Before the 2012 season, the NCAA banned Penn State from participating in bowl games for 4 years. However, that ban was rescinded during the 2014 season, and the Nittany Lions defeated Boston College in overtime 31-30 (after trailing by 2 touchdowns in the 3rd quarter) in the Pinstripe Bowl in Yankee Stadium. After BC took a 3 point lead with 2:10 remaining in the game, Christian Hackenberg drove the Lions into field goal range, and Sam Ficken tied it with a 45 yard kick with 20 seconds left. Ficken then kicked the game winning extra point in overtime.
In 2015, Penn State advanced to a more prestigious bowl, playing in the TaxSlayer (formerly Gator) Bowl in Jacksonville, Florida against Georgia. The Nittany Lions fell behind 24-3 in the 3rd quarter, but rallied in the 4th. With starting quarterback Christian Hackenberg out with a shoulder injury, back-up Trace McSorley threw two touchdown passes against the nation’s top pass defense. The game ended 24-17 with Penn State driving into Georgia territory.In 2016, the Nittany Lions stunned the college football world by winning its last 8 regular season games, including a come-from-behind 4th quarter victory over at the time top-ranked Ohio State in Beaver Stadium. Penn State was the Big 10 East regular season champion, and then defeated Wisconsin 38-31 (after training 28-7 I the 1st half) in the Big 10 Championship Game. In a Rose Bowl for the ages, the Lions trailed USC by 13 in the 1st half, took a 15 point lead in the 3rd quarter, but eventually lost 52-49 on a field goal on the last play of the game.
In 2017In the 2019 Citrus Bowl, the Nittany Lions took their 9th place ranking into the Fiesta Bowl and for the 1st time played in the University of Phoenix Stadium in Glendale, AZ. They faced the 11th ranked Washington Huskies, who sported the 3rd ranked rushing defense in the country. Penn State won, 35-28 (improving its all-time Fiesta Bowl record to 7-0), as he Nittany Lions converted on 13 of 17 3rd down conversions. Offensive MVP Trace McSorley had 402 yards of total offense, and was 32-41 passing for 342 yards. Saquon Barkley scored on a 92 yard run, the longest in Fiesta Bowl history and tied for the longest in Penn State history. Penn State had 2 plays covering more than 40 yards; the Huskies had allowed only 1 play that long all season.fell behind the underdog Kentucky Wildcats 27-7 in the Citrus Bowl in Orlando, Florida. In his final game for Penn State, quarterback Trace McSorley led a furious comeback that just fell short as Kentucky prevailed, 27-24.
Rose Bowl (1-23) Sugar Bowl (1-3) Orange Bowl (4-1)
2009 – Southern Cal (L) 1979 – Alabama (L) 1974 – LouisianaState (W)
1983 – 2016 – Southern Cal (L) 1983 – Georgia(W) 1986 – Oklahoma (L)
2006 – FloridaState(W)
Fiesta Bowl (7-0) Cotton Bowl (2-0-1) Gator Bowl (1-2-1)
1997 – Texas(W)
2017- Washington (W)
Capital One Citrus Bowl (2-34) Outback Bowl (3-0) Alamo Bowl (2-0)
2003 – Auburn(L) 2011 - Florida (L)
2010 – LouisianaStateLouisiana State(W)
2019- Kentucky (L)
Liberty Bowl (3-0) Holiday Bowl (1-0) Aloha Bowl (1-0)