ASU Football Bowl History: The 1978 Garden State Bowl Victory Against Rutgers

Mark Malone sure knew how to QB a football team. - ASU

ASU defeated Rutgers, 34-18 in the hostile territory of northern New Jersey.

Merry Christmas to Sun Devil Nation!

The Sun Devils were often invited to new bowl games, and their appearance in the 1978 Garden State Bowl was no exception to that trend. On December 16, 1978, ASU flew across the country to play the Rutgers Scarlet Knights in their home territory in front of 33,402 fans at Giants Stadium.

ASU's season was a success up to that point, going 8-3 in their first season of Pac-10 conference play. In previous years, they were a member of the WAC, but their inclusion into a premier conference was a nod to the dominating performance of the Sun Devils throughout the 1970's.

Arizona State's only losses came at the hands of Washington, Wazzu and Stanford. Their biggest win was a signature victory over then-undefeated Southern Cal, a season-defining win that ended up leaving USC in second place of the AP Poll when the final votes were tabulated.

The Garden State Bowl was supposed to be a nightmare for the boys from the desert, and the weather was expected to be frosty cold. Unfortunately for Rutgers, the temperature held steady at around 40 degrees, and the Sun Devils were able to keep lighting up the scoreboard in a 34-18 victory.

Rutgers started the game with a 10-0 lead, but ultimately were unable to control the football, fumbling the ball several times as the Devils took a 28-10 lead in the fourth. The game was much closer than the box score indicated, as the Scarlet Knights nearly scored on several occasions only to turn the ball over in dramatic fashion.

The Devils wouldn't play in another bowl for five seasons, so ending their 1970s run of success on a high note was essential. Tomorrow, we discuss the 1983 Fiesta Bowl.

X
Log In Sign Up

forgot?
Log In Sign Up

Please choose a new SB Nation username and password

As part of the new SB Nation launch, prior users will need to choose a permanent username, along with a new password.

Your username will be used to login to SB Nation going forward.

I already have a Vox Media account!

Verify Vox Media account

Please login to your Vox Media account. This account will be linked to your previously existing Eater account.

Please choose a new SB Nation username and password

As part of the new SB Nation launch, prior MT authors will need to choose a new username and password.

Your username will be used to login to SB Nation going forward.

Forgot password?

We'll email you a reset link.

If you signed up using a 3rd party account like Facebook or Twitter, please login with it instead.

Forgot password?

Try another email?

Almost done,

By becoming a registered user, you are also agreeing to our Terms and confirming that you have read our Privacy Policy.

Join House of Sparky

You must be a member of House of Sparky to participate.

We have our own Community Guidelines at House of Sparky. You should read them.

Join House of Sparky

You must be a member of House of Sparky to participate.

We have our own Community Guidelines at House of Sparky. You should read them.

Spinner.vc97ec6e

Authenticating

Great!

Choose an available username to complete sign up.

In order to provide our users with a better overall experience, we ask for more information from Facebook when using it to login so that we can learn more about our audience and provide you with the best possible experience. We do not store specific user data and the sharing of it is not required to login with Facebook.

tracking_pixel_9347_tracker