After an up and down season, the Nittany Lions have a bowl destination. Penn State will face Kentucky at 1 p.m. on New Years Day in the Citrus Bowl held in Orlando, Fla.
ABC will broadcast the game.
The meeting will mark the sixth between the two programs and Penn State’s fifth consecutive bowl appearance. The Nittany Lions are 2-2 under James Franklin in bowl games.
“Our program is excited and appreciative to play in the Citrus Bowl,” Franklin said in a press release. “This is a well-deserved opportunity for the hard work our guys have put in this season. We look forward to maximizing our last month together with this family and these seniors. As always, we know our Penn State fans will turn out in huge numbers in Orlando. This is also a neat opportunity for some of our guys, like Amani Oruwariye, to play closer to home.”
Kentucky is ranked just two spots behind Penn State at No. 14 in the most recent College Football Playoff standings. The Wildcats went 9-3 this season, the program’s best record since 1977 and finished second in the SEC East with notable wins over Joe Moorhead-led Mississippi State, in addition to Florida and Missouri.
Kentucky fell 34-17 to No. 5 Georgia and 20-14 to Texas A&M. Kentucky did not face Alabama this season but closed out the year with a 56-10 victory over Louisville.
The Wildcats rank eighth nationally in scoring defense at just 16.3 points allowed per game and allow just 181.3 passing yards per game, good for 17th nationally. Linebacker Josh Allen leads the SEC with 14 sacks on the season.
Offensively, Kentucky is led by running back Benny Snell, Jr., who ranks 12th nationally with 1,305 rushing yards Sophomore receiver Lynn Bowden, Jr. led the team with 661 receiving yards on 61 receptions – the most catches for a Wildcat since Randall Cobb (84) in 2010.
Penn State is 3-2 all-time against Kentucky having won the last meeting 26-14 in the 1999 Outback Bowl. The Wildcats’ last victory in the series came in 1977, a 24-20 defeat of the Nittany Lions in State College.
Penn State has appeared in the Citrus Bowl: Jan. 1, 1988 against Clemson (L, 35-10), Jan. 1, 1994 against Tennessee (W, 31-13), Jan. 1, 1998 against Florida (L, 21-6), Jan. 1, 2003 against Auburn (L, 13-9), Jan. 1, 2010 against LSU (W, 19-17).