans remember fondly. Penn State entered the 2011 Big Ten Tournament on the NCAA Tournament bubble. The Nittany Lions needed a strong showing in the conference tournament to have a shot to be at the big dance.

We wouldn’t call what happened against Wisconsin in the quarterfinals of the Big Ten Tournament a strong showing, but it did indeed happen. In a sport where teams can score up into the triple digits, the Nittany Lions and Badgers did their best impression of a middle school rec game by scoring a combined 69 points.

Talor Battle, one of the best players in program history, led the Nittany Lions with nine points in the game. It took Wisconsin 36 minutes in until someone who wasn’t named Jon Leuer or Jordan Taylor recorded a point. Even better, Penn State started the game with an 18-2 lead with 10 minutes left in the first half. The Nittany Lions scored only 18 points in the remaining 30 minutes of the game.

When looking back at the storied screws-ups in Penn State basketball history, this is up there despite the win. Penn State even went on to the finals of the Big Ten Tournament and made the Big Dance after a scorching hot end to the season. Still, Penn State basketball never fails to disappoint, even in its greatest moments.

Lehigh 106, Penn State Football 0 (November 11, 1889)

Yes, you read that right. Before the days of the forward pass, Penn State played in-state rival Lehigh over in Bethlehem, Pennsylvania. The result of the game was a 106-0 victory for the Moutain Hawks. It could’ve been worse if Lehigh head coach Jake Robeson had not ended the game five minutes early as a show of mercy.

Then, football was significantly different than it is today, and Lehigh had it down to a science. The Moutain Hawks had a formation called the “Flying Wedge” where blockers would link arms, surround the ball carrier, and beat the crap out of anyone that tried to get through them. Defenders would suffer serious injuries, and some reportedly even died while trying to get to the ball carrier.

Lehigh’s skill, matched with the fact Penn State only had nine healthy players, meant the Nittany Lions were screwed from the start. Penn State didn’t even want to play with only nine guys, but Lehigh said it wouldn’t pay the Nittany Lions their $25 if they didn’t.

The Mountain Hawks and Nittany Lions haven’t met since 1942, but it’s safe to assume the scoreboard would be flipped the other way around if the two teams met today.

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About the Author

Connor Donohue

Connor is a junior majoring in broadcast journalism. He hails from the great state of New Jersey and is proud of it. Lover of the greatest city in the world, New York City, he strongly dislikes the city of Philadelphia and will not hesitate to tell you that. He's also been cursed as a Penn State fan since birth. If you want to call him a bum or maybe go out on a date with him, follow him on twitter @ConnorDonohue00 or email him at [email protected]

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