Coaches meet Orlando media to kick off Capital One Bowl activities

December 11, 2009

Orlando, Fla. — A pair of National Championship coaches met here Thursday (Dec. 10) to launch activities for the 64th Capital One Bowl pitting Penn State and LSU.

Nittany Lion head coach Joe Paterno and LSU coach Les Miles met with the Orlando media and spoke at a contract signing luncheon at the Florida Citrus Bowl Stadium.

Penn State (10-2) and LSU (9-3) will meet for the first time since the 1974 Orange Bowl when they collide on January 1, 2010 in the Capital One Bowl. The game will kick at 1 p.m. ET and air on ABC, Sports USA Radio and the Penn State Sports Network.

Paterno is bringing Penn State to its fifth Capital One Bowl, its first in seven years, for his 36th bowl game in his 44 years as head coach. One of just three active coaches to be inducted into the College Football Hall of Fame, Paterno will be taking a team to a 24th New Year's Bowl game, having compiled a 16-7 mark.

"I think we're a pretty good football team," said Paterno, who is the all-time leader in bowl wins (23-11-1) and appearances (35). "We've played hard all year and stuck together after we lost to a couple of good football teams. He's (Miles) got one heckuva football team. I hope we can play our best game of the year because we will need to against LSU. Let's have one heckuva game."

The Nittany Lions and Tigers will be meeting for just the second time. Penn State defeated LSU, 16-9, in the 1974 Orange Bowl to cap the program's first 12-0 campaign.

A finalist for the 2009 Liberty Mutual Coach of the Year, Paterno said he, and his family, are excited about playing LSU in Orlando.

"I have 17 grandkids and the oldest one is 14. For the last two weeks, they've all been asking me, "Are we going to Orlando? We want to go to Orlando!"

The Nittany Lions were No. 13 in the final Bowl Championship Series standings and the Tigers were No. 12 in the BCS. Penn State is ranked No. 9 in the USA Today Coaches poll and No. 11 in the Associated Press poll. LSU is No. 13 in the AP and Coaches polls.

Penn State is 50-13 (79.3) since the start of the 2005 season, the nation's No. 8 winning percentage over that span. The five-year run includes two Big Ten Championships and BCS berths and four different New Year's Bowl games. The Nittany Lions have earned their 21st season with at least 10 wins under Paterno, who is the FBS all-time leader in 10-win seasons. Penn State has earned back-to-back 10-win seasons for the first time since 1993 (10-2) and 1994 (12-0) and has won at least 10 games for the third time in the past five years.

Penn State will be playing in its fifth Capital One Bowl and has a 1-3 record in the contest. The Nittany Lions lost to Auburn, 13-9, in the 2003 Capital One Bowl in their last trip to Orlando. Penn State lost to Clemson in the 1988 game, defeated Tennessee, 31-13, in the 1994 contest and lost to Florida, 21-6, in the 1998 game. All four of Penn State's previous appearances in the Capital One Bowl were played on New Year's Day.

The Nittany Lions are No. 3 in the nation with 26 post-season victories, No. 8 with 41 bowl appearances and third nationally in bowl winning percentage (65.8, 26-13-2) among schools with at least 10 bowl victories.

Penn State has an all-time record of 16-16 vs. current members of the Southeastern Conference. The Nittany Lions are 8-5 in bowl games vs. SEC teams, winning six of the last eight. The last meeting resulted in a 20-10 Penn State victory over Tennessee in the 2007 Outback Bowl. Penn State is 7-4 vs. SEC opponents in post-season contests under Paterno.

The Nittany Lions are 8-5 all-time vs. SEC teams in bowl games: Alabama (1-2), Auburn (1-1), Florida (0-2), Georgia (1-0), Kentucky (1-0), LSU (1-0) and Tennessee (3-0).

Paterno has an impressive 67.14 winning percentage in bowl games (23-11-1), narrowly trailing Bobby Bowden (67.18, 21-10-1) for the second-best mark all-time among coaches with at least 12 bowl appearances. Georgia Tech's Bobby Dodd is first at 69.2 (9-4). Paterno is the only coach to win the Rose, Fiesta, Orange, Sugar and Cotton Bowls. He has taken Penn State to 13 different post-season contests, winning in 11 locales, more than anyone in college football history.

Current Nittany Lion Club members can purchase Capital One Bowl tickets online at In order to purchase tickets online, buyers will need to have their account number and password. Nittany Lion Club members also can purchase tickets by calling (814) 865-5555.

Penn State students can purchase Capital One Bowl tickets on Saturday, Dec. 12, at Gate B of the Bryce Jordan Center. The sale will be held from 7 a.m. - 11 a.m. that day. Students may purchase one ticket with their valid Penn State student ID. Cash or credit cards will be accepted.

Student Nittany Lion Club members can purchase Cpaital One Bowl tickets on Saturday, December 12, at Gate A of the Bryce Jordan Center. The sale will begin at 6:30 a.m. and a valid Penn State student ID will be required.

The general public can purchase Capital One Bowl tickets over the phone from 10 a.m.-6 p.m. by calling (814) 865-5555.

  • Paterno and Miles

    IMAGE: Penn State Sports Information

(Media Contacts)

Last Updated November 18, 2010