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On This Day in Penn State History

September 8, 1984

A fan stood up from his seat in Beaver Stadium and sat back down. The guy next to him stood up and sat down. Then the guy next to him stood up and sat down. And before you knew it the capacity crowd of 84,409 completed the first ever successful wave around Beaver Stadium.

Current offensive line coach Dick Anderson was walking the sidelines that day, but he was standing on the other side of the field in his debut as the head coach at Rutgers. D.J. Dozier had a 43 yard touchdown in the first quarter, but the game was tied 10-10 at halftime. The second half was a defensive struggle with Rutgers only gaining four rushing yards and completing only five passes. Penn State didn't do much better. Late in the third quarter the Lions were stopped on a fourth and two attempt at the Rutgers four yard line. But Penn State defensive end Dan Morgan turned around and sacked Rutgers quarterback Rusty Hochberg in the endzone. Nick Gancitano added a 36-yard field goal in the fourth quarter giving Penn State a slim 15-10 lead. Punter John Bruno took an intentional safety in the final seconds to complete a 15-12 Penn State victory.

The fans probably did a lot of waves to keep themselves entertained that season as the team was not very competitive. Disappointing losses to Texas, Alabama, West Virginia, and Notre Dame capped off a disappointing 6-5 season. After State suffered an embarrassing 31-11 season ending loss to Pitt in Beaver Stadium, Paterno called out his team saying they played like "a bunch of babies." It must have worked, because the next season Penn State won all 11 regular season games, but lost to Oklahoma in the Orange Bowl for the national championship.