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UNIVERSITY PARK, PA. - Penn State returns to the Fiesta Bowl for the first time the 1996 season, which was also its last Arizona bowl trip, when the Nittany Lions take on Pac-12 foe Washington in the Playstation Fiesta Bowl on Saturday, December 30 at 4 p.m. (ET). The game will air on ESPN.
The No. 9 Nittany Lions and the No. 11 Huskies were selected today for their third all-time meeting and second in a bowl game. The teams last met in the 1983 Aloha Bowl, which Penn State won 13-10. The trip marks Penn State's 48th all-time bowl appearance.
"I'm thrilled for our football student-athletes, coaches and staff who have worked tirelessly for this opportunity and have earned back-to-back berths in a New Year's Six bowl," stated Sandy Barbour, Penn State Director of Athletics. "This is a reward for them, and an opportunity to be together one more time and continue to create pride in our University. I'm also excited that our Penn State community will get to gather in Phoenix for the first time in more than 20 years to again celebrate the Penn State family! Sincere thanks to the Fiesta Bowl Committee and all the volunteers for their hospitality and work to make this bowl experience possible. We can't wait to see our Penn State family descend on Valley of the Sun to passionately support their Nittany Lions!"
"We are looking forward to heading to Fiesta Bowl and we are very grateful to the Fiesta Bowl Committee for the opportunity," Penn State Head Coach James Franklin said. "We are excited to keep our family together for another month to represent Penn State and the Big Ten Conference. We expect to see 107K strong out in full force in Glendale for one final game with this special group of seniors."
This is Penn State's seventh appearance in the Fiesta Bowl, which is the most of any bowl in program history. However, this is Penn State's first appearance in the Fiesta Bowl since the 1996 season when the Nittany Lions topped Texas, 38-15, on January 1, 1997. Curtis Enis was the offensive player of the game, while Brandon Noble was the defensive player of the game. The Nittany Lions are 6-0 in Fiesta Bowl games.
Penn State has appeared in the Fiesta Bowl: Dec. 25, 1977 against Arizona State (W, 42-30), Dec. 26, 1980 against Ohio State (W, 31-19), Jan. 1, 1982 against USC (W, 26-10), Jan. 2, 1987 against Miami (W, 14-10), Jan. 1, 1992 against Tennessee (W, 42-17) and Jan. 1, 1997 against Texas (W, 38-15).
Penn State is 2-0 all-time against the Huskies with the win in the 1983 Aloha Bowl and a 21-7 win at Washington in 1921.
The Nittany Lions are playing in a bowl game for the fourth consecutive year under Franklin and making their second consecutive New Year's Six bowl appearance after winning the 2016 Big Ten Championship and facing USC in the Rose Bowl.
Penn State is tied for fourth nationally with 28 bowl victories and No. 3 in bowl winning percentage with a 28-17-2 post-season record (61.7) among schools with at least 20 postseason appearances.
FIESTA BOWL GAME TICKET SALE TIMELINE
Eligible Nittany Lion Club Members -- online pre-sale requests begin Sunday, Dec. 3, immediately following announcement of Penn State's bowl game and run through Monday, Dec. 4 at 5 p.m.
Alumni Association Members -- online pre-sale requests runs Tuesday, Dec. 5 from 9 a.m. -- 5 p.m., pending availability.
General Public -- sale begins Wednesday, Dec. 6 at 10 a.m., pending availability.
Student Nittany Lion Club -- online pre-sale runs Monday, Dec. 4 from 7 a.m. -- 5 p.m.
Penn State Students -- online sale begins Wednesday, Dec. 6 at 7 a.m.
As a benefit of membership, Nittany Lion Club members can log onto Account Manager at
GoPSUsports.com/myticketportal this week and request tickets to any of Penn State's potential bowl games. All NLC ticket requests received by Monday, Dec. 4 at 5 p.m. will be allocated based on NLC point totals. The ability to request tickets does not guarantee a Nittany Lion Club member will receive tickets from Penn State's allotment. Ticket confirmations will be received within two business days from the close of the pre-sale.
Should any tickets from Penn State's bowl allotment remain available after the Nittany Lion Club pre-sale, Penn State Alumni Association members will be sent an email Monday evening with a promo code. They can request bowl game tickets when their pre-sale begins on Tuesday, Dec. 5 at 9 a.m. at GoPSUsports.com/myticketportal. Should an Alumni Association sale occur, seats will be assigned according to NLC point status first, followed by Alumni Association membership. Ticket confirmations will be received within two business days from the close of the pre-sale.
