(DALLAS) — (24) Penn State’s season came to a close Monday with a 30-14 loss to (20) Houston in the TicketCity Bowl. The Nittany Lions finished the year 9-4, during which longtime head coach Joe Paterno was fired amid the fallout of the Jerry Sandusky child sex-abuse scandal.
Houston quarterback Case Keenum dissected Penn State’s defense, tossing for 532 yards and three touchdowns. The Nittany Lions were down 24-7 at halftime, a deficit that proved too big to overcome.
“I wanted to thank them for all the things that they did for all of us, for what they have been through,” Penn State head coach Tom Bradley said of his post-game speech to his players. “I told them we still had a lot to be thankful for. Things didn’t go our way today, and I told them in life it doesn’t always work out that way. I said it’s not what happens to you, it’s how you react to it.”
Bradley took over for Paterno after he was relieved of his duties on November 9th. It was the first bowl game for Penn State that didn’t have Paterno on the sidelines since the 1962 Gator Bowl.
Bradley is among the coaching candidates Penn State is considering for the full-time job. The school is aiming to have a new coach in place later this month.
After starting the season 8-1, Penn State dropped three of their last four games.
Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio
Jill Martin, CNN
Eliott C. McLaughlin, CNN Newswire