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Penn State to Face Memphis in the Goodyear Cotton Bowl

Courtesy of GoPSU sports

Nittany Lions and Tigers to square off in Dallas on Dec. 28


UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. – Penn State returns to the Goodyear Cotton Bowl for the first time since 1975 when the Nittany Lions (10-2) take on American Athletic Conference (AAC) foe Memphis (121) at AT&T Stadium in Dallas on Saturday, Dec. 28 at noon (ET). The game will air on ESPN.


The No. 10 Nittany Lions and the No. 17 Memphis were selected today for their first meeting. The trip marks Penn State’s 50th all-time bowl appearance.


“We couldn’t be more excited to head to the Cotton Bowl and have one more game with this 2019 team,” Penn State Head Coach James Franklin said. “Our players, coaches and staff will enjoy this next month together as we proudly represent Penn State and the Big Ten Conference. We know the Penn State faithful will turn out and take over Dallas to send our seniors out on a high note for our final family reunion this season!”


“I’m excited for our football program to have the opportunity to play in this year’s Cotton Bowl,” statedSandy Barbour, Penn State Vice President of Intercollegiate Athletics. “This is a tremendous reward for all of the hard work our student-athletes, coaches and staff have put in this season. To play in a New Year’s Six bowl for the third time in four years is a great honor and an accomplishment only a small number of teams in the country can make. Under James Franklin, Penn State has reestablished itself as one of the best and most consistent programs in the nation.


“I would also like to thank the Cotton Bowl committee and all the volunteers for their hospitality and work to make this bowl experience possible. We look forward to seeing our Penn State community gather for one final time in the 2019 season out in Dallas!”


Penn State is making its fourth Cotton Bowl appearance with the last coming in the 1974 season with a 41-20 win over Baylor. The Nittany Lions are 2-0-1 all-time in the Cotton Bowl. The Lions’ first Cotton Bowl appearance with a 13-13 tie against SMU in the 1948 game and also topped Texas, 30-6, in the 1972 contest.


This will be Penn State’s first meeting with the Tigers. The Nittany Lions are 77-24-4 all-time against current American Athletic Conference (AAC) schools, having played nine of the 12 teams in the league. The most recent meeting with an AAC team was against Temple in 2016, a 34-27 Penn State win.


The Nittany Lions vs. AAC teams overall: Cincinnati (8-1), East Carolina (2-0), Houston (2-1), Navy (19-17-2), SMU (1-0-1), Temple (40-4-1), Tulane (1-0), UCF (3-1), USF (1-0). Penn State has never faced Connecticut, Memphis or Tulsa.


The Nittany Lions are playing in a bowl game for the sixth consecutive year and third New Year’s Six bowl under Franklin. The Nittany Lions topped No. 11 Washington in the 2017 PlayStation Fiesta Bowl and faced USC in the 2017 Rose Bowl after winning the 2016 Big Ten Championship.


Penn State is tied for fourth nationally with 29 bowl victories and No. 6 in bowl winning percentage with a 29-18-2 post-season record (61.2) among schools with at least 20 postseason appearances.



Eligible Nittany Lion Club Members – online pre-sale requests are now available and run through Monday, Dec. 9 at 5 p.m.

Alumni Association Members – online pre-sale requests run Tuesday, Dec. 10 from 10 a.m. – 5 p.m., pending availability.

General Public – sale begins Wednesday, Dec. 11 at 10 a.m., pending availability.

Student Nittany Lion Club – online pre-sale runs Monday, Dec. 9 from 7 a.m. – 5 p.m.

Penn State Students – online sale begins Wednesday, Dec. 11 at 7 a.m.


As a benefit of membership, Nittany Lion Club members can log onto Account Manager at GoPSUsports.com/accountmanager and request tickets to any of Penn State’s possible bowl games. All NLC ticket requests received by Monday, Dec. 9 at 5 p.m. will be allocated based on NLC point totals. The ability to request tickets does not guarantee a Nittany Lion Club member will receive tickets from Penn State’s allotment. NLC members will receive ticket confirmations within three business days from the close of the pre-sale.


