The No. 5 Lions will be facing off against the talented No.9 USC Trojans, whose campus is less than an hour away from Rose Bowl Stadium.
Despite this, Penn State fans have risen to the occasion, causing numerous Nittany Lion ticketing sites to sell out in a matter of minutes. The student tickets sold out in less than a day, which is impressive when one considers college kids rallying (and paying) to fly across the country!
The Lions will leave on the 26th to fly to California and acclimate to their new, warmer conditions.
“We have one approach where our first couple practices are… not really specific towards USC,” said Head Coach James Franklin. “Then we’ll start to shift to USC… go out there and do our full, full week of preparation.”
The last time the Lions went to the Rose Bowl was in 2009, against the same opponent: the Trojans. Penn State lost 38-24.
The story looks promising to be different this time around, however.
“We have to try to make a statement in the Rose Bowl,” said running back Saquon Barkley (Coplay, Pa.). “We're going to take it as another game, treat it as another Super Bowl game for us and we just have to come out and execute.”
In the meantime, the players have been “lifting, watching film and mentally getting a good feel for the team and those kinds of things. Also, relaxing and having the chance to get your body back,” according to linebacker Jason Cabinda (Flemington, N.J.).
Coach Franklin mentioned how grateful he has been for the tremendous outpouring of support for the Nittany Lions after their stellar season.
Coach Franklin spoke about the level of healing he has seen in the local community in State College, the excitement from the Lettermen, and the graciousness from the fans. However, Coach Franklin mentioned that the team still has “a lot of work to do.”
With just one more week before Penn State heads to the Rose Bowl, the team and fans alike are preparing for what will be an epic battle on January 2.
Linebacker Brandon Bell (Mays Landing, N.J.) summed it up best.
“We wouldn't want to
A kindhearted understatement from Bell. Nittany Nation is more than just looking forward to this game… they are living for it! We Are!