1973 Fiesta Bowl
3rd edition
1234 Total
Pittsburgh 7000 7
Arizona State 70318 28
DateDecember 21, 1973
Season1973
StadiumSun Devil Stadium
LocationTempe, Arizona
MVPGreg Hudson (ASU SE)
Mike Haynes  (ASU CB)
FavoriteArizona State by 14 points[1]
Attendance50,878
PayoutUS$185,000 each[2]
United States TV coverage
NetworkMizlou
AnnouncersRay Scott, Wayne Walker
Fiesta Bowl
 < 1972  1974

The 1973 Fiesta Bowl was the third edition of the college football bowl game, played at Sun Devil Stadium in Tempe, Arizona on Friday, December 21. Part of the 1973–74 bowl game season, it matched the unranked independent Pittsburgh Panthers and #10 Arizona State Sun Devils of the Western Athletic Conference (WAC).[1][3]

After falling behind early, favored Arizona State pulled away in the fourth quarter and won again on its home field, 28–7.[4][5][6]

Teams

Main article: 1973 NCAA Division I football season

Pittsburgh

Main article: 1973 Pittsburgh Panthers football team

In their first year under head coach Johnny Majors, the Panthers were ranked twice in the AP poll in November (at #20), but lost the next game (Notre Dame, Penn State). This was Pittsburgh's first bowl appearance in seventeen years.

Arizona State

Main article: 1973 Arizona State Sun Devils football team

The Sun Devils were co-champions of the WAC, the sole loss was an upset at Utah; ASU defeated rival Arizona in the late November to clinch the share. This was their fifth straight WAC title and third consecutive Fiesta Bowl appearance; they had won the first two editions (19711972).

Game summary

Televised by Mizlou, the kickoff on Friday night was shortly after 6 p.m. MST.[1][2] It was the Fiesta Bowl's second night game, and the last until January 1987.

All-American freshman halfback Tony Dorsett gave Pittsburgh an early lead on his three-yard touchdown run. Arizona State responded, as its All-American halfback Woody Green ran it in from three yards to make it 7–7 at the end of the first quarter; the second quarter was scoreless.

A field goal by Danny Kush gave Arizona State a 10–7 lead after three quarters. Split end Greg Hudson increased the lead with a 38-yard touchdown reception from quarterback Danny White, and Green (who had 25 rushes for 131 yards) added two more touchdown runs. The game had thirteen punts and fourteen turnovers, with eight each by Pittsburgh.[4][5][6][7]

Hudson had eight receptions for 186 yards and was the offensive player of the game; cornerback Mike Haynes had two interceptions and took the defensive honor.

Scoring

First quarter
Second quarter
No scoring
Third quarter
Fourth quarter
Source:[4][5][6]

Statistics

Statistics    Pittsburgh    Arizona State
First Downs 12 18
Yards Rushing 47–151 45–164
Yards Passing 57 269
Passing 7–23–4 14–20–3
Return Yards 27 −4
Total Offense 70–208 65–433
Punts–Average 8–39.3 5–46.0
Fumbles–Lost 5–4 4–3
Turnovers 8 6
Penalties–Yards 4–34 7–73
Source:[4][5][6]

Aftermath

While in the WAC, Arizona State returned to the Fiesta Bowl twice more, in 1975 and 1977, their sole defeat. Pittsburgh came back in 1979 with another heralded freshman, quarterback Dan Marino, and won.

References

  1. ^ a b c Parascenzo, Marino (December 21, 1973). "Pitt 'ventures into unknown' in Fiesta tonight". Pittsburgh Post-Gazette. p. 12.
  2. ^ a b Franke, Russ (December 21, 1973). "Can Pitt slow up Arizona State?". Pittsburgh Press. p. 19.
  3. ^ "Dorsett discounts pressure". Reading Eagle. (Pennsylvania). Associated Press. December 21, 1973. p. 22.
  4. ^ a b c d "Sun Devils finally take charge, pull away from Pittsburgh, 28–7". Eugene Register-Guard. (Oregon). Associated Press. December 22, 1973. p. 1B.
  5. ^ a b c d Parascenzo, Marino (December 21, 1973). "Arizona State beats Pitt, 28–7, in Fiesta Bowl". Pittsburgh Post-Gazette. p. 1.
  6. ^ a b c d Franke, Russ (December 22, 1973). "Fiesta time a big disappointment". Pittsburgh Press. p. 6.
  7. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on January 4, 2015. Retrieved January 4, 2015.((cite web)): CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)