|1961 Gator Bowl|
|Date||December 30, 1961|
QB Galen Hall (Penn State) |
HB Joe Auer (Georgia Tech)
|United States TV coverage|
The 1961 Gator Bowl was an American college football bowl game played on December 30, 1961 at Gator Bowl Stadium in Jacksonville, Florida. The game pitted the Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets and the Penn State Nittany Lions.
The Yellow Jackets managed to have a winning season for the first time in two years, with highlights being a win over #7 ranked Rice and a four game winning streak in the middle season, with losses to LSU, Tennessee, and Alabama compounding their season. This was the third straight bowl appearance in the Gator Bowl.
Penn State started the season ranked #7, though a loss to Miami early in the season dropped them out. Penn state had a three game winning streak going into this bowl game, which was their third straight bowl appearance.
- Georgia Tech - Safety
- Georgia Tech - Joe Auer, 68 yard touchdown run (Billy Lothridge kick)
- Penn State - Al Gursky, 13 yard touchdown pass from Galen Hall (Don Jonas kick)
- Penn State - Roger Kochman, 27 yard touchdownpass from Hall (Jonas kick)
- Penn State - Hal Powell, 35 yard touchdown pass from Hall (kick failed)
- Georgia Tech - Auer, 14 yard touchdown run (run failed)
- Penn State - Jonas, 23 yard field goal
- Penn State - Buddy Torris, 1 yard touchdown run(Jonas kick)
For Penn State, Galen Hall threw 12-of-22 for 175 yards and three touchdowns in a MVP effort. Joe Auer rushed for 98 yards on 10 carries for Georgia Tech in an MVP effort. Georgia Tech outrushed and outpassed Penn State (211 to 138 and 201 to 175, respectively), but the Yellow Jackets turned the ball over five times, while the Nittany Lions only turned it over once. 
The Nittany Lions went to three more bowl games in the decade, two of them being Gator Bowls. Georgia Tech went to three more bowl games in the decade (the latter being Dodd's last game as coach), with one being a Gator Bowl.