1959 Liberty Bowl
Inaugural Liberty Bowl
1234 Total
Alabama 0000 0
Penn State 0700 7
DateDecember 19, 1959
StadiumPhiladelphia Municipal Stadium
LocationPhiladelphia, Pennsylvania
MVPJay Huffman (C, Penn State)
FavoritePenn State by 1[1]
United States TV coverage
AnnouncersLindsey Nelson[2]
Red Grange[2]
Liberty Bowl

The 1959 Liberty Bowl, part of the 1959 bowl game season, took place on December 19, 1959, at Philadelphia Municipal Stadium in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. It was the inaugural edition of the Liberty Bowl. The competing teams were the Alabama Crimson Tide, representing the Southeastern Conference (SEC), and the Penn State Nittany Lions, competing as a football independent. In a game dominated by both defenses, Penn State was victorious in by a final score of 7–0. The game is notable as the first football game Alabama ever played against an integrated team.[3]



See also: 1959 Alabama Crimson Tide football team

The 1959 Alabama squad finished the regular season with a 7–1–2 record and played in a bowl for the first time since the 1954 Cotton Bowl Classic. This was the first bowl for Bear Bryant as head coach of the Crimson Tide.[2]

After Navy turned down an offer, Alabama accepted a bid to play in the inaugural Liberty Bowl on November 30.[2] Alabama had been offered a spot in the Bluegrass Bowl, scheduled to be played the same day as the Liberty Bowl, but turned down that invitation; the Bluegrass Bowl was subsequently canceled.[4]

Penn State

See also: 1959 Penn State Nittany Lions football team

After starting the season 7–0, Penn State dropped two of their final three games to finish the regular season with a record of 8–2. The Nittany Lions accepted a bid for the Liberty Bowl on November 23 with the other opponent identified as being either Georgia, Georgia Tech, SMU or Navy.[5] Alabama was selected as the opponent after Navy turned down an offer.[2] The game marked the first bowl for Penn State since the 1948 Cotton Bowl Classic.[2]

Game summary

In a game dominated by both defenses, the only points were scored at the end of the second quarter by the Nittany Lions on a fake field goal.[6] This lone touchdown was scored by Roger Kochman on a 17-yard reception from Galen Hall with Sam Stellatella adding the extra point.[6]

Scoring summary
Quarter Time Drive Team Scoring information Score
Plays Yards TOP Alabama Penn State
2 00:00 2 plays, 22 yards 00:30 Penn State Roger Kochman 17-yard touchdown reception from Galen Hall on a fake field goal attempt, Sam Stellatella kick good 0 7
"TOP" = time of possession. For other American football terms, see Glossary of American football. 0 7

See also


  1. ^ Hand, Jack (December 19, 1959). "Penn State favored in Liberty Bowl". The Gettysburg Times. p. 5. Retrieved November 16, 2010.
  2. ^ a b c d e f g Land, Charles (December 1, 1959). "Tide going to Liberty Bowl". The Tuscaloosa News. p. 1. Retrieved November 16, 2010.
  3. ^ "Alabama Football's Racial Dilemma". Retrieved July 2, 2022.
  4. ^ Down, Fred (November 30, 1959). "Only One Bowl Berth Still Open". The Paducah Sun. Paducah, Kentucky. UPI. p. 11. Retrieved June 8, 2023 – via newspapers.com.
  5. ^ "Penn State bowl opponent unpicked". Kentucky New Era. Associated Press. November 24, 1959. p. 12. Retrieved November 16, 2010.
  6. ^ a b Land, Charles (December 20, 1959). "Penn State outplays Crimson Tide, 7–0". The Tuscaloosa News. p. 1. Retrieved November 16, 2010.