Any Nittany Lion Club members or Alumni Association members that need assistance can call 1-800-NITTANY or email GoLions@psu.edu starting on Monday at 8 a.m. until 5 p.m. every weekday.
Should any tickets from Penn State's bowl game allotment remain available after the Nittany Lion Club and Alumni Association members pre-sales, the general public can purchase tickets starting at 10 a.m. on Wednesday, Dec. 6 at GoPSUsports.com/myticketportal, 1-800-NITTANY (8 a.m.-5 p.m.) or by visiting the Bryce Jordan Center athletic ticket office, which is open daily from 9 a.m.-4:30 p.m.
Student Nittany Lion Club Pre-Sale for Student Bowl Tickets Runs Monday 7 a.m.-5 p.m.
Sale for General Student Bowl Ticket Allotment Begins Wednesday, Dec. 6
An allotment of bowl tickets is being held for Penn State students to purchase. Student Nittany Lion Club members will have an opportunity to buy bowl tickets online only on Monday, Dec. 4 from 7 a.m.-5 p.m. via Student Account Manager.
The sale for students for the Nittany Lions' bowl game will be held Wednesday, Dec. 6 at 7 a.m. online via ticketmaster.com. More details, including pick up information, will be announced later.
Official Bowl Tour Packages Available for Purchase Beginning Sunday Night
Penn Staters can join the Official Penn State Bowl Tour starting Sunday, Dec. 3. Bowl tour package information is available at GoPSUsports.com/bowlcentral. Game tickets are included as an option for purchase on the tour from PrimeSport, which is the official travel partner of Penn State Athletics and the Penn State Alumni Association. Bowl tour packages can be purchased directly at: https://www.primesport.com/d/penn-state-nittany-lions.
Seat location at the bowl game for all travel packages purchased with tickets will be assigned based on Nittany Lion Club priority points. Alumni and fans without NLC points can join the Nittany Lion Club by making a minimum donation $100.
The Nittany Lions claimed their second-straight 10-win regular season with a 10-2 mark, including a perfect 7-0 record at home for the second consecutive year. Penn State has trailed for just 37:42 this season and its two losses each came with less than two minutes remaining, on the road to Top 25 teams (No. 6 Ohio State; No. 24 Michigan State). The Nittany Lions have a balanced attack as they rank No. 7 in FBS in scoring offense (41.6) and scoring defense (15.5).
Running back Saquon Barkley (Coplay, Pa.) claimed a trio of major Big Ten awards -- Offensive Player of the Year, Running Back of the Year, Kick Return Specialist of the Year. He won offensive and running back honors for the second-straight season. Barkley leads the Big Ten and is second in FBS in all-purpose yards (179.5), is seventh in the country in scoring (10.5) and ranks 10th in FBS in kickoff returns (28.4). Quarterback Trace McSorley (Ashburn, Va.) leads the Big Ten and ranks 21st in FBS in passing yards (269.0) and is second in the conference and 14th in the country with 26 passing touchdowns.
Penn State is 24-14 all-time against current Pac-12 schools, having played every Pac-12 team except Utah. The most recent meeting with a Pac-12 team was in the 2017 Rose Bowl.
The Nittany Lions vs. Pac-12 teams overall: Arizona (1-0), Arizona State (1-0), California (3-1), Stanford (4-1), Oregon (3-1), Oregon State (1-0), Colorado (1-1), UCLA (2-4), USC (4-6), Washington (2-0), Washington State (2-0).
Penn State season ticket renewals and Nittany Lion Club membership renewals also are underway for the 2018 Penn State Football season presented by PSECU. The ticket invoice and Nittany Lion Club renewal deadline is Feb. 1, 2018. For information on joining the Nittany Lion Club and purchasing new 2018 season tickets, as well as club seating in Beaver Stadium, fans can visit www.PSUnrivaled.com, call 1-800-NITTANY weekdays from 8 a.m.-5 p.m. or visit the Bryce Jordan Center ticket office weekdays from 10 a.m-6 p.m.
Nearly 1,800 new season tickets have already been sold for the 2018 campaign.