Penn State Heading to Rose Bowl After Just Missing College Football Playoffs

UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. – Penn State returns to the Rose Bowl and also makes its first trip to a California bowl for the first time since the 2008 season when the Nittany Lions take on Pac-12 foe USC in the 103rd annual Rose Bowl Game presented by Northwestern Mutual on Monday, January 2 at 5 p.m. (ET). The game will air on ESPN. The Nittany Lions last played in the “Granddaddy of Them All” in 2009.

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The No. 5 Nittany Lions and the No. 9 Trojans were selected today for their 10th all-time meeting and third in the Rose Bowl Game. The teams last met in the 2009 Rose Bowl Game, which USC won, 38-24. The trip marks Penn State’s 47th all-time bowl appearance.

“I’m thrilled that we’ll be representing the Big Ten Conference as we travel to Pasadena for the 103rd Rose Bowl,” stated Sandy Barbour, Penn State Director of Athletics. “This is an opportunity for this group of young men to be together yet one more time, proudly representing the Blue and White as they have done all season. It also gives our Penn State family a chance to gather in Southern California for the first time since the 2009 Rose Bowl, and we know our Nittany Lion community will show up in strong support of this football team, and our great University. A sincere thank you to the Rose Bowl Committee and the many volunteers for the work that they do to make this experience one of a kind! We look forward to seeing all great Penn Staters in Pasadena.”

“We are very appreciative of the Rose Bowl Committee and are excited to be heading to Pasadena,” Penn State Head Coach James Franklin said. “This season has been very special in a number of ways and we are looking forward to keeping our family together for another month. The Rose Bowl is the “Granddaddy of Them All” and we are proud to represent Penn State and the Big Ten Conference. We want to see our amazing fans in Pasadena to continue this fantastic ride on January 2.”

This will be Penn State’s fourth appearance in the Rose Bowl Game, with the last time coming in the meeting against the Trojans in 2009. Penn State is 1-2 all-time in the Rose Bowl. The Lions made their first-ever bowl appearance in the Rose Bowl against USC in 1923, a 14-3 loss. Penn State did not return to the Rose Bowl against until 1995 when Ki-Jana Carter led the Nittany Lions to a 38-20 win over Oregon.

Penn State is tied for fourth nationally with 28 bowl victories and No. 3 in bowl winning percentage with a 28-16-2 post-season record (63.0) among schools with at least 20 postseason appearances.

The Nittany Lions just missed out on the College Football Playoffs finishing fifth with the top four going. Washington was No. 4, Clemson was No. 3 and Ohio State, who Penn State beat, was No. 2. Alabama was No. 1.

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