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.