Nittany Lions Prep for Fast-Approaching TaxSlayer Bowl

Nittany Lions Prep for Fast-Approaching TaxSlayer Bowl

The formidable Nittany Lions arrived at Amelia Island, Florida, this past Monday and were greeted by sunny skies and temperatures cresting the mid-80s… a far cry from the strange winter weather that has been plaguing much of the northeast.

“Everyone is really excited… focused, I’m excited for this game,” said sophomore cornerback Grant Haley (Atlanta, Ga.).

Defense and Special Teams have been the focus of attention this past week as coordinator Bob Shoop looked to put the final touches on defensive plays.

“I think this is a great opportunity for us…We’ve practiced really well,” said Shoop. “Everybody has practiced really well, and they are looking forward to .”

Shoop urged his team to follow this mantra: that the outcome of the TaxSlayer Bowl will play an integral role in creating a lasting legacy for the 2015 team.

“Given the situations we were in a few years ago, definitely gives us an advantage and a chip on our shoulder…with how important it is to us emotionally,” commented DaeSean Hamilton (Fredericksburg, Va.).

Participating in the TaxSlayer Bowl comes with other incredible opportunities and experiences outside of football. On Tuesday, the team got to meet children from the Dreams Come True organization, which is a non-profit whose goals are to fulfill the dreams of terminally ill children.

Outside of community events, the squad has been focusing on finalizing their game notes and strategies against Georgia during practices this week.

guys look sharp, guys look crisp and fast,” said Hamilton.

Head Coach James Franklin gave a brief interview upon arriving at Amelia Island on Monday.

“Some of the things we’re going to be able to do with tempo, and some of the things we’re going to be able to do with our wide receivers…is our strength,” noted Franklin.

Franklin also noted that he is confident in newly named offensive coordinator Joe Moorhead’s abilities in handling the TaxSlayer Bowl as his first game with Penn State.

Georgia, who finished the season at 9-3, and is ranked eighth nationally in total defense, allowing an average of 298.0 yards per game. Penn State and Georgia are evenly matched by the numbers, with Penn State leading Georgia with an average of 208.9 passing yards per game.

The Nittany Lions will face off against the Georgia Bulldogs on January 2 at noon on ESPN at EverBank Field in Jacksonville, Florida. Penn State is currently second in the nation in bowl win percentages (64.4 percent), and they look to continue to improve upon that record with a game of guts, grit, and glory this Saturday. We Are!