This Turkey, a foul old fowl, occasionally takes a nostalgia trip back to his own Penn State days. Perhaps some of the others in my vast audience who are getting a little grey around the temples (or who have lost their feathers entirely) will be able to relate to some of the ancient history I present here.
I took lots of pictures back then. Although many have been lost through the years, I am fortunate to have stumbled upon a few. One of them in particular captured a Nittany Lions defensive play (a failure, alas) against Oregon on October 4, 1964. That picture is the inspiration behind this post.
It was the 15th annual Band Day at Beaver Stadium, with sixty bands from Pennsylvania high schools performing on that early fall day. A capacity crowd of 44,000+ was present to watch the 0-2 Nittany Lions battle their distant foe from the Pac-8 conference.
Here, you see the Nittany Lion defense being stretched by a deep pass from Ducks’ quarterback Bob Berry (#15) to flanker Steve Bunker (#88). (Click on the picture to enlarge it.) While that play did not hit pay dirt, it sent a message about the deep threat. After that, the Penn State defense dropped the safeties back to guard against the bomb, in the process making them susceptible to the option run, which Oregon head coach Len Casanova did not hesitate to employ.
The Lions probably would have won this one, if it were not for six fumbles lost. The game started out pretty well for the home team. Thanks to Berry’s only mistake of the day, a fumble late in the first period on the Penn State 26, which was recovered by All-America middle guard Glenn Ressler, PSU was able to keep it close in the first half. Two plays later, Ed Stuckrath ran it in from the two yard-line, and Penn State took a 7-6 lead into the locker room at halftime.