Penn State to face No. 21 Arkansas in Outback Bowl

Nittany Lions and Razorbacks will face off on New Year’s Day on ESPN2 at Noon

The Nittany Lions will face the Arkansas Razorbacks for the first time ever at noon on Jan. 1 at the Outback Bowl in Tampa Bay, Florida. Credit: Patrick Mansell / Penn State. Creative Commons

UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. — Penn State returns to the Outback Bowl for the fourth time and the first time since 2010 when the Nittany Lions (7-5) take on SEC foe No. 21/22/24 Arkansas (8-4) at Raymond James Stadium in Tampa, Florida, on Saturday, Jan. 1, at noon. The game will air on ESPN2.

It will be the first time the Nittany Lions and Razorbacks meet. The trip marks Penn State's 51st all-time bowl appearance. Penn State is tied for fifth nationally with 30 bowl victories and No. 7 in bowl winning percentage with a 30-18-2 post-season record (62.0) among schools with at least 20 postseason appearances.

“I am immensely proud of our student-athletes, coaches and staff for the hard work they have put into the preparations and execution of this season,” said Penn State Vice President for Intercollegiate Athletics Sandy Barbour. “This bowl is a great opportunity for our football family to be together one final time, while also representing our great University on a national stage. Tampa Bay is a tremendous location for our Penn State community to gather and support our student-athletes and program. Our deepest thanks to the Outback Bowl Committee and the Tampa Bay community for the invitation and eagerness to make this bowl experience top notch for our team. We are excited to see our Penn State family descend on Tampa Bay and passionately represent the Nittany Lions.”

“We are excited for our upcoming trip to Tampa Bay and to have the opportunity to represent Penn State in the Outback Bowl,” said Penn State head coach James Franklin. “I am thrilled for our guys to have one more month together as a family to prepare for Arkansas. Tampa Bay is a great destination for our loyal fan base, and we know they will be there in full force to help send this special group of seniors off on a high note. Thank you to the Outback Bowl Committee for this opportunity.”

Penn State is making its fourth Outback Bowl appearance with the last coming in the 2010 season, a 37-24 loss to Florida. Penn State also appeared in the Outback Bowl in 2006 (20-10 victory over Tennessee) and 1995 (43-14 win over Auburn).

This will be Penn State's first meeting with the Razorbacks. The Nittany Lions are 24-23 all-time against current SEC schools, having played 11 of the 14 teams in the league. The most recent meeting with an SEC team was a home win over Auburn, 28-20, on Sept. 18 this season.

Last Updated December 06, 2021