Penn State will play in New Year's Day bowl game vs. Southeastern Conference foe

Penn State coach James Franklin reacts during the team's NCAA college football game against Rutgers in State College, Pa., Saturday, Nov. 20, 2021. Penn State won 28-0. (AP Photo/Barry Reeger)

It's official.

Penn State now knows its bowl destination.

James Franklin's Nittany Lions (7-5) will return to the Outback Bowl for the fourth time, and the first time since 2010, when they take on Southeastern Conference foe Arkansas (8-4) at Raymond James Stadium in Tampa Bay on Saturday, Jan. 1, at noon. The game will air on ESPN2.

It is the first-ever meeting between the two programs. The trip marks Penn State's 51st all-time bowl appearance. Penn State is tied for fifth nationally with 30 bowl victories and No. 7 in bowl winning percentage with a 30-18-2 postseason record (62.0) among schools with at least 20 postseason appearances.

PSU, in its last Outback Bowl appearance in 2010, suffered a 37-24 loss to Florida State. Penn State also appeared in the Outback Bowl in 2006 (a 20-10 victory over Tennessee) and 1995 (a 43-14 win over Auburn).

The Lions are 24-23 all-time against current SEC schools, having played 11 of the 14 teams in the league. The most recent meeting with an SEC team was a home win over Auburn, 28-20, on Sept. 18 this season.