JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – Temperatures in the low 80s greeted Penn State's players as they got off the plane in Jacksonville Monday afternoon.The Nittany Lions boarded buses for their accommodations in Amelia Island.
Hours earlier, the Georgia Bulldogs held their first practice at the University of North Florida.
Both teams are in town days in advance of Saturday's matchup in the TaxSlayer Bowl, it will be only the second all-time meeting of the two teams.
Penn State head coach James Franklin said earlier in the month that taking a plane full of young men to Florida for a week is not without its challenges.
“I’m pretty confident that we are going to go down there and represent ourselves the right way again,” he told the Penn State Centre Daily News. “Does that mean that 125 18- to 22-year-old males don’t make a mistake from time to time? They do."
With temperatures in the 70s as the Bulldogs opened their first open practice Monday morning, the mood was light.
“You go home for vacation and come back to practice,” tailback Sony Michel said. “It’s all about getting that focus back and working hard and getting back into it.”
After the morning practice, the TaxSlayer Bowl treated the Bulldogs to a fishing outing in St. Augustine. On Tuesday after both teams practice, they will be treated to receptions at the host hotels.
The TaxSlayer Bowl has more activities planned each day, including a visit to Mayport Naval Station on Wednesday, golf outings a visit to Wolfson Childen's Hospital on Thursday and pep rallies on Friday.