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Ohio State vs. Penn State: The 1980 Fiesta Bowl

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Penn State is currently a familiar rival, but faced Ohio State only eight times prior to joining the Big Ten in 1989. Penn State is the only Big Ten team the Buckeyes have faced in a bowl game.

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Since 1993, Penn State and Ohio State have faced off every season. Penn State joined the Big Ten in 1989, and prior to that Penn State and Ohio State had only faced each other eight times, beginning in 1912. Penn State held the advantage from 1912 to 1964, which sounds like a long time, but there were only four games played in this series over that interval, and Penn State won all of them. The Buckeyes won back-to-back victories over the Nittany Lions in 1975 and 1976, and then Penn State beat the Buckeyes 19-0 in Columbus in 1978, giving them a 5-2 series advantage over Ohio State.

The Buckeyes and Nittany Lions were slated to meet in the Fiesta Bowl following the 1980 season. Penn State scored on their first offensive play of the game, with tailback Curt Warner taking the handoff 64 yards for a touchdown. The Buckeyes battled back, scoring 19 unanswered points before the half, with quarterback Art Schlichter throwing two touchdowns to Doug Donley and one to Gary Williams. The first two PAT attempts were unsuccessful, hence the 19-10 score at the half.

Penn State's defense came out strong after the half, holding Ohio State to zero net yards in the third quarter. Meanwhile, the Nittany Lions churned out yards on the ground with ease. A rushing touchdown from Todd Blackledge in the third quarter made it a two-point game for the Nittany Lions.

Penn State continued their defensive dominance in the fourth quarter, and their 14 unanswered points -- both on rushing touchdowns -- sealed the Buckeyes' fate. Ohio State lost to the Nittany Lions in the 1980 Fiesta Bowl with a final score of 31-19, with Penn State's 351 rushing yards on 56 carries factoring in as a huge reason for the victory. This was the last time Ohio State would face Penn State in the postseason, and will likely remain the only time as both programs are now part of the Big Ten.

The matchup between Penn State and Ohio State became an annual event in 1993, and since that time, Ohio State has the edge over the Nittany Lions, having won 13-of-21 games in the series in that timeframe.