The 2007 Valero Alamo Bowl featuring Penn State and Texas A&M is a sellout as a crowd in excess of the Alamodome’s 65,000-seat capacity will attend the December 29 contest.
"The 2007 Valero Alamo Bowl match-up between Penn State and Texas A&M equaled the demand we had for last year’s Texas vs. Iowa match-up that ended up as the largest sports attendance in Alamodome history," said John Yantis, 2007 Valero Alamo Bowl Chairman. "Our thanks go to these two universities and their tremendous fan bases. We’re looking forward to welcoming these loyal fans to the Riverwalk later this month to enjoy our world-renowned San Antonio hospitality as we celebrate the game’s 15th anniversary."
This is the Valero Alamo Bowl’s fourth sellout in the last six years and the sixth in the 15-year history of the game. The 2007 Valero Alamo Bowl is also the quickest sellout in the game’s history surpassing the December 9 sellout last year and the December 11 sellout of the 1999 SYLVANIA Alamo Bowl that featured the two teams in this year’s game (Penn State and Texas A&M).
All Alamodome parking passes to this event have also been sold. Fans without parking passes are encouraged to arrive early and use downtown lots north of the stadium or take advantage of VIA Park-n-Ride. The roundtrip service will be offered for $6 from Crossroads Mall, Randolph Boulevard Park and Ride, South San Stadium and Blossom Athletic Center.
An estimated 34,000 fans from outside of San Antonio will attend this year’s Valero Alamo Bowl resulting in a direct economic impact of $15 million.
Texas A&M will be making its third appearance in the Alamo Bowl with their first coming in the 1995 Builders Square Alamo Bowl when a sellout crowd of 64,597 watched the Aggies beat Michigan 22-20. Their second appearance came in the 1999 SYLVANIA Alamo Bowl against Penn State in front of a standing room only crowd of 65,380 which ranks second in all-time Alamo Bowl attendance.
Interim Head Coach Gary Darnell will lead the Aggie football team. New head coach Mike Sherman will take over after the completion of the NFL season. (See Story - Sherman Named Head Coach).
Darnell has served as the Aggies defensive coordinator the past two seasons and has had previous head coaching experience at Western Michigan as well as Tennessee Tech. Darnell also served as an interim head coach at the University of Florida during his career.
This year's game will be the 15th installment of the Valero Alamo Bowl and the inaugural game with new title sponsor Valero. Since 1995, the game has matched the Big Ten and the Big 12 Conferences. This combination has produced eight of the Top 20 most-watched games in ESPN bowl history and has averaged a 4.5 rating.
The last two Alamo Bowl games (Michigan vs. Nebraska and Texas vs. Iowa, respectively) currently rank as the #1 and #2 most-watched games in ESPN bowl game history and trail only the BCS and Capital One Bowl ratings overall.
Penn State Notes
Penn State in 2007: The Nittany Lions bring an 8-4 record into their 40th bowl game all-time. Three of the losses were by seven points or less. Penn State won 30 of its last 39 games overall and ranks among the Top 15 nationally in best cumulative record from 2005-07 (28-9).
Joe Paterno: The Valero Alamo Bowl will be Joe Paterno’s 500th as head coach of the Nittany Lions. In his 42nd season as head coach, Paterno owns a career record of 371-125-3 (74.6) and ranks second in victories among major college coaches and fourth among coaches across all NCAA divisions. He ranks fourth among active coaches in winning percentage (10 years or more).
Paterno is the all-time leader in bowl appearances (34th) and bowl victories (22-10-1 record). His 68.2 bowl winning percentage is third-best all-time among coaches with at least 12 bowl appearances.
Second Time Around: This will be Penn State and Joe Paterno’s second appearance in the bowl. The Nittany Lions are 1-0 in the bowl, defeating Texas A&M in the 1999 SYLVANIA Alamo Bowl 24-0.
Bowl Success: The Nittany Lions are No.3 in the nation with 25 post-season victories and first nationally in bowl winning percentage (66.7, 25-12-2) among schools with at least ten bowl wins.
Three Senior Starters: Penn State had just three senior starters for the last two games of the season: linebacker Dan Connor, tailback Rodney Kinlaw and quarterback Anthony Morelli. The Nittany Lions will return 21 starters for the 2008 campaign – nine on offense, ten starters on defense and both specialists.
Five Lions First Team All-Big Ten: Five Nittany Lions earned first team All-Big Ten honors, the second-highest total among all teams. A total of seven Penn State players earned all-conference recognition. Penn State’s five first team honorees were second only to Ohio State.
Senior All-America linebacker Dan Connor and junior cornerback Justin King were selected first team All-Big Ten after earning second team all-conference honors in 2006. Connor leads the league with 136 tackles and King leads the Big Ten with 17 passes defended.
