1961 Sun Bowl
1234 Total
Villanova 70100 17
Wichita 0306 9
DateDecember 30, 1961
StadiumKidd Field
LocationEl Paso, Texas
MVPBilly Joe, FB
FavoriteShockers by 6
United States TV coverage
Sun Bowl
 < 1960  1962

The 1961 Sun Bowl was a college football postseason bowl game between the Villanova Wildcats and the Wichita Shockers (now known as Wichita State).


Wichita was the champion of the Missouri Valley Conference for the fourth time in seven years.

Game summary

Billy Joe's 19 yard run gave the Wildcats an early lead as the Shockers were limited to less than 200 yards of offense while committing four turnovers. A 47-yard drive got the Shockers onto the 18-yard line for a chance at narrowing the lead. Bill Seigle kicked a 36-yard field goal to make the halftime score 7–3. However, the Shockers' second half began disastrously. Richie Ross recovered a fumble on the opening kickoff of the second half at the 22 yard line of the Shockers. Seven plays later, Louis Rettino ran in for a two-yard score to make it 14–3. Sam Gruneisen kicked a 26-yard field goal to pile onto the lead for the Wildcats, who even knocked out the Shocker quarterback Alex Zyskowski for most of the second half. However, he came back with five minutes remaining in the game, and the Shockers benefited. He rushed for a five-yard score with :45 remaining, though it was not enough as the Wildcats won.[1]


Wichita head coach Hank Foldberg left the Shockers for Texas A&M after the season. The Wildcats returned to a bowl game the following year. Future National Football League head coach Bill Parcells played linebacker and recorded one kickoff return for 13 yards for Wichita.


  1. ^ "Villanova 17, Wichita State 9 | Recaps - Tony the Tiger Sun Bowl | December 31, 2021 | el Paso, Texas".