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Dec. 31, 2009
ORLANDO, Fla.; December 31, 2009 - Two of the nation's storied powers will meet for just the second time when Penn State clashes with LSU on Friday, January 1 in the 64th Capital One Bowl.
All Penn State fans are encouraged to wear white to the Capital One Bowl, as Penn State (10-2) and LSU (9-3) clash for the first time in 36 years. The contest will be played at Florida Citrus Bowl Stadium (65,438). The game will kick at 1:05 p.m. ET and air on ESPN on ABC, Sports USA Radio and the Penn State Sports Network.
The only other meeting between Penn State and LSU resulted in a 16-9 Nittany Lion win in the 1974 Orange Bowl.
Penn State is ranked No. 9 in the USA Today Coaches poll and No. 11 in the Associated Press poll. LSU is No. 13 in both polls.
The final bowl events for the Nittany Lions today were attending the Capital One Bowl Kickoff Luncheon and visiting Florida Citrus Bowl Stadium for a team photo. ESPN college football analyst Todd Blackledge, who led Penn State to the 1982 National Championship, was the master of ceremonies at the luncheon. Penn State freshmen Andre Dupree, Stephen Joseph and Mike Wallace participated in a talent contest against a trio of LSU players and the crowd heard from coaches Joe Paterno and Les Miles.
College football's winningest coach with a 393-129-3 (75.1) record in his 44th season, Paterno participated in his final pre-game news conference today.
"LSU is one talented team," said the Hall of Fame coach. "They are a very good team that is very well coached. They lost three very close football games to good teams...I'm worried about their speed, sure. We've won 50 games the past five years; we've been a good football team. The Big Ten's got some good football teams."
Penn State is 50-13 (79.3) since the start of the 2005 season, the nation's No. 8 winning percentage over that span. LSU is No. 9 with a 51-14 (78.4) mark over the past five seasons. Penn State will be playing in its 36th bowl game under Paterno, who is the all-time leader in post-season appearances and victories (23-11-1 record). The Nittany Lions were No. 13 in the final Bowl Championship Series rankings. Penn State has earned its 24th New Year's bowl bid under the Hall of Fame coach, who owns a 16-7 mark in such contests. The Nittany Lions have posted Paterno's Football Bowl Subdivision record 21st season with at least 10 victories.
Penn State will be playing in its fifth Capital One Bowl and has a 1-3 record in the contest. The Nittany Lions lost to Auburn, 13-9, in the 2003 Capital One Bowl in their last trip to Orlando. Penn State lost to Clemson in the 1988 game, defeated Tennessee, 31-13, in the 1994 contest and lost to Florida, 21-6, in the 1998 game.
Penn State ranks among the nation's best in all-time victories, bowl visits and success. The Nittany Lions are seventh nationally with 810 victories. Penn State has an all-time record of 810-351-42 in its 123rd season. The Nittany Lions are No. 3 in the nation with 26 post-season victories, No. 8 with 41 bowl appearances and fourth nationally in bowl winning percentage (65.8, 26-13-2) among schools with at least 10 bowl victories. Penn State is 9-3 in post-season contests since beginning Big Ten play in 1993.
Penn State has an all-time record of 16-16 vs. current members of the Southeastern Conference. The Nittany Lions are 8-5 in bowl games vs. SEC teams, winning six of the last eight. The last meeting resulted in a 20-10 Penn State victory over Tennessee in the 2007 Outback Bowl. Penn State is 7-4 vs. SEC opponents in post-season contests under Paterno.
The Nittany Lions are 8-5 all-time vs. SEC teams in bowl games: Alabama (1-2), Auburn (1-1), Florida (0-2), Georgia (1-0), Kentucky (1-0), LSU (1-0) and Tennessee (3-0).
Paterno has an impressive 67.14 winning percentage in bowl games (23-11), narrowly trailing Bobby Bowden (67.18, 21-10-1) for the second-best mark all-time among coaches with at least 12 bowl appearances. Georgia Tech's Bobby Dodd is first at 69.2 (9-4). Paterno is the only coach to win the Rose, Fiesta, Orange, Sugar and Cotton Bowls. He has taken Penn State to 13 different post-season contests, winning in 11 locales, more than anyone in college football history.
Information on the Capital One Bowl game and bowl events can be found on the bowl's website at http://www.FCSports.com.