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Power Ranking The Best Super Bowl Performances By Penn Staters

It’s Super Bowl week, folks!

On Sunday, Philadelphia Eagles running back Miles Sanders will become the 119th Penn Stater to play in the Super Bowl. Since the inception of the Super Bowl in 1967, at least one Nittany Lion has played in every championship game excluding just five.

As Sanders and the Eagles prepare to take on the Kansas City Chiefs on Sunday in Super Bowl LVII, it’s the perfect time to look back at the top 10 historical performances from Penn Staters on football’s largest stage.

10. Super Bowl XIII: Jack Ham

To start off this list, let’s go all the way back to 1979 to a matchup between the Pittsburgh Steelers and the Dallas Cowboys.

Former Penn State linebacker Jack Ham recorded eight tackles to slow down the Roger Staubach-led Cowboys, and led the Steelers to a 35-31 victory in the 13th-ever Super Bowl.

Ham was an outstanding linebacker at Penn State and was named to the College Football Hall of Fame in 1990. In 2014, the Big Ten Network named Ham to “The Mount Rushmore of Penn State Football,” alongside Heisman Trophy winner John Cappelletti, LaVar Arrington, and Shane Conlan.

Ham found even more success during his professional career. He was drafted in the second round of the 1971 NFL Draft and went on to be named an All-Pro seven times, play in eight Pro Bowls, and was inducted into the 1988 class of the Pro Football Hall of Fame.

9. Super Bowl XXXVII: Joe Jurevicius

In Super Bowl XXXVII, Penn State wide receiver Joe Jurevicius hauled in four catches for a total of 78 yards to help the Tampa Bay Buccaneers overpower the Oakland Raiders by a score of 48-21.

Jurevicius led the contest in receiving yards, posting one more yard than Jerry Rice, the Raiders’ leading receiver.

Jurevicius recorded 94 receptions for 1,894 yards and 15 touchdowns during his time at Penn State.

8. Super Bowl XL: Joe Jurevicius

Jurevicius found himself putting up big numbers once again in the Super Bowl, this time in Seattle.

The former Penn State wideout hauled in five passes for 93 yards throughout the course of the game.

Despite Jurevicius’ performance, the Seahawks fell to another Penn State alumnus, Jeff Hartings, and the Pittsburgh Steelers by a score of 21-10.

7. Super Bowl XVIII: Chris Bahr

During Super Bowl XVIII in 1984, placekicker Chris Bahr made all five of his extra-point attempts while adding a 21-yard field goal in the fourth quarter en route to a 38-9 Raiders victory over the Washington Redskins.

Bahr ended his career as the Raiders’ second all-time leader in scoring, and his 162 career field goals were a record before being outpaced by Sebastian Janikowski in 2007.

Bahr was a three-time All-American for soccer and once for football during his time at Penn State.

6. Super Bowl XVII: Jimmy Cefalo

Wide receiver Jimmy Cefalo caught a 76-yard touchdown to put the Dolphins up 7-0 at the end of the first quarter in the 1983 Super Bowl.

His two catches for 82 yards were one of the few positives for the Dolphins, as Miami fell to the Washington Redskins 27-17.

In his time at Penn State, Cefalo played a major role in the 1975 Cotton Bowl Classic and was named the Most Valuable Player of the 1976 Gator Bowl.

He went on to be a third-round draft pick in the 1978 NFL Draft before playing seven seasons with the Dolphins.

Cefalo has since become a broadcaster and radio talk show host since retiring from the NFL.

5. Super Bowl XLVII: NaVorro Bowman

While the 49ers lost to the Baltimore Ravens 34-31, Bowman shined.

Bowman racked up nine tackles, eight of which were solo stops. He kept the pressure on Ravens quarterback Joe Flacco all night and recorded two quarterback hits.

4. Super Bowl XXV: Matt Bahr

Chris Bahr’s brother, Matt Bahr, made all five of his extra points and both field goal attempts in the 1991 Super Bowl.

What ranks this performance so high on the list is his 21-yarder to win the game for the Giants over the Buffalo Bills by a score of 20-19.

Much like his brother, Bahr excelled in both football and soccer. He was a unanimous All-American selection in 1978.

Prior to being drafted into the NFL, Bahr had a two-year professional soccer career in both the North American Soccer League and the second-division American Soccer League.

3. Super Bowl XIV: Franco Harris

Coming in at third is the late, great Franco Harris.

Harris shined in Super Bowl XIV, playing alongside Matt Bahr.

Harris rushed 20 times, totaling 46 yards and two touchdowns. He also hauled in a 32-yard completion. His two scores propelled the Steelers to a 31-19 victory over the Los Angeles Rams.

Harris was drafted 13th overall by the Steelers after rushing for over 2,000 yards and 24 touchdowns during his time at Penn State.

Harris was a nine-time Pro Bowl selection, a four-time Super Bowl champion, and was inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame in 1990.

2. Super Bowl LII: Chris Hogan

Chris Hogan was a lacrosse player for three seasons at Penn State. He transferred to Monmouth to play football in his final year of eligibility.

In Super Bowl LII, it appeared as if Hogan had been playing football his entire life. The wide receiver caught six passes for 128 yards and a touchdown.

His outstanding effort was not enough as New England fell in a 41-33 nailbiter to the Philadelphia Eagles.

Hogan was signed by the San Francisco 49ers in 2011 as an undrafted free agent. He was signed and cut multiple times before finally finding consistency with the Buffalo Bills during the 2015 season.

After football, Hogan returned to lacrosse and played in the Premier Lacrosse League.

1. Super Bowl IX: Franco Harris

Perhaps predictably, Harris is a lock at the top of the list.

Harris rushed for 158 yards and a touchdown on 34 carries in the Pittsburgh Steelers’ 1975 outing against the Minnesota Vikings. This effort led to Harris being named Super Bowl MVP in the 16-6 slugfest victory over the Vikings.

He became the first Italian-American to be named a Super Bowl MVP.

The Pittsburgh Steelers retired Harris’ famous No. 32 jersey on December 24, just three days after his death.

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About the Author

Brady Miller

Brady is a junior public relations major who originates from the cornfields of Schuylkill County, PA. He spends most of his time watching the Philadelphia Phillies blow leads and the New England Patriots struggle to score points. When not watching sports, Brady is most likely "studying" or with his friends. Follow him on Twitter @_bMiLL_32 to see mostly retweets of whatever is going through Marlon Humphrey's head, or you can email him at [email protected]

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