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 • OPENING KICK: Penn State takes on No. 22/24/21 Arkansas in the Outback Bowl. Kickoff is scheduled for noon on January 1.

• SERIES HISTORY: The Nittany Lions will meet Arkansas for the first time in program history. Penn State holds a 24-23 record against current members of the SEC, including a 28-20 win over Auburn on September 18. Of the 47 matchups, 20 have come in bowl games, including the 2019 Citrus Bowl against Kentucky. Penn State is 11-16 in regular season contests against the SEC.

• STOUT GARNERS BIG TEN PUNTER OF THE YEAR: Penn State redshirt senior Jordan Stout was tabbed as the Big Ten’s Eddleman-Fields Punter of the Year. The Ray Guy Award finalist owns Penn State’s best career punt average (44.81) and season punt average (46.55). He hit 25 punts of 50+ yards and averaged at least 50.0 yards per punt in five games. He landed 34 punts inside the 20, including 18 inside the 10 and six inside the 5. According to PFF, Stout leads the country in punting grade (93.1) and average hang time (4.36), while ranking second in net punting (45.08).

• FOUR EARN FIRST-TEAM ALL-BIG TEN HONORS: Stout was one of four Nittany Lions who earned first-team All-Big Ten accolades. Jaquan Brisker was a first team selection by the coaches and media after collecting 64 tackles, 5.5 tackles for loss and two interceptions. His 5.5 tackles for loss rank fourth among Big Ten defensive backs. Arnold Ebiketie was also a first team honoree by the coaches and media, posting 62 tackles, 17.0 tackles for loss and 9.5 sacks. His 17.0 tackles for loss lead the Big Ten and rank second among Power Five defensive linemen. Jahan Dotson was selected first-team All-Big Ten by the coaches. Dotson is the only Power Five receiver with at least 90 receptions, 1,180 receiving yards and 12 receiving touchdowns through their first 12 games of the season.

• THE OPPOSITION: Arkansas is 8-4 overall and 4-4 in SEC play this season. The Razorbacks earned a 34- 17 win over Missouri in their regular season finale. KJ Jefferson completed 15-of-19 passes for 262 yards and a touchdown. Treylon Burks hauled in seven receptions for 129 yards and a score, while Trelon Smith found the end zone on a 4-yard run. Arkansas allowed 316 total yards, holding Missouri to 70 passing yards. Bumper Pool led the defense with 13 tackles and Montaric Brown had an interception.


• Sam Pittman is in his second season leading Arkansas.
• Pittman was named the AFCA Region 2 Coach of the Year in 2021.
• The Razorbacks are 11-11 under Pittman.
• Prior to becoming the head coach at Arkansas, Pittman coached four years at Georgia, serving as offensive line coach from 2016-18 and associate head coach/offensive line coach in 2019.
• Pittman was assistant head coach and offensive line coach at Arkansas from 2013-15.
• Pittman was a defensive end at Pittsburg State, graduating in 1986, where he was a first-team NAIA All-American.


• Arkansas is 8-4 this season, including a 4-4 mark in SEC play.
• The Razorbacks’ wins include No. 15 Texas (40-21), No. 7 Texas A&M (20-10) and No. 17 Mississippi State (31-28).
• Arkansas is averaging 31.5 points per game (44th nationally), 440.9 total yards (30th), 223.6 passing yards (73rd) and 217.3 rushing yards (13th).
• QB K.J. Jefferson has completed 67 percent of his passes for 2,578 yards, 21 touchdowns and only three interceptions.
• Jefferson has rushed for 554 yards and five touchdowns.
• WR Treylon Burks has 66 receptions for 1,104 yards and 11 touchdowns. He ranks 11th in the nation in receiving touchdowns, 25th in receiving yards and 22nd in receiving yards per game (92.0).
• Arkansas is allowing 24.0 points per game (46th nationally), 371.4 total yards (58th), 215.5 passing yards (44th) and 155.9 rushing yards (73rd).
• LB Bumper Pool paces the Razorbacks with 120 tackles and has 7.5 tackles for loss.
• Fellow LB Grant Morgan, the Burlsworth Trophy winner, has recorded 96 tackles, with seven tackles for loss, and an interception.
• LB Hayden Henry leads Arkansas with 10.5 tackles for loss and three sacks to go with 94 tackles.
• DB Montaric Brown has an SEC-high five interceptions, good for second in the country, and five pass breakups.
• K Cam Little sits 14th in the country with 1.58 field goals per game and 24th with an 82.6 field-goal percentage.


