This 1986 Orange Bowl Classic featured the # 1 Penn State Nittany Lions….coached by Joe Paterno…..against the # 2 ranked Sooners from Oklahoma University…..coached by Barry Switzer….as this was Oklahoma’s 2nd straight Orange Bowl appearance….and their 2nd straight Big Eight Conference title…..while this was Penn State’s first Orange Bowl appearance since 1974.
Tim Manoa gave Penn State an early lead on a short touchdown run as they led 7-0 after one quarter of play….but OU’s Tim Lasher kicked two field goals….and TE Keith Jackson caught a touchdown from Jamelle Holieway….as Oklahoma scored 16 points in the 2nd quarter….after which Penn State kicker Massimo Manca gave the Nittany Lions their only points in the quarter with his field goal just before the half ended to make it 16-10.
Penn State was shut out from there….as Oklahoma’s defense took over from there….when LB Brian Bosworth had 12 tackles….while the defense had a total of four interceptions. In the second half, Lashar kicked his third field goal….and RB Lydell Carr scored on a touchdown run to seal the championship for the Sooners.
The Sooners’ National Championship would become unanimous later that evening following the loss by AP #2 Miami in the Sugar Bowl….which was played at the same time as the Orange Bowl….whereas, if the Hurricanes had won….the possibility would exist for a split national champion as Miami was outranked by Oklahoma in the coaches poll.
Simply put, this was top-notch college football at it finest….as two of the great teams during the 1970’s and 1980’s played hard-nosed football that would make any college football fan happy to watch.