Record: 9-3, 5-3 Big Ten
Coach: Joe Paterno, 34th year (316-83-3)
Top Off. Player: K Travis Forney (21-26 FGs, 44-44 XPs)
Top Def. Player: DE Courtney Brown (16 sacks, 29 tackles for loss)
PSU comes into this bowl game reeling from three straight losses to end a season once filled with national title hopes. Its defense, led by Brown, LaVar Arrington and Brandon Short, lived up to the hype, but lack of a consistent offensive threat plagued the Lions. Many trace their downfall to the rotation of QBs Kevin Thompson and Rashard Casey.
|Aug 26||Upton is PSU's starting TB -- for now|
|Aug 25||Rape trial begins for PSU's Phillips||
Record: 8-3, 5-3 Big 12
Coach: R.C. Slocum, 11th year (102-31-2)
Top Off. Player: WR Chris Taylor (33 catches, 17.9 yards per catch)
Top Def. Player: CB Jason Webster (10 pass deflections, four INTs)
A disappointing season (blowout losses to Oklahoma and Nebraska) ended on an emotional high when the Aggies knocked off rival Texas following the campus bonfire tragedy that killed 12 people. The Aggies' inconsistent offense, led by QB Randy McCown, is capable of big plays but has had uncharacteristic problems on the ground. A&M's strength is its special teams.