Only Syracuse didn't score. Wingback Greg Allen swept to the right and there was nothing in front of him but a diving Neal Smith's outstretched left hand. Allen tripped over it. "When we didn't score," said Schwartzwalder, "I was sick."
At the moment there were few who thought it mattered. If Syracuse has problems with its offiense, it has none with its defense which, going against Penn State, ranked sixth in the nation. "I told our kids at halftime," said Paterno, "that I didn't know if we could score enough points, and if we didn't I wouldn't be unhappy. But I would be unhappy if everybody didn't go out there and give it all they had. You have to remember that not once, in the three years any of our players have been here, have we been behind by two touchdowns. It was something new to them."
Late in the third quarter Penn State's muggers really went to work. Their streak—23 straight without a loss—and their No. 5 ranking were near collapse, and they weren't happy. Steve Smear, their other great defensive tackle, slammed into Al Newton, who scored Syracuse's first touchdown. Out popped the ball, and George Landis—who had blocked both field-goal attempts—fell on it at the Syracuse 12. Here was a chance, but Syracuse gave up 9� yards and no more, and it was still 14-0.
As the final period began it was clear Penn State was going to need a lot of help. And so—zap! Smear hit Allen, who fumbled, and Jack Ham recovered for the Lions on the Syracuse 32. Zap! Syracuse was accused of pass interference, and Penn State had the ball at the four. Lydell Mitchell scored from there without heavenly interference to make it 14-6. Penn State went for two points and missed and zap! Flag on the play. Syracuse was accused of holding. "You're lucky that somebody doesn't punch you in the nose," said Syracuse's Don Dorr, the accused, to Field Judge Marlin Brandt, the accuser.
"I may go down in history," said Paterno happily, "as the coach who got the most second chances on a two-point conversion."
For his second chance this time, he sent in the 58 Sweep, a straight power sweep to the fullback, with Franco Harris carrying and getting the two points. Now it was 14-8.
And zap! Syracuse, which had been punting long and well all day, suddenly got off a short kick, and Penn State had the ball on the enemy's 39. Harris got three, and Paterno sent in the next play, a 56 Counter, and Harris went 36 yards to score. Zap!
"Should have called that play sooner," said Paterno.
Now all Penn State needed was for Mike Reitz to kick the extra point, which he did, and there was no need for Syracuse to be offside. The final was Penn State 15, Syracuse 14, and four zaps!
State's winning streak was still alive, and with medium-rare teams like Pittsburgh, Maryland and Boston College ahead, the streak should last at least until bowl time. That is unless someone else comes up with a lot of zaps of their own.