1983 Sugar Bowl | Seasons in sports are played to lead up to a moment of finality – the World Series, NBA Finals, etc. College football is no different as teams play for a national championship game and a number 1 ranking to end a season.
In January of 1983, that moment was the Sugar Bowl. Georgia came into the game ranked number 1 and Penn State number 2. While not classified as a national championship game at the time, few doubted that the winner would claim that moniker.
Todd Blackledge was the passing quarterback for a high-powered Penn State team that featured the running prowess of Curt Warner. Penn State was a favorite in the game even though ranked number 2.
Todd had a 31-5 mark for his career with the Nittany Lions and did not know when entering that game, that when the day was done, he would be the MVP of the Sugar Bowl.
Todd would go on to play in the NFL with KC and Pittsburgh and have a noted career as a television football analyst.
At quarterback for Georgia was John Lastinger, who entered that day never having lost a game he started at quarterback from the time he was in high school. John was joined in the backfield by Herschel Walker who did the leg work.
John would go on in 1984 to win a Cotton Bowl game and scored the winning touchdown. However, such was not to be John’s fate in 1983.
1983 Sugar Bowl
Penn State won the game 27-23 and the national number 1 ranking that went with it. The game lived up to its pregame hype as you will hear Todd and John remember the day.
There was an opening Penn State drive that both agreed set the stage.
There was a penalty non-call in the game they each remember as critical. A little thing it was not, but rarely is it remembered except by those in the game.
Many in sports say it is far easier to lose by an overwhelming margin than a tight matchup. In the former, you forget the mistakes-they didn’t matter anyway. In the tight ones, you harken back and think “what if.” You will hear that here.
Two QBs in the Louisiana Superdome with a football world watching.
Here are their stories of that game.
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If you loved this episode, check out our others:
- The Crawl of Fame | Ep 1
- 1985 American League Championship | Ep 2
- Red Sox-Yankees Rivalry | Ep 3
- 1984 Tigers vs Blue Jays | Ep 4
- 2002 World Series | Giants vs Angels | Ep 5
- UCLA vs Arizona | NCAA Mens’ Basketball | Ep 6
- ACC College Basketball | MD vs VT | Ep 7
- Army vs Navy | NCAA Football | Ep 8
- GM vs Agent | Major League Baseball | Ep 9
- 1988 NLCS | Dodgers vs Mets | Ep 10
- In The Press Box | Nightengale vs Miller | Ep 11
- Reporters | Adamson vs Coakley | Ep 12
- Coaches | Raftery vs Carlesimo | Ep 13
- Pitchers | Blyleven vs Langston | Ep 14
- Public Relations | Horwitz vs Swanson | Ep 15
- Swimming | USA vs East Germany | Ep 16
- 1983 Sugar Bowl | PSU vs GA | Ep 17
- OSU vs Oregon | NCAA Basketball | Ep 18
- Olympic Diving | Potter vs King | Ep 19
- HOF Pitchers | Palmer vs Eckersley | Ep 20
- Ironman World Championships | Iron War | Ep 21
- 1981 London Marathon | A Historical First | Ep 22
- 1984 College World Series | Ep 23
- Placekickers | Stenerud vs Benirschke | Ep 24
- For Love of the Game | Lyons vs Hudler | Ep 25
- Arizona vs Stanford | NCAA Basketball | Ep 26
- 2003 ALCS | Boone vs Walker | Ep 27
- NHL Bargaining | McPhee & Scott | Ep 28
- MLB Closers | Brantley & Shaw | Ep 29