Also garnering first team all-conference honors were freshman punter Jeremy Boone, sophomore defensive end Maurice Evans and junior center A.Q. Shipley. Junior linebacker Sean Lee and junior guard Rich Ohrnberger earned second team honors.
Texas A&M Notes
Texas A&M in 2007: With a season finale win over in-state rival Texas University the Aggies enter the Valero Alamo Bowl with a 7-5 record. Texas A&M ranks in the top three of the Big 12 in five statistical categories including rushing offense and 4th down conversions.
Third Time Around: This will be Texas A&Mâ€™s third appearance in the bowl and second against Penn State. The Aggies are 1-1 in the bowl, defeating Michigan 22-20 in 1995 and losing the Penn State 0-24 in 1999.
Aggies in San Antonio: The 2007 Valero Alamo Bowl will be the Aggies sixth time in the Alamodome. The Aggies are 2-2-1 in their previous appearances. The 1994 regular season game against SMU was the only contest not to sellout.
1994 vs. SMU/21-21 tie
1995 Alamo Bowl vs. Michigan/Won, 22-20
1997 Big 12 Championship vs. Nebraska/Lost 54-15
1999 Alamo Bowl vs. Penn State/Lost, 24-0
2006 vs. Army/Win, 28-24
Aggie Tradition: This is the 113th season for Texas A&M football with an overall record of 655-424-48. The Aggies have produced, one Heisman Trophy winner, two National Championships and 16 SWC Titles before aligning with the Big 12 where they hold one Big 12 Title.
Texas A&M goes Bowling: This will be the 30th bowl appearance for the Aggies and their 3rd straight bowl game. They have a record of 13-16 overall in bowl appearances and have played in 15 different bowls.
Featured Players: Quarterback Stephen McGee and tailbacks Jorvorskie Lane and Mike Goodson returned for the 2007 season with hopes at leading a high-powered offense, starting strong with only one loss in their first six games but would be stopped by in-state rival Texas Tech. The end of the season schedule was filled with top ranking teams such as Kansas, Oklahoma, Missouri and their finale against #11 Texas where McGee threw for a career-high 362 yards and three touchdowns to lead the Aggies to a 38-30 win.
The Aggies rushing offense proved to be their strong hold. They rank 2nd in the Big 12 with 2587 yards and 29 touchdowns rushing, with Lane claiming 16 of the 29 TDs. McGee and Lane lead the Aggies with a combined 1604 yards rushing and 21 TDs. Junior Tight End Martellus Bennett caught for 541 yards and four touchdowns.
The Aggie defense lead by Senior Linebacker Mark Dodge handed out 18 sacks for -108 yards and seven interceptions for -132 yards. Alone Dodge would produce 38 solo and 70 assists for a total of 108 contributed tackles. Last week Cody Wallace was named Big 12 Offensive Lineman of the Year.
Valero Alamo Bowl Notes
The Valero Alamo Bowl is tied with the Pacific Life Holiday Bowl for earning distinction as ESPN's most-watched bowl game.
ESPN's Top 5 Most-Watched Bowl Games are as follows (rating, household impressions):
1. 12/30/2006 ALAMO BOWL TEXAS vs. IOWA (6.05,521,220)
2. 12/28/2005 ALAMO BOWL NEBRASKA vs. MICHIGAN (5.44,875,543)
3. 12/30/2005 PEACH BOWL LSU VS. MIAMI (5.24,706,275)
4. 12/30/1998 HOLIDAY BOWL NEBRASKA vs. ARIZONA (6.4,556,937)
5. 12/29/2005 HOLIDAY BOWL OREGON vs. OKLAHOMA (5.1--4,555,583)
The Valero Alamo Bowl boasts the #3 highest average attendance among the 21 ESPN bowl games. Listed below is the Top 10 Alamo Bowl attendances: 65,875* Alamo Bowl, December 30, 2006 (Texas vs. Iowa)
65,380 SYLVANIA Alamo Bowl, Dec. 28, 1999 (Penn State vs. Texas A&M)
65,265 MasterCard Alamo Bowl, Dec. 29, 2004 (Ohio State vs. Oklahoma State)
65,232 SYLVANIA Alamo Bowl, Dec. 29, 2001 (Texas Tech vs. Iowa)
64,597 Builders Square Alamo Bowl, Dec. 28, 1995 (Michigan vs. Texas A&M)
62,016 MasterCard Alamo Bowl, Dec. 28, 2005 (Michigan vs. Nebraska)
60,780 Builders Square Alamo Bowl, Dec. 29, 1998 (Kansas State vs. Purdue)
60,028 SYLVANIA Alamo Bowl, Dec. 30, 2000 (Nebraska vs. Northwestern)
56,229 MasterCard Alamo Bowl, Dec. 29, 2003 (Nebraska vs. Michigan State)
55,677 Builders Square Alamo Bowl, Dec. 29, 1996 (Texas Tech vs. Iowa)
* The 2006 Alamo Bowl featured the largest sports crowd in Alamodome history.