Vintage Video: Penn State kick defeats Pitt, 16-13, in 1989
Ray Tarasi was the hero for Penn State on November 26, 1989, according to the Associated Press:
PITTSBURGH (AP) — The last time Ray Tarasi tried to kick a field goal to win a game for Penn State, Alabama blocked it.
This time, Tarasi kicked a 20-yard field goal with 13 seconds Saturday left to give the No. 22 Nittany Lions a 16-13 victory over No. 19 Pitt.
"I really wanted to make that kick," said Tarasi, who had a potential game-winning 18-yarder blocked on the final play in Penn State's 17-16 loss to No. 4 Alabama. "The Alabama game wasn't on my mind at all. That was just a fluke."
Backup quarterback Tom Bill converted two key third-down pass plays in the final 2:10, setting up Tarasi's kick.
Bill, who replaced starter Tony Sacca for the final 2 1/2 quarters, hit Dave Daniels for 19 yards and Leroy Thompson for 29 on third-down plays before Tarasi kicked his 20-yard field goal, completing a nine-play, 58-yard drive.
The Holiday Bowl-bound Nittany Lions (7-3-1) got 131 rushing yards from Blair Thomas to overcome Curvin Richards' 152 yards and beat Pitt (6-3-1) for the first time since 1986.
Thomas had his sixth consecutive 100-yard game and his eighth of the season to become the school's second-leading career rusher with 3,301 yards, 97 behind Curt Warner (3,398).
Pitt, which accepted a John Hancock Bowl bid, was trying to beat the Lions three consecutive years for the first time since 1943-46.
Pitt, which tied the score, 13-13, on Ed Frazier's 40-yard field goal with 2:23 left, got one more opportunity to pull out the game, but Alex Van Pelt's desperation pass from his 48 on the final play was intercepted by Sherrod Rainge.
The two teams fought briefly in front of the Pitt bench after Rainge was knocked out of bounds on his 58-yard return.
Pitt, losing for the third time in four games, hadn't threatened in the second half until Van Pelt, who completed only two of nine passes in the half to that point, found Henry Tuten behind cornerback Hernon Henderson for a 54-yard completion to the Penn State 32.
After Richards ran for 18 yards, Adam Walker apparently scored from the 14, but the play was called back because of a holding penalty.
Ignoring the boos of his own crowd, Pitt Coach Mike Gottfried elected to run Walker, his backup tailback, into the middle of the line for three consecutive short gains before settling for Frazier's tying field goal. Frazier missed from 48 yards out earlier in the quarter.
Gottfried declined to answer questions about the Panthers' final possession, but center Chris Sestili said: "We were running the ball real well and that's what we wanted to do. They couldn't stop us and they didn't. We beat ourselves (with the penalty). We're better than Penn State, but we couldn't push it in when we had to."
Penn State turned a long scoring drive and Richards' fumble into a 10-0 first-quarter lead.
Sacca, ended a 12-play, 75-yard drive with a 19-yard touchdown pass to Daniels for a 7-0 lead. Sacca kept the drive going by passing to Daniels for 11 yards on a third-and-eight and Thomas for 13 yards on a third-and-nine.