Gators Heading to Outback Bowl

After weeks of speculation, the Gators accepted an invitation to the Outback Bowl against Penn State. It will be Florida's fourth appearance in the Outback Bowl, with the last coming in a victory over Iowa in 2005. The Gators will make their 20th-straight bowl appearance, which is the longest in the SEC and second longest in the country.

"We are excited to hear that we are going to the Outback Bowl and play in another New Year's Day game," head coach Urban Meyer said. "We are proud of our history of playing in January Bowl games – not everyone gets to enjoy that experience. We've been fortunate around here to be in a bowl game for 20 consecutive years and I've told our players and staff to not take that for granted. This is a tremendous opportunity to continue to grow and develop as a football team, while having a week of hospitality in the great Gator city of Tampa."

The game will take place January 1 at 1 p.m. on ABC.

It will be the third time the Gators have played Penn State. Florida won 17-7 in the first matchup between the two, coming in the 1962 Gator Bowl. More recently, Florida defeated the Nittany Lions 31-24 in the Citrus Bowl on January 1, 1998.

"I have fond memories of my first bowl game at Florida in the 2006 Outback game. I remember the great job that Jim McVay and his staff did in hosting our football team. I want to thank Jim and the Outback Bowl Committee for inviting us back. We look forward to facing Penn State and one of the true legends in the game in Coach Joe Paterno. I have a tremendous amount of respect for Coach Paterno and I will be honored to have the opportunity to coach in the same game as him."

Penn State averages 142.8 yards per game on the ground, led by running backs Evan Royster and Silas Redd. Royster, a senior, has rushed for 916 yards and six touchdowns this season. Redd, a freshman, has rushed for 424 yards and two touchdowns.

After uncertainty at the quarterback position, sophomore Matt McGloin took over the job five games ago. He is 101-for-174, throwing for 1,337 yards and 13 touchdowns, while only four interceptions this season. McGloin averages 167.1 passing yards per game.

The Penn State defense is allowing 22.6 points per game.

"When you talk about tradition and history of college football it just doesn't get any better than Penn State and the University of Florida," said Outback Bowl President/CEO Jim McVay. "It's our 25th anniversary game and we can't think of a better way to celebrate it on New Year's Day than with Coach Paterno's Nittany Lions and Coach Urban Meyer's Gators."


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