Favorite Wins That Are No Longer Wins: Final Score Photos
I am going through my archives of Penn State football scoreboard photos from about 2002-2011, some of which are on my computer and some of which I need to find on other storage devices. So this will be a work in progress. As people suggest games that bring back great memories of Penn State wins, I will seek to find those photos and post them here.
As I have said numerous times since the NCAA sanctions occurred, you can take away the wins but you can't take away the memories. And there are some amazing memories....here's some that were suggested or that quickly came to mind.
Penn State wins against:
Northwestern, 38-35, 2001, at Evanston
The 323rd team win under Joe Paterno's tenure as head coach, tying the record with Alabama's team wins under coach Bear Bryant. I was present but not taking scoreboard photos then. If anyone has a photo of this final score I would be glad to post it.
Ohio State, 29-27, 2001, at Beaver Stadium:
The 324th team win under Joe Paterno's tenure as head coach, breaking the record achieved by Alabama's teams under Bear Bryant. It was a classic come from behind win. Penn State was down 13-9 at the end of the first half and early in the second half Ohio State led 27-9. Penn State then scored two touchdowns in the 3rd quarter and one touchdown in the 4th quarter to seal the victory. Zach Mills was the quarterback.
I was present but not taking scoreboard photos then. If anyone has a photo of this final score I would be glad to post it.
Nebraska, 40-7, 2002, at Beaver Stadium:
In this pre-digital, pre-optical zoom era, my friend Greg Schraeder took this photo of the win. A bit hard to see, but it's there. Greg and his wife Debbie live in Omaha Nebraska. Greg is a Penn State fan. Debbie is normally an Iowa fan but that night she was cheering for Penn State. We hosted a dinner party for some of their Nebraska friends as well as a tailgate that weekend. But the best part of all was the 40-7 win.
Northwestern, 34-29, 2005, at Evanston:
With 1:28 left on the clock and the score 29-27 in favor of Northwestern quarterback Michael Robinson had one more chance to move the ball on a 4th down conversion on 4th and 15 and made a fantastic pass play to tight end Isaac Smolko for the first down. Wide Receiver Derek Williams would then score on a touchdown pass that would make the highlight reels all season. But it was that 4th down pass that was the key to the win. Having watched a lot of losses at away venues over the years, this was a special moment that defined this 2005 team that was one second away from an undefeated season.
Ohio State, 17-10, 2005, at Beaver Stadium:
We had won at Northwestern, then beaten Minnesota at home. This was the game that began the Paternoville tradition at Beaver Stadium and was a huge victory. Whenever I asked any student who was there for the time period 2005-2009, this was their favorite game, by far. Unfortunately the following week at Michigan we lost the game in the last second of the game for our only loss of the season.
Florida State, 26-23, 2006, Orange Bowl:
The longest game I ever attended, won in 3rd overtime.
Northwestern, 35-21, 2010, Beaver Stadium
The 400th team win of Joe Paterno's long tenure as head coach. Northwestern had scored 21 unanswered points and was beating Penn State 21-7 at the end of the 2nd half. The team turned that around in a big way in the 3rd and 4th quarters.
Ohio State, 13-6, at Columbus, 2008
We had beaten Ohio State before, but not at Columbus since we had joined the Big Ten. This was a huge defensive battle.
Illinois, 10-7, Beaver Stadium, 2011
A miserably cold and snowy day, we had to clear 6 inches of snow off every bleacher seat in the stadium. Penn State was down 7-3 until they scored a touchdown with 1:08 remaining in the game to make it 10-7 in favor of Penn State. Illinois drove down the field and was in position to kick a field goal to tie the game. Then the student section did something I have never seen them do before: they all rushed to the seats behind the goal posts from all sides of the student section. It was this big wave of students and I think it distracted the kicker enough that he missed.
This was the 409th team win under head coach Joe Paterno, and little did we know at that moment, it would be the last game he ever coached.