Lions Set To Face Gators in Outback Bowl

Who: Penn State Nittany Lions (7-5) vs. Florida Gators (7-5)

When: Saturday, January 1 at 1:00 p.m.

Where to Watch: ABC

Series: Florida 2-0

After disappointing seasons for both teams, the University of Florida Gators and the Penn State Nittany Lions will take to the field at the Raymond James Stadium in Tampa Florida to compete in the Outback Bowl.

Florida, which was ranked fourth in the nation to start the season, stumbled in its first year without superstar quarterback Tim Tebow and what has turned out to be its last year with Head Coach Urban Meyer, who is stepping down because of family and health issues. This was Florida’s worst season since a 7-5 campaign in 2004, the year before Meyer took over. Since then, the Gators have gone 64-15 while also winning two BCS National Championships.

Across the sideline sits an octogenarian Joe Paterno, who is looking for a record 25th career bowl win amid rumors that this will also be his last game. Paterno reiterated at a press conference on Tuesday that he had not thought about stepping down and that the whispers of his deteriorated health were false. Three of Penn State’s five losses this year came at the hands of BCS winners from the previous season (Alabama, Iowa, and Ohio State) and a quarterback controversy has undergirded the season’s narrative since mid-season when Scrantonian Matt McGloin took the place of freshman Rob Bolden after the latter suffered a concussion during the game against Minnesota.

Florida will be without four starters for the game, including junior cornerback Janoris Jenkins, who has snatched three interceptions so far this year. The only Nittany Lion of note to not make the trip to Florida is third-string quarterback Kevin Newsome who is considering a transfer at the end of the season.

Will this game be the jumpstart for the 2011 season that JoePa is looking for, or will Nittany Lion fans leave the Sunshine State disappointed! Let us know what you think below and tune in on Saturday to find out!

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About the Author

Dan Vecellio

Dan is a graduate student in meteorology, hailing from Bradford, Pennsylvania. His interests include sports, Penn State and commons cheesesteaks. Feel free to contact me through my email or follow me on Twitter.

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