1978 Garden State Bowl
1234 Total
Rutgers 10008 18
Arizona State 071413 34
DateDecember 16, 1978
StadiumGiants Stadium
LocationEast Rutherford, New Jersey
MVPWR John Mistler (Arizona State)
Garden State Bowl

The 1978 Garden State Bowl, part of the 1978 bowl game season, took place on December 16, 1978, at Giants Stadium in East Rutherford, New Jersey. The competing teams were the Rutgers Scarlet Knights, which competed as a football independent, and the Arizona State Sun Devils, representing the Pacific-10 Conference (Pac-10). In the inaugural edition of the Garden State Bowl, Arizona State came-from-behind to defeat Rutgers 34–18.[2][3]


This was the seventh bowl game of the decade for Arizona State, who had finished 3rd in the Pacific-10 Conference. Rutgers began their season with a loss to #3 Penn State 20-17. They did not lost another game for two months, winning nine straight games against teams in the area (such as Bucknell, Connecticut, and Columbia). They lost their final game to Colgate at home, but the Scarlet Knights were still invited to their first ever bowl game, played in New Jersey, the same state the team played in.

Game summary

John Mistler caught 7 passes for 148 yards in an MVP effort as the Sun Devils pulled away in the second half. [4]


Rutgers was not invited to another bowl game until 2005, which coincidentally was against the Sun Devils. Arizona State did not reach a bowl game again until 1983.


  1. ^ National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA). "Bowl/All-Star Game Records" (PDF). 2011 NCAA Division I Football Records. NCAA.org. p. 37. Retrieved October 1, 2011.
  2. ^ Arizona State battles back to hand Rutgers a whipping
  3. ^ http://www.houseofsparky.com/2012/12/25/3801396/asu-bowls-1978-garden-state-bowl-rutgers
  4. ^ "Archived copy" (PDF). Archived from the original (PDF) on January 13, 2017. Retrieved January 13, 2017.CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)