Meanwhile Allen was going nowhere, perhaps because over the course of the week in Tempe, he had never refused to sign an autograph, an activity which used up about 90% of his waking hours. "All these people just want to get a piece of him," said Trojan Split End Jeff" Simmons, "and he handles it so well. He works so hard at being a nice guy, there's just no describing it."
But it seemed that seven days of autograph signing did what 409 carries couldn't, because Allen never truly got his footing in the Fiesta Bowl. The first man to surpass 2,000 yards rushing in a season had only his second sub-100 yard game as a tailback. "For some reason, I don't think we were ready to play today," said Allen afterward.
That became quite apparent when, with five minutes to go in the half, Parlavecchio gave a mild concussion to Mazur, and Mazur's substitute, freshman Sean Salisbury, promptly threw a pass directly to Penn State Inside Linebacker Ed Pryts. By the last play of the half the Lions had only a yard to go for a touchdown. Blackledge kept on an option, but, to his surprise, he was stopped. "He's such a big kid," Paterno said of his 6'4", 223-pound quarterback, by way of explanation, "he has been successful at bulling people over." So Penn State was held to a 17-7 halftime lead.
The Lions made up for it on the first series of the second half, driving 59 yards from their own 20 and then scoring as Warner raced 21 yards down the right sideline for his second TD of the game. A Trojan field goal made it 24-10, but the Penn State punt-return team quickly struck back when Dave Paffencroth, a reserve tackle shifted to fullback, blocked Dave Pryor's punt, which scooted out of the end zone for a safety.
Southern Cal had one last gasp. With five minutes left, the Trojans were first-and-goal at the nine. But all hope faded with two consecutive sacks of Mazur.
The first and only time Penn State and Southern California had met before was in the 1923 Rose Bowl, an event memorable because the Lions dawdled—some said intentionally—so long at the pre-game parade that the kickoff was delayed for 45 minutes. That game finished in darkness, with reporters in the press box writing their stories by the light of matches. Oh, yes, USC won 14-3. Now the series is even.
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