This is part of a five-part series by Victory Bell Rings on the ten greatest performances by Penn State players in Super Bowl history. You can catch up by following the links below.
10. Andre Collins/Tim Johnson – Linebacker/Defensive Lineman, 1992, Washington Redskins: Our only tie of our rankings, fittingly, goes to two teammates. Super Bowl XXVI pitted the Washington Redskins vs the Buffalo Bills at the Metrodome in Minneapolis, MN. The game was won 37-24 by Washington, led by game MVP Mark Rypien.
Tim Johnson, drafted in the 4th round (141st overall) in the 1987 NFL draft, was a key member of the 1986 Penn State National Championship team. In the Super Bowl, he had 3.5 tackles, including a tackle for a loss he shared with Andre Collins in the 2nd quarter against Thurman Thomas. With Buffalo driving in the third quarter, Johnson made a downfield tackle of wide receiver Don Beebe short of the first down marker. In the fourth quarter, Buffalo had just scored to make it 37-17, and recovered an onside kick. A 13 yard shotgun draw play from running back Kenneth Davis got Buffalo a 1st and goal. They tried to run the same play again to catch Washington off-guard, but Johnson made the tackle after only a three yard gain.
Andre Collins, drafted in the 2nd round (46th overall) in the 1990 NFL Draft, was the team’s leading tackler that season with 151 tackles. In the Super Bowl, he had 4.5 tackles and 1.5 tackles for a loss, including the aforementioned shared tackle for loss with Tim Johnson. Teammate Brad Edwards stole the show on defense with 4 tackles, 5 pass deflections, and two picks with 56 return yards, but Collins led the team in tackles from his linebacker position. He also keyed the Redskins defense that shut-out Buffalo in the first half, making them only the 9th team in history to do so. His biggest stop was with the Bills driving in the 2nd quarter trying to get a score before halftime; on a 2nd and two, he stuffed Thurman Thomas for a loss of four yards.
Ironically, Matt Millen was also on this team, his last season in the NFL.
9. Matt Millen – Linebacker, 1990, San Francisco 49ers: Super Bowl XXIV was a matchup of the San Francisco 49ers and the Denver Broncos at the Superdome in New Orleans, LA. The game was the most lopsided game in Super Bowl history as the 49ers rolled to a 55-10 victory, led by MVP Joe Montana.
Matt Millen, drafted in the 2nd round (43rd overall) in the 1980 NFL Draft, was part of a dominating 49ers defense that included Ronnie Lott, Charles Haley and Bill Romanowski. In the Super Bowl, he had 5.5 tackles and 1.5 tackles for a loss. Two of his tackles came on Denver’s first drive of the game, bringing down running back Bobby Humphrey and quarterback John Elway on consecutive plays. San Francisco quickly put the game out of reach with scores in six of their first eight drives, but the 49ers defense prevented Denver from keeping pace. After a San Francisco touchdown to make it 20-3, Millen stopped Humphrey for a three yard loss on the first Broncos play. In the third quarter, the game well out of reach at 41-3, Millen teamed up with Haley to stop Humphrey for a 2 yard loss on 2nd and goal from the 1.
Check back tomorrow for numbers 8 and 7!