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Penn State Football: Nittany Lions Set To Face Washington In Fiesta Bowl

by on December 03, 2017 3:47 PM

It might not be the College Football Playoffs but the Nittany Lions are still headed to a New Year’s Six bowl game. Penn State will travel to Arizona for the Fiesta Bowl, where the Nittany Lions will face Washington. The game kicks off at 4 p.m. on Dec. 30 and will air on ESPN.

Penn State is No. 9 and Washington is No. 11 in the College Football Playoff rankings released on Sunday.

This is the third time the Nittany Lions have faced Washington with Penn State going 2-0 against the Huskies in the previous meetings dating back to 1921 and 1983.

For the Nittany Lions the game will provide the team with a chance at some redemption after a Rose Bowl loss to USC last season and a bit of unique revenge against a Huskies team that bumped Penn State out of the playoff as the No. 4 seed.

Penn State has played in the Fiesta Bowl six times in history and won in all six appearances. The Nittany Lions most recently played in the game back in 1997, when Penn State beat Texas 38-15.

At a glance Washington and Penn State share a common opponent in Rutgers. The Huskies beat the Scarlet Knights 30-14 in New Jersey en route to a 10-2 season with wins over Washington State, Oregon, UCLA. The only two losses of the year for the Huskies came against Stanford and Arizona State on the road.

Washington boast the nation's 17th best scoring offense and 6th best scoring defense.

“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,” said 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,” 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.”


Ben Jones covers Penn State football and basketball for He's on Twitter as @Ben_Jones88.
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