• CB Johnny Dixon – Tampa/Chamberlain • WR Jason Estrella – Tallahassee/Liberty (Pa.)
• RB Caziah Holmes – Titusville/Cocoa
• RB Keyvone Lee – St. Petersburg/American Collegiate Academy


• Penn State junior RB Noah Cain and Arkansas redshirt sophomore DL Eric Gregory both played at IMG Academy in Florida.
• Penn State redshirt freshman WR Jaden Dottin and Arkansas sophomore DB Khari Johnson both played at Suffield Academy in Connecticut.
• Penn State defensive line coach John Scott Jr. coached at Arkansas from 2017-18. He coached the defensive line in 2017 and defensive tackles in 2018


• Penn State is 36-18 in the Big Ten since 2016.
• PSU won 13 consecutive games against Big Ten opponents from 2016-17, breaking its record of 12 from 1993-94.
• Penn State owns a 230-115-3 mark against Big Ten Conference teams since the Nittany Lions first opposed Ohio State in 1912.
• The Nittany Lions began play as a member of the Big Ten Conference in 1993 and have a 147-91 mark.
• Penn State played 109 games vs. the current Big Ten alignment when either or both Penn State itself (prior to 1993) or the opponent (Nebraska prior to 2011; Maryland and Rutgers prior to 2014) was not yet a member of the Big Ten. The Nittany Lions went 80-26-3 in those games.


• Penn State is making its 51st bowl appearance, ranking 10th all-time.
• Head Coach James Franklin has guided his teams to a bowl appearance 10 times (3 at Vanderbilt; 7 at Penn State).
• Penn State’s 30 bowl victories are tied fifth nationally and lead all Big Ten schools.
• The Nittany Lions’ 62.0 winning percentage in bowl games (30- 18-2 record) is No. 6 nationally among teams with at least 20 bowl appearances.
• Penn State made its first postseason appearance in 1923 when it traveled across the country to face USC in the Rose Bowl Game to cap off the 1922 season.


• Penn State is playing in its 26th New Year’s Day Bowl.
• The Nittany Lions are 14-10-1 when playing on New Year’s Day.
• Penn State last played on New Year’s Day in the Citrus Bowl to finish the 2018 season, falling 27-24 against Kentucky.
• The blue and white’s last win on New Year’s Day came in the 2010 Capital One Bowl vs. LSU (19-17).


• The Nittany Lions are playing in the Outback Bowl for the fifth time.
• Penn State made its first appearance in the Outback Bowl in the bowl’s inaugural game in 1996, defeating Auburn, 43-14.
• The Nittany Lions’ second Outback Bowl appearance came in 1999 when they earned a 26-14 win over Kentucky.
• Penn State defeated Tennessee, 20-0, in the 2007 Outback Bowl.
• In its last appearance in Raymond James Stadium, Penn State dropped a 37-24 decision against Florida.


• Penn State is playing in a bowl game in Florida for the 23rd time in program history.
• The Nittany Lions are 10-11-1 in the previous 22 appearances.
• Penn State has played in the Blockbuster Bowl (0-2), Citrus/ Capital One Bowl (2-4), Gator Bowl (1-3-1), Orange Bowl (4-1) and Outback Bowl (3-1).


