Penn State-Texas A&M Clash Set For Valero Alamo Bowl
Dec. 2, 2007
UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa.; - Penn State and Texas A&M will collide in the 2007 Valero Alamo Bowl in the fourth meeting between the schools and second in a post-season contest.
The Aggies today were selected to meet the Nittany Lions in the 15th Alamo Bowl, to be played in the 65,000-seat Alamodome in San Antonio on Saturday, December 29. Kickoff is at 7:00 p.m. CT and the contest will air on ESPN, the Penn State Sports Network and GoPSUsports.com, the official website of Penn State Athletics.
The Valero Alamo Bowl will be Joe Paterno's 500th game as head coach of the Nittany Lions.
The last Penn State-Texas A&M meeting came in the Nittany Lions' only other appearance in San Antonio, as they defeated the Aggies, 24-0, in the 1999 Alamo Bowl to finish 10-3. The game drew a standing room only crowd of 65,380, which remains second-largest in Alamo Bowl history. Penn State and Texas A&M also played a home and home series in 1979 and '80. The Aggies won, 27-14, in Beaver Stadium on Sept. 22, 1979. The Nittany Lions captured a 25-9 victory at Kyle Field on Sept. 20, 1980.
The Nittany Lions will be making their 34th post-season trip under Paterno, who is the all-time leader in bowl wins (22-10-1) and appearances. Paterno will be inducted into the National Football Foundation and College Hall of Fame on Tuesday, becoming just the third active coach to gain induction.
"We are delighted to be playing in the Alamo Bowl against Texas A&M," stated Paterno, who is in his 42nd season as head coach and has an overall mark of 371-125-3 (74.6). "We had a great time the last time we were there. San Antonio is a wonderful city. It will be a lot of fun for us. Hopefully we'll play well and give everyone a good game."
The Nittany Lions will bring an 8-4 record into the Alamo Bowl, with three of the losses by seven points or less. Penn State has won 30 of its last 39 games overall and ranks among the Top 15 nationally in the best cumulative record from 2005-07 (28-9).
The Aggies (7-5) are coming off a 38-30 victory over their archrival, No. 11 Texas, on Nov. 23. Prior to beating the Longhorns, Texas A&M lost consecutive games to Kansas, Oklahoma and Missouri -- teams ranked in the Top 10 in this week's Associated Press and USA Today Coaches polls.
The Nittany Lions are No. 3 in the nation with 25 post-season victories and first nationally in bowl winning percentage (66.7, 25-12-2) among schools with at least 10 bowl wins.
Penn State is 21-13 all-time against teams from the Big 12, with the last game against Nebraska in 2003. The Lions have played the Cornhuskers the most of any Big 12 team, holding a 7-6 series advantage. Iowa State and Oklahoma State are the only teams the Nittany Lions have not played.
The Nittany Lions are 6-2 vs. Big 12 teams in bowl games: Baylor (1-0), Kansas (1-0), Missouri (1-0), Oklahoma (0-2), Texas (2-0) and Texas A&M (1-0).
Paterno has an impressive 68.2 winning percentage in bowl games, third-best all-time among coaches with at least 12 bowl appearances. He is the only coach to win the Rose, Fiesta, Orange, Sugar and Cotton Bowls. Paterno has taken Penn State to 13 different post-season contests, winning in 11 locales, more than anyone in college football history.
Big Ten teams have earned a 7-6 overall record in the Valero Alamo Bowl.
Nittany Lion Club members and 2007 season ticket holders can purchase tickets today for the 2007 Valero Alamo Bowl at: http://gopsusports.cstv.com/tickets/psu-tickets.html. The general public can purchase tickets over the phone beginning Monday, Dec. 3 at 10:00 a.m. ET by calling (814) 865-5555 or (800) 863-3336.
Penn State students can purchase Valero Alamo Bowl tickets via a walk-up sale from on Saturday, Dec. 8 from 10 a.m.-3 p.m. at the Beaver Stadium ticket office adjacent to Gate E. There will be a two (2) ticket limit per student ID and tickets can be purchased with cash only.
The Nittany Lions are led by senior All-America linebacker Dan Connor, the school's career tackles leader with 410 and finalist for the Butkus and Bednarik Awards; junior linebacker Sean Lee; junior cornerback Justin King; sophomore defensive end Maurice Evans, a finalist for the Ted Hendricks Award; senior quarterback Anthony Morelli, the first Penn State signal-caller to throw for more than 2,000 yards in season twice, junior wide receivers Deon Butler, Jordan Norwood and Derrick Williams and senior tailback Rodney Kinlaw, who has rushed for 1,186 yards this year.
The Nittany Lion defense is ranked in the Top 10 nationally in rushing (6th, 87.9 ypg), scoring (7th, 17.6 ppg) and total defense (10th, 396.5 ypg), as well as sacks (2nd, 45) and tackles for loss (10th, 96). Penn State leads the Big Ten in sacks, and is No. 2 in rushing, scoring and total defense. The Nittany Lions have recorded two shutouts this season and held four other teams to either one offensive touchdown or field goals. Penn State has held eight opponents to 90 rushing yards or less in 2007.
Penn State has just three senior starters: Connor, Kinlaw and Morelli.
Penn State's loyal and enthusiastic fans came to Beaver Stadium to see the Nittany Lions in record numbers this season. A total of 762,419 fans attended the seven games in Beaver Stadium for a home record average of 108,917. The previous record was 107,576 for a six-game home schedule in 2001. Penn State has drawn seven of its top eight all-time home crowds over the past three seasons, led by 110,134 vs. Ohio State on Oct. 27 and 110,078 vs. Notre Dame on Sept. 8, the second and third-largest crowds in Beaver Stadium history, respectively.
Information on the Valero Alamo Bowl game, bowl events, area hotels and the San Antonio area can be found on the bowl's website at www.alamobowl.com.