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Penn State to Face No. 21 Arkansas in Outback Bowl

Courtesy of GoPSU Athletics

Nittany Lions and Razorbacks will face off on New Year’s Day on ESPN2 at Noon


UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. – Penn State returns to the Outback Bowl for the fourth time and the first time since 2010 when the Nittany Lions (7-5) take on SEC foe No. 21/22/24 Arkansas (8-4) at Raymond James Stadium in Tampa Bay on Saturday, Jan. 1 at noon (ET). The game will air on ESPN2.


The Nittany Lions and Razorbacks were selected today for their first meeting. The trip marks Penn State’s 51st all-time bowl appearance. Penn State is tied for fifth nationally with 30 bowl victories and No. 7 in bowl winning percentage with a 30-18-2 post-season record (62.0) among schools with at least 20 postseason appearances.


“I am immensely proud of our student-athletes, coaches and staff for the hard work they have put into the preparations and execution of this season,” said Penn State Vice President for Intercollegiate Athletics Sandy Barbour. “This bowl is a great opportunity for our football family to be together one final time, while also representing our great University on a national stage. Tampa Bay is a tremendous location for our Penn State community to gather and support our student-athletes and program. Our deepest thanks to the Outback Bowl Committee and the Tampa Bay community for the invitation and eagerness to make this bowl experience top notch for our team. We are excited to see our Penn State family descend on Tampa Bay and passionately represent the Nittany Lions.”


“We are excited for our upcoming trip to Tampa Bay and to have the opportunity to represent Penn State in the Outback Bowl,” said Penn State head coach James Franklin. “I am thrilled for our guys to have one more month together as a family to prepare for Arkansas. Tampa Bay is a great destination for our loyal fan base, and we know they will be there in full force to help send this special group of seniors off on a high note. Thank you to the Outback Bowl Committee for this opportunity.”


Penn State is making its fourth Outback Bowl appearance with the last coming in the 2010 season, a 37-24 loss to Florida. Penn State also appeared in the Outback Bowl in 2006 (20-10 victory over Tennessee) and 1995 (43-14 win over Auburn).


This will be Penn State’s first meeting with the Razorbacks. The Nittany Lions are 24-23 all-time against current SEC schools, having played 11 of the 14 teams in the league. The most recent meeting with an SEC team was a home win over Auburn, 28-20, on Sept. 18 this season.


On defense, Penn State closed out the regular season first in the Big Ten in red zone defense (66.7; 4th nationally), second in scoring defense (16.8; 7th), third in passing efficiency (111.98; 8th) and fourth in lowest explosive play percentage (9.81; 10th). The Nittany Lions had two All-Big Ten first-team selections for the fourth consecutive year on the defensive side of the ball. With defensive end Arnold Ebiketie‘s first-team honor, it marks the fourth consecutive season Penn State has had a defensive end on the first team. Safety Jaquan Brisker becomes the first defensive back to earn first-team laurels since Amani Oruwariye in 2018.


Offensively, senior wide receiver Jahan Dotson earned first-team All-Big Ten honors from the media and is a current semifinalist Walter Camp Player of the Year Award. He is the only wide receiver who  was a semifinalist for the Walter Camp Player of the Year Award. He is the only Power Five receiver and one of two FBS receivers with at least 90 receptions, 1,180 yards and 12 touchdowns in their first 12 games of the season, joining Western Kentucky’s Jerreth Sterns (127; 1,539; 12). Dotson is the first Big Ten player since Braylon Edwards (Michigan, 2004) to have at least 90 receptions, 1,180 yards and 12 touchdowns in their first 12 games of the season.


On special teams, redshirt senior punter Jordan Stout was named the Big Ten Eddleman-Fields Punter of the Year. Stout became the first Penn State player to win the Eddleman-Fields Punter of the Year award. Additionally, Stout is a finalist for the Ray Guy Award, recognizing the nation’s top punter.



  • Eligible Nittany Lion Club Members and Football Season Ticket Holders – online pre-sale requests are now available and run through Monday, Dec. 6 at 11:59 p.m.
  • Student Nittany Lion Club – online pre-sale runs Monday, Dec. 6 from 7 a.m. – 5 p.m.
  • Penn State Students – online sale begins Tuesday, Dec. 7 at 7 a.m. – 5 p.m., pending availability.
  • Alumni Association Members – online pre-sale requests run Tuesday, Dec. 7 from 10 a.m. – 11:59 p.m., pending availability.
  • General Public – sale begins Thursday, Dec. 9 at 10 a.m., pending availability.


As a benefit of membership, Nittany Lion Club (NLC) members and football season ticket holders can log onto Account Manager at GoPSUsports.com/accountmanagerand request tickets to Penn State’s bowl game. All NLC and football season ticket holder ticket requests received by Monday, Dec. 6 at 11:59 p.m. will be allocated based on NLC point totals. The ability to request tickets does not guarantee fans will receive tickets from Penn State’s allotment. Penn State hopes to honor all requests, however, may fill orders with lower priced tickets, reduced quantities or unfortunately, may not be able to provide tickets at all. NLC members and football season ticket holders will receive ticket confirmations as soon as possible.


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. 6 from 7 a.m. – 5 p.m., or until the allotment is exhausted. Penn State students who are not Student Nittany Lion Club members will be able to purchase tickets on Tuesday, Dec. 7 from 7 a.m. – 5 p.m. Mobile ticketing will be the exclusive delivery method for all student tickets. All student tickets will be assigned reserved seating locations once the sale closes. Sit by requests will not be accommodated. Students who purchase two tickets will have their two seats assigned together.


Should any tickets from Penn State’s bowl allotment remain available after the Nittany Lion Club, football season ticket holders, Student Nittany Lion Club and student ticket pre-sale, Penn State Alumni Association members will be sent an email with the ability to request bowl game tickets when their pre-sale begins on Tuesday, Dec. 7 at 10 a.m. via the link that will be sent via 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 as soon as possible.

Any Nittany Lion Club members, football season ticket holders or Alumni Association members that need assistance can call Customer Relations at 1-800-NITTANYMonday through Friday from 9 a.m. until 4 p.m. or email GoLions@psu.edu.

Should any tickets from Penn State’s bowl game allotment remain available, general public can purchase tickets starting at 10 a.m. on Thursday, Dec. 9 online.

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