• Redshirt senior Jordan Stout was named the Big Ten Eddleman-Fields Punter of the Year.
• He is first Penn State player to win the Eddleman-Fields Punter of the Year award.
• Stout became Penn State’s 36th conference major award winner and the 10th in the James Franklin era.
• According to PFF, Stout owns the country’s highest punting grade (93.1) and average hang time (4.36) and is second in net punting (45.08).
• Stout owns Penn State’s best career punt average (44.81), leading by 1.68 yards per punt, and holds Penn State’s best season punt average (46.55).
• Stout has averaged at least 50.0 yards per punt in five games this season and has 25 punts of 50+ yards.
• He’s also landed 34 punts inside the 20 this season, including 18 inside the 10 and six inside the 5.


• Penn State earned 18 All-Big Ten selections across offense, defense and special teams.
• On offense, WR Jahan Dotson was a first team selection by the media and a second team honoree by the coaches.
• OL Rasheed Walker collected third team honors by the media and was an honorable mention selection by the coaches.
• QB Sean Clifford (coaches, media), OL Juice Scruggs (media, coaches), OL Mike Miranda (media) and TE Brenton Strange (media) all were named All-Big Ten honorable mention.
• On defense, S Jaquan Brisker and DE Arnold Ebiketie were selected first-team All-Big Ten by the coaches and media.
• LB Ellis Brooks and DT PJ Mustipher were both named second-team All-Big Ten by the coaches and honorable mention by the media.
• S Ji’Ayir Brown, CB Joey Porter Jr. and LB Brandon Smith were each tabbed All-Big Ten third team by the coaches and honorable mention by the media, while DE Jesse Luketa was selected third team by the media and honorable mention by the coaches.
• CB Tariq Castro-Fields (coaches, media) and LB Curtis Jacobs (media) also earned honorable mention accolades.
• Jordan Stout was selected first-team All-Big Ten by the coaches and media as a punter and honorable mention by the media as a kicker. Dotson was named honorable mention by the media as a return specialist.


• Multiple Nittany Lions have earned postseason All-America honors.
• S Jaquan Brisker has earned first-team All-America accolades from CBS Sports, On3 and Pro Football Focus, and second-team honors from the AFCA, Associated Press, FWAA, Phil Steele, Sporting News, The Athletic and USA Today. He was also a Reese’s Senior Bowl All-American.
• WR Jahan Dotson is a third-team AP and Phil Steele All-American and a Reese’s Senior Bowl All-American.
• DE Arnold Ebiketie is a second-team All-America selection by the FWAA, Phil Steele and The Athletic as well as a Reese’s Senior Bowl All-American.
• P Jordan Stout has been named a second-team All-American by the AFCA, CBS Sports, The Athletic and USA Today. He is a third-team selection by the Associated Press and Phil Steele and is a Reese’s Senior Bowl All-American.


• Six Nittany Lions have accepted invites to the Reese’s Senior Bowl, played in Mobile, Ala. on Saturday, February 5, 2022.
• S Jaquan Brisker, CB Tariq Castro-Fields, WR Jahan Dotson, DE Arnold Ebiketie, DE Jesse Luketa and P Jordan Stout have all accepted invites to the game.
• 125 Nittany Lions have played in the Senior Bowl prior to 2021.
• C Michal Menet and DE Shaka Toney played in last year’s game.


• Multiple Nittany Lions have been recognized as finalists or semifinalists for national awards.
• K/P Jordan Stout was a finalist for the Ray Guy Award.
• DE Arnold Ebiketie was a finalist for the Ted Hendricks Award.
• WR Jahan Dotson was a semifinalist for the Biletnikoff Award.
• Dotson was also a semifinalist for the Walter Camp Player of the Year Award as the only receiver among the semifinalists.
• S Jaquan Brisker was a semifinalist for the Bednarik Award and Paycom Jim Thorpe Award.
• QB Sean Clifford was a finalist for the William V. Campbell Trophy and Senior CLASS Award. He was also a semifinalist for the Wuerffel Trophy.
• DT PJ Mustipher was a Lombardi Award Semifinalist.
• LB Brandon Smith was a Butkus Award Semifinalist. • Head Coach James Franklin was a semifinalist for the Dodd Trophy.


