No. 22 Arkansas, Penn State matched for Outback Bowl

Arkansas is playing in its first bowl since 2016, while Penn State is making its fourth Outback Bowl appearance.

  • The Associated Press

(Atlanta) — Number 22 Arkansas, having its best season in years, will face Penn State in the Outback Bowl.

The Razorbacks finished third in the SEC West with an offense that averaged nearly 441 yards per game with quarterback KJ Jefferson. Penn State was ranked as high as No. 4 in The AP Top 25 in early October before falling out a month later.

The schools will be meeting for the first time. Arkansas is playing in its first bowl since 2016, while Penn State is making its fourth Outback Bowl appearance.

Here are the details:

No. 22 Arkansas (8-4, SEC) vs. Penn State (7-5, Big Ten), Jan. 1, Noon ET

LOCATION: Tampa, Florida.

TOP PLAYERS

Arkansas: Quarterback KJ Jefferson has thrown for 2,578 yards and 21 touchdowns, with receiver Treylon Burks (1,104 yards) his favorite target. Defensive back Montaric Brown tied for the SEC lead with five interceptions, while linebacker Bumper Pool was second in the SEC with 120 tackles.

Penn State: Defensive end Arnold Ebiketie (62 tackles, 18 for loss with 9.5 sacks) and safety Jaquan Brisker (64 stops) were first team all-Big Ten selections. Receiver Jahan Dotson had 91 catches for 1,182 yards and 12 TDs to also earn first-team conference honors.

Julio Cortez / AP

Penn State wide receiver Jahan Dotson catches a pass from quarterback Sean Clifford, not visible, before scoring on a long touchdown run against Maryland during the second half of an NCAA college football game, Saturday, Nov. 6, 2021, in College Park, Md. Penn State won 31-14. (AP Photo/Julio Cortez)

NOTABLE

Arkansas: The Razorbacks posted their highest win total since 2011 to finish third in the SEC West, their best standing since 2015. Their offense ranked seventh in the SEC at 441 yards per game.

Penn State: The Nittany Lions were ranked No. 4 for two weeks in the AP Top 25, most recently on Oct. 3, before falling out in Week 12.

BOWL HISTORY

Arkansas: The Hogs are playing their first bowl game since the 2016 Belk Bowl and first New Year’s Day game since the 2008 Cotton Bowl. They are 15-24-3 overall.

Penn State: Will make its fifth Outback Bowl appearance and first since a 37-24 loss to Florida in the 2010 season. The Nittany Lions are 30-18-2 lifetime in bowls.

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