January 01, 2016

Penn State (7-5, Big Ten) vs Georgia (9-3, SEC), Noon (ESPN)

Line: Georgia by 6.

Series Record: Penn State leads 1-0.

WHAT'S AT STAKE

Georgia is trying to extend its winning streak to five games and give incoming coach Kirby Smart extra momentum as he finalizes his inaugural recruiting class. Penn State is trying to end a three-game losing streak in coach James Franklin's second season.

KEY MATCHUP

Georgia OT John Theus vs Penn State DE Carl Nassib. Theus is a first-team All-Southeastern Conference selection who has held his own against some of the league's elite pass rushers. Nassib is a consensus first-team All-American and the Lombardi Award winner as the nation's top lineman. He leads the nation with 15 1/2 sacks, which also is the school's single-season record.

PLAYERS TO WATCH

Penn State: Junior QB Christian Hackenberg has started all 37 games in his college career and holds school records for passing yards (8,318) and touchdowns (48).

Georgia: Junior OLB Leonard Floyd, a Butkus Award finalist, ranks second on the team with 68 tackles and leads the Bulldogs with 10 1/2 tackles for loss and 4 1/2 sacks.

FACTS & FIGURES

Teams meeting for first time since the 1983 Sugar Bowl, a 27-23 victory for Penn State that vaulted the Nittany Lions to the national championship. ... Penn State is 23-21 all-time against the SEC, including 12-6 in bowl games. ... Franklin went 1-2 against Georgia during his three years as head coach at Vanderbilt. ... Penn State has four players from the Sunshine State, but none from Jacksonville. ... Georgia's Theus brothers, John and Nathan, are from Jacksonville and will serve as captains in their final collegiate game. ... The Bulldogs are playing their fifth game in Jacksonville in the past 27 months. They are 1-3 in the previous four, including three consecutive losses. ... Smart, who is still coaching Alabama's defense through the College Football Playoff, is expected to attend the game.

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