Reuniting with an old Eastern rival, Penn State has accepted an invitation to play Boston College in the Pinstripe Bowl on Dec. 27 at Yankee Stadium at 4:30 p.m. on ESPN.
The Nittany Lions, who were 6-6 in James Franklin's initial year as head coach, will play in their first bowl game since the 2011 postseason, when they competed in the Ticket City Bowl in Dallas. They were ineligible to participate in a bowl the last two seasons because of NCAA sanctions.
This will be Penn State's 45th bowl appearance in program history; the Lions have compiled a 27-15-2 record on the field. It is also the fourth bowl game in as many seasons as an FBS head coach for Franklin, who led Vanderbilt into the postseason in each of the last three years.
The Eagles, who are led by former Temple coach Steve Addazio, finished with a 7-5 record. This will be their second bowl game in two seasons under Addazio, having played in last year's AdvoCare V100 Bowl in Shreveport, La., where they lost to Arizona.
"It's where our team wanted to go, because 90 percent of our team is from New York-New Jersey-Pennsylvania-Ohio, and they all understand the Penn State-B.C. thing and the location," Addazio told the Boston Globe.
Franklin said he has known Addazio for a long time. He called the Eagles a "hard-nosed, blue-collar" team that is "really good on the offensive line."
"I think the fact that we're going to be able to play in a bowl game, we should be able to have a really, really strong presence with our fans and alumni and former players," he said. "From a location standpoint, a travel standpoint . . . there's some benefits. I don't think there's any doubt. It's a big recruiting area for us."
The Eagles' biggest win came on Sept. 13, when they defeated then-No. 9 Southern California, 37-31. They lost Nov. 22 to undefeated Florida State, 20-17, on a field goal with three seconds left.