• Manny Diaz was hired as Penn State’s defensive coordinator/ linebackers coach on December 11.
• Diaz brings 24 years of collegiate coaching experience, including the last six seasons at the University of Miami, including three seasons as head coach (2019-21).
• Diaz coached Miami to three bowl appearances in three seasons. Miami went 8-3 overall and 7-2 in the ACC in 2020, the second time in program history that Miami won seven ACC games.
• Diaz has coached in 19 bowl games with his teams holding a 13-6 record.
• Defenses under Diaz have been a force behind the line of scrimmage. During his tenure at Miami, the Hurricanes ranked top 10 nationally in tackles for loss each year, including top five finishes in 2020 (8.6; 4th), 2019 (8.3; 4th), 2018 (10.5; 1st), 2017 (8.5; 4th) and 2016 (8.3; 5th).
• Since 2017, Miami has ranked 10th among Power Five teams averaging 20.6 takeaways per season.


• Penn State co-defensive coordinator and safeties coach Anthony Poindexter was officially inducted into the National Football Foundation’s College Football Hall of Fame on December 8.
• Poindexter was voted into the hall of fame as a member of the 2020 class.
• Poindexter was regarded as one of the fiercest hitters in the game during his collegiate career at Virginia (1995-98).
• The two-time consensus All-American finished his career with 342 tackles, ninth-most in school history and tops among ACC defensive backs. Poindexter is tied for fifth in school history with 12 interceptions.
• He was chosen as the 1998 ACC Defensive Player of the Year and is one of only three players in school history to earn first-team All-ACC recognition three times.


• Penn State signed 23 to National Letters on Intent on December 15.
• The Nittany Lions signed 16 recruits that were rated as a four-star or higher by 247Sports, On3, ESPN or Rivals.
• Penn State signed 10 players within a 200-mile radius of State College. The class features players from 10 different states.
• As of December 16, Penn State’s class ranks No. 6 in the nation by 247Sports and Rivals and No. 7 by On3 and ESPN.

• The Signees include:

• QB Drew Allar – Medina, Ohio/Medina
• RB Kaytron Allen – Norfolk, Va./IMG Academy (Fla.)
• DT Kaleb Artis – Westbury, N.Y./St. Francis Prep
• P Alex Bacchetta – Atlanta, Ga./The Westminster Schools
• LB Abdul Carter – Philadelphia, Pa./LaSalle College H.S.
• TE Jerry Cross – Milwaukee, Wis./Rufus King
• DE Dani Dennis-Sutton – Millsboro, Del./McDonogh
• DB Cristian Driver – Flower Mound, Texas/Liberty Christian
• DT Zane Durant – Lake Nona, Fla./Lake Nona
• WR Omari Evans – Kileen, Texas/Shoemaker
• DB Mehki Flowers – Harrisburg, Pa./Central Dauphin East
• WR Anthony Ivey – Lancaster, Pa./Manheim Township
• WR Tyler Johnson – Martinsville, Va./Magna Vista
• OL Maleek McNeil – New York, N.Y./Walter Panas
• DB Cam Miller – Yulee, Fla./Trinity Christian Academy
• OL JB Nelson – Pittsburgh, Pa./Mount Lebanon/Lackawanna
• QB Beau Pribula – York, Pa./Central York
• WR Kaden Saunders – Columbus, Ohio/Westerville South
 • OL Drew Shelton – Downingtown, Pa./Downingtown West
• RB Nicholas Singleton – Shillington, Pa./Governor Mifflin
• LB Ken Talley – Philadelphia, Pa./Northeast
• DB Kevin Winston Jr. – Columbia, Md./DeMatha Catholic
• LB Keon Wylie – Philadelphia, Pa./Imhotep Charter Institute

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