Dec 06, 2009

LSU And Penn State To Play In Capital One Bowl

Louisiana State University and Penn State University have been selected to play in this year’s Capital One Bowl.  The game — played on January 1 at 1:00 p.m. and featuring two of the nation’s top defensive units — will be televised nationally on ABC.

“The Capital One Bowl is truly the premier non-BCS bowl game in terms of opponents and television ratings,” said Hogan. “When you think about LSU versus Penn State, that tradition certainly continues and tickets will surely be hard to come by.”

LSU finished the regular season 12th in the Bowl Championship Series standings (13th in ESPN/USA Today Coaches’ poll and AP) with a 9-3 record (5-3 SEC).  The Tigers feature one of the nation’s top defenses as they rank in the top 20 in scoring (12th, 16.0 ppg) and pass efficiency defense (19th, 107.98 rtg.).  All three of LSU’s losses have been by 10 points or less, including defeat at the hands of the nation’s No. 1 (Florida) and No. 2 (Alabama) ranked teams. 

The Tigers are 1-1 all time in Orlando bowl games.  Its most recent game in The City Beautiful came in the 2005 Capital One Bowl, a thrilling 30-25 last-second loss to Iowa that ranks as one of the best games in Capital One Bowl history.  Notably, it was also LSU’s last non-conference loss.

Penn State and the NCAA’s all-time winningest coach, Joe Paterno, come to Orlando for the fifth time and its first since 2003.  The Nittany Lions lone win in four tries was a 31-13 victory over Tennessee in 1994.

PSU will enter its New Year’s Day matchup with a 10-2 record (6-2 Big Ten).  The Nittany Lions ended the regular season ranked 13th in the BCS standings, 9th in the ESPN/USA Today Coaches’ poll and 11th in the AP poll.  Their strength is clearly on the defensive side of the ball as they are ranked in the top 12 nationally in total defense (8th, 227.1), rushing defense (10th, 93.9) and scoring defense (4th, 11.8).

This year’s meeting will be just the second in the storied histories of these two programs.  The first came in the 1974 Orange Bowl, a game that saw the sixth-ranked Lions defeat the No. 13 Tigers, 16-9, with the deciding touchdown scored by Heisman winner John Cappelletti.

The Capital One Bowl Contract Signing Luncheon – featuring head coaches and athletics directors from participating schools — will be held at Noon on Dec. 10 at Florida Citrus Bowl Stadium’s Varsity Club and is open to the public.  Tickets are $25 per person and registration is now open.


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