The Centre Daily Times in Pennsylvania quotes several Penn State players as being less than thrilled to be travelling to the TicketCity Bowl in Dallas, Texas and playing 12-1 Houston on January 2. While most SID-massaged quotes from players are nothing but grateful and positive about any bowl experience, a few Nittany Lions were on the record as rather malcontent:
"It had nothing to do with where we were going," fullback Mike Zordich said. "It was just why we were going there."
The Centre Daily Times also reports that multiple players-only meetings were held as to whether or not the team would play in the game, the first being "heated," but ultimately the team decided to carry on.
"We listened to everybody’s opinion for a long, long time," Astorino said Monday at Penn State’s bowl media day in Holuba Hall. "Some guys were for it, some guys were against it."
Despite plummeting down the selection pecking order for bowls with Big Ten tie-ins, the Nittany Lions still ended up with a top-level team in the Cougars, whose only lose came in the C-USA Championship. Combined with PSU's 9-3 record, the relatively lower-tier TicketCity Bowl feature two teams with over 20 wins this season. Still, there's a little to be left in the way of good P.R. from the Penn State roster:
"I know we were frustrated at first with the bowl selection, but I’m not even looking at the title anymore," senior linebacker Nate Stupar said. "We’re in Dallas, Jan. 2, and a lot of people are going to be watching two good teams."