Pitt vs. #18 Ohio State — 1988

It is crazy to think that for a majority of the history of college football Pitt vs. Ohio State was a legit rivalry.  These two teams are in such different places in the college football landscape these days with Ohio State being a destination for the elite coaches of the football world if and when a job opens up and Pitt being a stepping stone to schools once tiers beneath them.  Even in the 90’s when these two teams still played it was one-sided and awful if you were rooting for the Panthers.

So let us take a look back to a simpler time, the late 80’s, when Pitt was still respected and their games against the Buckeyes both still existed and were competitive.  From the New York Times, who has taken a similar route as Pitt in terms of reputation since 1988 if I may say so myself, like that little zinger fellow snobby sports fans?

PITTSBURGH, Sept. 17— Adam Walker ran for 179 yards and 3 touchdowns, scoring twice in the first six minutes of play following Ohio State mistakes, as Pitt routed the Buckeyes, 42-10, tonight.

Walker, a junior who played sparingly last season behind the tailback Craig (Ironhead) Heyward, scored on runs of 4, 23 and 2 yards as Pitt raced to a 28-3 halftime lead.

The quarterback Darnell Dickerson, constantly beating Ohio State’s defense to the outside on option plays, scored twice and rushed for 88 yards on 11 carries as the Panthers beat Ohio State for the first time since 1952. The Buckeyes had won seven of the last eight meetings, including three in a row.

The 42 points were the most against Ohio State since the Buckeyes’ 49-42 victory over Illinois in 1980. The loss was Ohio State’s worst since a 40-7 defeat to Washington in 1986.

Some Ohio State players said before the game that they had wanted to get even with Pitt (2-0) for routing its former coach, Earle Bruce, and his Northern Iowa team, 59-10, two weeks ago.

Ohio State’s Carlos Snow returned a kickoff 100 yards, the third-longest kick return touchdown in Ohio State history. Penn State 23, Boston College 20



Proud Again: The Story of the 1988 Pittsburgh Pirates

Here is a documentary about the 88 Pirates who were the first team to show off the basis of what would be the Bonds era Buccos. Split up into parts here they are piece by piece all though they may continue on their own from the first clip if you go to full screen mode.

San Diego Sockers vs. Pittsburgh Spirit

MISL action from February of 1985


Pittsburgh Maulers vs. Philadelphia Stars — USFL 1984

USFL action from 1984. Here is a little info from YouTube user USFL Forever who posted this video.

Philadelphia Stars Coach Jim Mora said that after he saw the film of the game with the Pittsburgh Maulers, he wasn’t as worried as he had been.

“I’m less upset now than I was before I looked at the film,” Mora told reporters Tuesday, after the Pittsburgh Maulers nearly pulled off an upset against the Stars.

The Stars managed a 23-17 victory, their 12th straight in the United States Football League, after a 49-yard punt return by Garcia Lane set up the winning touchdown, a five-yard pass from Chuck Fusina to Willie Collier in the final four minutes of the game.

Pittsburgh had dominated the first three quarters and led 17-12 going into the fourth.

With 43 seconds left the Maulers fought back to the Stars’ 6-yard line. But Philadelphia’s defense, led by linebacker Sam Mills, knocked the ball out of receiver Johnnie Dirden’s hands, and the Stars’ Pete Kugler recovered.

Philadelphia improved to 14-1, dropping Pittsburgh to 3-12.


1989 Pitt Panthers vs. #10 Syracuse Orangemen

A classic Eastern football matchup between Syracuse and Pitt. Electrifying beginning to the game where the score becomes 6-6 in the first 30 seconds. Some notable names in the game include Alex Van Pelt, Tony Siragusa, Swervin’ Curvin Richards, Steve Israel, Marc Spindler, Dan Crossman, and many more. Also they have a microphone right near Orangemen coach Dick MacPherson who constantly swears throughout the game. Lots of god damn’s and shits.

Amazing old school eastern football game, back when the Big East was still new and exciting and Pitt was still it.


January 13th, 1986 — Cleveland Force vs. Pittsburgh Spirit

The rivalry in the height of its relavence with Paul Child to boot. MISL action at its best.


USFL 1984 Week 12 – Pittsburgh Maulers vs. Houston Gamblers

1984 Week 12 – Saturday, May 12, 1984
Attendance: 24,880,

Jim Kelly tied a USFL record with five touchdown passes, including three to Richard Johnson and a 68-yard bomb to Ricky Sanders, as Houston routed Pittsburgh 47-26.

Kelly threw for 264 yards and four touchdowns in leading the Gamblers to a 34-7 halftime lead. He finished by completing 15 of 29 passes for 367 yards.

The five scoring passes, tying a mark set by three other USFL quarterbacks this season, give Kelly 28 for the season, breaking the fledgling league’s previous record of 27 set last season by Bobby Hebert of Michigan.



1984 Fiesta Bowl — Ohio State vs. Pitt

Foge Fazio’s Panthers take on the Buckeyes in a game that comes down to the end and not surprisingly has a very typical Pitt ending. Legendary Steelers bench warmer Mike Tomczak is starting for the Buckeyes in this game. John Congemi is the Panthers QB. Other Panthers legends in this game include Bill Fralic, Jimbo Sweeney, and Chris Doleman. Enjoy!