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#FlashbackFriday - 1992- Miami 17, Penn State 14

There were many heated battles between Miami and Penn State, this was one of the best

Gino Torretta

The Canes haven’t played Penn State since September 1, 2001 when they beat the Nittany Lions 33-7 to open the season at Beaver Stadium in front of 109,313 people. It’s been 16 years since then but the games played between these schools have gone down as some of the best in college football history.

While the 1986 Fiesta Bowl is probably the most famous matchup, the game that I’ll never forget is when the Canes visited University Park, PA in October 1992 to take on the Lions before almost 97,000 fans, a record crowd at that point.

Miami was ranked number 2 going into that game while PSU was number 7. This would be the second straight week the Canes would face (and beat) a top ten team, having just beaten then #3 FSU in the Orange Bowl. Two top ten teams clashing on national television; this is the type of game the Canes loved to play. Going into an extremely hostile environment as the Big Bad Hurricanes was a role they relished. I remember going to this road game with my friends, entering Beaver Stadium with a “white-out” crowd that was as loud as any place I had been. There was plenty of pre-game taunting from both sides and you just knew this was going to be epic.

With Public Enemy blaring on the newly installed Beaver Stadium sound system it felt odd to hear at a venue like Penn State but the Canes ate it up. "They treated us like this was the Orange Bowl" said middle linebacker Micheal Barrow. "I felt right at home. I started dancing on the field.”

Miami would go on to play “a perfect game," the late Penn State coach Joe Paterno said of Miami after the game. "They didn't have a turnover. We got the penalties and we got the blocked field goal -- missed two field goals. It's tough to beat a team that good doing those things."

The backbreaking mistake came with Miami up 10-7 in the third quarter when PSU QB John Sacca threw a pressured screen pass that ended up in the hands of Miami defensive end Darren Krein who rumbled 28 yards for what would prove to be the game winning touchdown. It was Canes linebacker Jesse Armstead who blitzed Sacca, hitting him as he threw the ball, creating the opportunity for Krein.

While that was Sacca’s first interception it was costly and another interception later in the game helped seal the Canes 17-14 victory putting Miami in the argument for the top position in the polls and ultimately send them and Heisman Trophy winning quarterback, Gino Torretta, to the national championship game in New Orleans vs. Alabama.