Penn State will ring 2019 in back at a place they have not seen since 2010, against an opponent they have not faced since 1999. The NIttany Lions will return to the Citrus Bowl and face the Kentucky Wildcats out of the Southeastern Conference. The game will kick off at 1:00 p.m. on New Year's Day, and air on ABC.
— VRBO Citrus Bowl (@CitrusBowl) December 2, 2018
It was always going to take some help for the 9-3 Penn State Nittany Lions to return to a New Year's Six game. Regardless of how it came, the biggest piece was always going to require Ohio State to find its way into the College Football Playoff. Between Oklahoma's solid win over Texas, a close game in the SEC title game between Alabama and Georgia, and a largely unimpressive Buckeye win over Northwestern, that help never came.
By the time the Citrus Bowl kicks off on January 1, 2019 in Orlando's Camping World Stadium, it will have been nine years to the day since Penn State last played in the then Capital One Bowl. The Nittany Lions knocked off LSU 19-17 in the 2010 game on a rain soaked field behind four Collin Wagner field goals, including the game winner with less than a minute remaining.
It will be 20 years to the day since Penn State and Kentucky last met when things get underway in January. The last meeting between the two programs came on New Year's Day 1999 just up the road in Tampa, FL at the Outback Bowl. The Nittany Lions won that meeting 26-14. Travis Forney kicked four field goals in that game, and Kevin Thompson threw touchdown passes to Joe Nastasi and Chafie Fields.
All time, Penn State holds a 3-2 lead in the series vs. Kentucky, with the teams splitting a four-year series from 1975-1978.