Outback Bowl Preview Capsule
Penn State (7-5) vs. Florida (7-5), 1 p.m. EST (ABC)
Line: Florida by 7.
Series Record: Florida leads 2-0.
WHAT'S AT STAKE
Penn State is appearing in its 37th postseason game under Joe Paterno, the all-time leader in bowl wins with 24. The 84-year-old coach has shrugged off rumors that this may be his last game, saying he has no plans to retire, and the Nittany Lions are approaching the game with intentions of setting the tone for the 2011 season.
Florida, meanwhile, will be playing its last game under Urban Meyer, who resigned Dec. 8 because of health concerns and to spend more time with his family. The Gators, who won two of the past four national championships, have hired former Texas head coach-in-waiting Will Muschamp as his replacement.
Florida's spread offense against a Penn State defense that's allowed at least 24 points in each of the Nittany Lions' five losses. The Gators have been inconsistent offensively in the first year of the post-Tim Tebow era, yet still average 31.3 points and 364.2 yards per game. Penn State's defense has yielded 22.6 points and 352.5 yards per game.
PLAYERS TO WATCH
Penn State: RB Evan Royster has run for 916 yards and six touchdowns this season, becoming the Nittany Lions' career rushing leader with 3,834 yards and 29 TDs. QB Matt McGloin has thrown 1,337 yards, 13 touchdowns and four interceptions, and leading receiver Derek Moye has 48 catches for 806 yards and seven touchdowns.
Florida: QB John Brantley has completed 61.4 percent of his passes for 2,020 yards, nine touchdowns and nine interceptions. RB Jeff Demps has rushed for 531 yards and three TDs, averaging 6 yards per carry. WR Deonte Thompson has 36 receptions for 548 yards and one TD.
FACTS & FIGURES
Penn State is appearing in a New Year's bowl game for the 25th time under Paterno. The Nittany Lions are 17-7 in those appearances, including a 3-0 record in the Outback Bowl. ... The only other times Florida and Penn State have faced each other were the 1962 Gator Bowl and 1998 Citrus Bowl. The Gators won both meetings. ... Royster is 84 yards shy of becoming the first Penn State player with three 1,000-yard rushing seasons. ... It's Florida's 38th bowl appearance. The Gators are 18-19, including 4-1 under Meyer, who won the national championship in 2006 and 2008. ... Florida's Chas Henry won the Ray Guy Award as the nation's top punter. ... Eighteen Gators, including four on defense, scored touchdowns this season. ... Florida is 1-2 in three previous trips to the Outback Bowl. The win came over Iowa in the 2006 game, capping Meyer's first season (2005) in Gainesville.
Copyright 2010 by The Associated Press
This story is from ESPN.com's automated news wire. Wire index
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