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Media / bowl history
Date: Tuesday, December 28, 1999
Bowl games are built on tradition and in seven short years the SYLVANIA Alamo Bowl has built a tradition of matching big-name teams in entertaining match-ups. And there is little chance that the 1999 SYLVANIA Alamo Bowl could have matched two bigger, more tradition-rich names than Penn State and Texas A&M.
When the legendary Joe Paterno and his #13 Penn State Nittany Lions in their plain white and navy uniforms stepped on the Alamodome turf to face R.C. Slocum and all of the traditions of #18 Texas A&M, a record crowd of 65,380 was on hand as well as another 6.4 million watching the game on ESPN.
The Texas A&M faithful, however, had little to cheer about as quarterback Randy McCown had his first two pass attempts intercepted including a 34 yard return for the first score of the game by Penn State's Derek Fox.
While the quick, dominating Penn State defense stifled the A&M offense, Penn State quarterback Rashard Casey extended the lead to 14-0 with a 45 yard touchdown strike to Eddie Drummond in the second quarter. Casey's four yard touchdown run at the start of the fourth quarter stretched the Nittany Lions lead to 21-0. With his strong performance in his first start of the season, Casey earned the SYLVANIA Alamo Bowl Offensive MVP honors.
Penn State kicker Travis Forney closed out the scoring with a 39 yard field goal as the Nittany Lions recorded the second shutout in Alamo Bowl history as they beat Texas A&M 24-0.
But this night was not about offense for Penn State, it was about defense. In defensive coordinator Jerry Sandusky's final game at the helm of the Penn State defense, the Nittany Lions notched their first bowl shutout in school history. As a tribute to his 32 year coaching career at Penn State, Sandusky received his first-ever shoulder ride off the field by his players.
All-American linebacker and SYLVANIA Alamo Bowl Defensive MVP LaVar Arrington led the defensive charge for Penn State. In his last game before being selected as the second pick in 2000 NFL Draft, Arrington shattered the SYLVANIA Alamo Bowl record for tackles with 14.
Defensive end Courtney Brown, the first pick in the 2000 NFL Draft, and his teammates kept the Texas A&M offense off track as they pressured McCown into a record four interceptions.
There were few bright spots for Texas A&M. All-American punter Shane Lechler tied two SYLVANIA Alamo Bowl records with longest punt (59 yards) and best punting average (52 yards). Senior defensive back Jason Webster was voted the 1999 recipient of the Fred Jacoby Sportsmanship award.
The 24-0 victory gave Penn State coach Joe Paterno an impressive overall bowl record of 20-9-1. Penn State football is now 23-11-2 all-time in bowl games.
The standing room only crowd of 65,380 was the largest football attendance in SYLVANIA Alamo Bowl and Alamodome history. The record attendance surpassed the 64,597 that attended the 1995 Builders Square Alamo Bowl and 65,035 that attended the 1999 Dr. Pepper Big 12 Championship.
The bowl's 5.15 rating on ESPN was the highest rated of the 84 college football games on ESPN and ESPN2 in 1999, including the 11 other bowl games the network broadcasts, and reached a viewing audience of over 6.4 million. The ESPN broadcast was the bowl's second highest rated game and the bowl now has three of the top six most-watched college bowl games in ESPN history.
In seven years, the bowl has now contributed $19 million to higher education with $15.5 million in bowl team payouts and $3.5 million in Big 12 Championship team payouts.
Penn State linebacker LaVar Arrington registered an Alamo Bowl record 14 tackles on his way to being named Defensive MVP. Nittany Lions quarterback Rashard Casey earned Offensive MVP Texas A&M's All-American punter Shane Lechler tied the SYLVANIA Alamo Bowl records for longest punt (59 yards) and highest punt average (52.0 yards).