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Penn State Opens As Favorite in Cotton Bowl

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The oddsmakers like the Nittany Lions in a close contest against Memphis

Heather Weikel

The oddsmakers are expecting a tight contest when Penn State and Memphis meet in the Cotton Bowl on Dec. 28. Penn State has opened as a seven-point favorite against the Tigers, who finished with a 12-1 record.

Memphis is coming off a dramatic 29-24 victory on Saturday against #20 Cincinnati in the American Athletic Conference Championship Game. It was the second time the teams met in as many weeks, as the Tigers bested the Bearcats 34-24 to wrap up the regular season. Memphis also had a victory against SMU, who was ranked 15th at the time, in a home game that was the ABC prime time game of the week. The Tigers also beat Navy, who are currently ranked #23, in week four. Their only loss of the season came in a 30-28 defeat at Temple, where a frantic rally could not bring them back after falling behind 16-0 to start the contest.

This will be Memphis’ sixth-consecutive bowl appearance, dating back to 2014. They have lost their last four bowl games, and were defeated by Wake Forest in the 2018 Birmingham Bowl.

This will be the first meeting of the two programs on the gridiron. The Cotton Bowl will kick off at noon on Sat., Dec. 28, prior to both playoff games later in the day. The game will be aired on ESPN.