Houston was supposed to be the team with all the offense, but it was Penn State that showed its power today.
The Nittany Lions ran up 521 yards and never gave the vaunted Houston veer attack a chance to get going as they breezed to an easy 31-14 victory.
Houston was playing with only two days of practice after beating UCLA Monday night. It showed.
Except for on drive, Houston offense was ineffective. The defense, with a number of key people injured, seemed to have no idea what to do with Penn State.
The Nittany Lions' offensive fir-works earned them a standing ovation in the fourth quarter from the record crowd of 62,554 in Bever Stadium.
"They usually only do that for the defense," quarterback Chuck Fusina sais. "They usually just wait for us to punt."
Not today. Penn State came at Houston in every way imaginable, and usina wasn't the least bit shy when it came to putting the ball in the air.
Fusina looked like a million-dollar quarterback as he sat in the pocket and completed 15 of 24 passes for 245 yards and a touchdown.
"I had so much on some of the plays that I started getting nervous," he said.
"You've got to remember that Houston has played two tough games in five days," Paterno said. "That started to show in the second half. They didn't look quite as quick. Our kids played a fine game, but you still have to be fair to Houston."
Houston coach Bill Yeoman said the short work week may have affected his team, but his thoughts were more on quarterback Danny Davis.
Davis, under constant pressure from Penn State, still managed to complete 10 of 18 passes for 154 yards and run for 36 more. But he won't play again for awhile.
In the game's final five minutes, Davis went down in a heap after a six-yard run and came off the field holding his shoulder. It was separated and Davis will be lost six or seven weeks.
Asked if he had any other injuries, Yeoman frowned and said, "That's like asking Mrs. Lincoln if anyone was hurt."
The first time they got the ball, the Lion's churned 80 yards in six lays and took a 7-0 lead. The big play on the drive was 53-yard run off tackle by Matt Suhey.
Houston tied the game 4 1/2 minutes later when Shuhey fumbled at his 24-yard line and Alois Blackwell scored on a perfectly executed option from five yards out five plays later.
The first of Matt Bahr's three field goals gave the Lions a 10-7 lead after one period.
In the next nine minutes, Houston could do nothing while Penn State was doubling its scoring output with a pass by Fusina to Scott Fitzkee and Bahr's second goal for a 20-7 lead.
Then Houston began looking like Houston for one of the few times all day. The veer was clicking and Davis' passes were on target. As a result, the Cougars needed only nine plays to go to 60 yards. The conversion kick after Blackwell's one-ayrd touchdown, cut Penn State's advantage to 20-14 at the half.
The play that really did Houston in came on its first possession of the third period.
Davis hit split end Don Bass over the middle with a pass. After eluding two tacklers, Bass broke into the clear, but as he shifted the ball from his right to his left arm, Gary Petercuskic stripped him of it and Neil Hutton recovered at the Penn State 20.
Fusina then moved Penn State 80 yards to a field goal so instead of being ahead, one point (21-20), the Cougars were down by 9 (23-14). They died right there.