Should any tickets from Penn State’s bowl allotment remain available after the Nittany Lion Club pre-sale, Penn State Alumni Association members will be sent an email Monday evening with a promo code. They can request bowl game tickets when their pre-sale begins on Tuesday, Dec. 10 at 10 a.m. via the link and promo code that will be sent via email from the Alumni Association. Should an Alumni Association sale occur, seats will be assigned according to NLC point status first, followed by Alumni Association membership. Alumni Association members will receive ticket confirmations within three business days from the close of the pre-sale.


Any Nittany Lion Club members or Alumni Association members that need assistance can call Customer Relations at 1-800-NITTANY Monday through Friday at 8 a.m. until 5 p.m. or email GoLions@psu.edu.


Should any tickets from Penn State’s bowl game allotment remain available after the Nittany Lion Club and Alumni Association members pre-sales, the general public can purchase tickets starting at 10 a.m. on Wednesday, Dec. 11 online, by phone at 1-800-NITTANY(8 a.m.-5 p.m.) or by visiting the Athletic Ticket Office in the Bryce Jordan Center, which is open daily from 9 a.m.-4:30 p.m.


Student Nittany Lion Club Pre-Sale for Student Bowl Tickets Runs Monday 7 a.m.-5 p.m.

Sale for General Student Bowl Ticket Allotment Begins Wednesday, Dec. 11

An allotment of bowl tickets is being held for Penn State students to purchase. Student Nittany Lion Club members will have an opportunity to buy bowl tickets online only through Student Account Manager on Monday, Dec. 9 from 7 a.m.-5 p.m., or until the allotment is exhausted.


The general student sale for the Nittany Lions’ bowl game will be held Wednesday, Dec. 11 at 7 a.m. online. More details, including pick up information, will be announced later.


Official Bowl Tour Packages Available for Purchase Beginning Sunday Night

Penn Staters can join the Official Penn State Bowl Tour starting Sunday, Dec. 8. Bowl tour package information is available at GoPSUsports.com/bowlcentral. Game tickets are included as an option for purchase on the tour from Anthony Travel, which is the official travel partner of Penn State Athletics and the Penn State Alumni Association. Bowl tour packages can be purchased directly at:www.PennStateSportsTravel.com.


Seat location at the bowl game for all travel packages purchased with tickets will be assigned based on Nittany Lion Club priority points. Alumni and fans without NLC points can join the Nittany Lion Club by making a minimum donation of $100.


The Nittany Lions claimed their third 10-win regular season in the last four years with a 10-2 mark. The Nittany Lion defense is among the stingiest in the country, ranking No. 7 in scoring defense (14.1), No. 8 in rushing defense (97.7), No. 10 in sacks (3.25) and No. 13 in tackles for loss (7.7). Offensively, Penn State accounts for 402.2 yards and 34.3 points per game.


Sophomore linebacker Micah Parsons (Harrisburg, Pa.) and junior defensive end Yetur Gross-Matos lead the Penn State defense. Parsons, who was named the Big Ten Linebacker of the Year earlier this week, ranks No. 8 in the conference with 7.9 tackles per game. He leads the Nittany Lions with 95 tackles, including 11.0 tackles for loss. He is the first Penn Stater with 90 tackles and 10 tackles for loss since Mike Hull in 2014. Gross-Matos, who earned first-team All-Big Ten accolades, posted 14.0 tackles for loss, including 8.5 sacks in 11 games this season. He is No. 23 in the country in sacks per game (0.77) and No. 27 in tackles for loss per game (1.3).


Sophomore wide receiver KJ Hamler (Pontiac, Mich.) and sophomore tight end Pat Freiermuth (Merrimac, Mass.) pace the offense and each earned second-team All-Big Ten honors. Hamler averages 15.98 yards per reception and is No. 6 in the conference with 71.5 receiving yards per game and No. 5 in receiving touchdowns (8). Freiermuth has seven receiving scores this season to rank No. 7 in the B1G.

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