The Penn State Nittany Lions and Florida Gators will square-off in the 25th Anniversary Outback Bowl on New Year’s Day, bowl officials announced. It will be only the third meeting between the two schools’ in history and the fourth appearance for both schools in the Outback Bowl.
Penn State last played in the bowl against Tennessee in the 2007 game and Florida last played in Tampa in the 2006 game against Iowa.
“When you talk about tradition and history of college football it just doesn’t get any better than Penn State and the University of Florida,” said Outback Bowl President/CEO Jim McVay. “It’s our 25th anniversary game and we can’t think of a better way to celebrate it on New Year’s Day than with Coach Paterno’s Nittany Lions and Coach Urban Meyer’s Gators.”
“This team has worked hard all season and has been a great group to work with, stated Joe Paterno, who is in his 45th season as head coach and is the all-time leader in victories among major college coaches with a 401-133-3 (74.9) record. “I’m happy for the squad that their efforts will be rewarded with an opportunity to go to the Outback Bowl, where we have had some wonderful experiences, and be involved in a good, tough game. It will be fun to go back to the Tampa Bay area.”
“We are excited to hear that we are going to the Outback Bowl and play in another New Year’s Day game. We are proud of our history of playing in January Bowl games – not everyone gets to enjoy that experience,” adds Florida Head Coach Urban Meyer. “We’ve been fortunate around here to be in a bowl game for 20 consecutive years and I’ve told our players and staff to not take that for granted. This is a tremendous opportunity to continue to grow and develop as a football team, while having a week of hospitality in the great Gator city of Tampa. I have fond memories of my first bowl game at Florida in the 2006 Outback game. I remember the great job that Jim McVay and his staff did in hosting our football team. I want to thank Jim and the Outback Bowl Committee for inviting us back. We look forward to facing Penn State and one of the true legends in the game in Coach Joe Paterno. I have a tremendous amount of respect for Coach Paterno and I will be honored to have the opportunity to coach in the same game as him.”
“The Gators and Nittany Lions, this is a dream match-up between two of the most storied programs in all of college football,” adds Bowl Chairman Mitch Shriber. “This should be a great one!”
The Outback Bowl celebrates its 25th Anniversary this year and will be played on January 1 at 1:00 PM at Raymond James Stadium.