Penn State will be going to a bowl game, but not a bowl the team and fans had hoped for. The Nittany Lions will play on January 2nd against Houston in the TicketCity Bowl in Dallas.
Penn State was passed over by three bowls, who instead took Iowa, Purdue and Ohio State–all teams that Penn State beat this season and finished ahead of in the conference. Still, the Nittany Lions will face a stiff test against Houston. The Cougars were posed for a BCS bowl until Southern Mississippi beat them last Saturday in the Conference USA Championship. Houston finished the season at 12-1, scoring 50.8 points per game.
Despite falling to a bowl that many believe to be less prestigious, Houston is the best opponent Penn State could have hoped for. The Cougars are ranked ahead of Penn State and have the best offense in the country. Big Ten teams that finished behind Penn State in the standings got picked first, but the Nittany Lions will still play in January against a quality opponent.
Coach Tom Bradley will be leading Penn State for the first, and possibly only, time in a bowl game. He will have to use every defensive trick that he knows to contain Houston quarterback Case Keenum. Penn State quarterback Matt McGloin will look to have a good performance after struggling last year in the Outback Bowl against Florida.