Dave Einsel, Associated Press
Houston's Case Keenum passes during the first quarter of a Conference USA championship NCAA college football game against Southern Mississippi, Saturday, Dec. 3, 2011, in Houston. Southern Mississippi defeated Houston 49-28.

STATE COLLEGE, Pa. — A person familiar with the decision tells The Associated Press that No. 24 Penn State will face No. 20 Houston in the Ticket City Bowl on Jan. 2.

The person requested anonymity because there was no authorization to release the matchup before the official announcement later Sunday.

Comment on this story

The Nittany Lions (9-3) finished tied with Wisconsin for first in the Big Ten Leaders Division.

But the program is in turmoil after former assistant coach Jerry Sandusky was charged last month with sexually abusing eight boys over a 15-year span. In the aftermath of Sandusky's arrest, Hall of Fame coach Joe Paterno was fired.

The Ticket City Bowl, played at the Cotton Bowl in Dallas, had the seventh selection out of bowls with Big Ten tie-ins, after the BCS games.

Houston (12-1) lost in the Conference USA championship on Saturday.