Earlier today, we rounded up reaction to the renewal of the Pitt-Penn State series from the Pittsburgh sphere. Now it's time for those from the Penn State side of the spectrum to have their say. Obviously, there's a lot of buzz around this story right now, so let's not waste any time.
First up is Jim Carlson of the Harrisburg Patriot-News. In conflict with some of his Pittsburgh brethren, he speculates the series came together without Joe Paterno opposed to the process.
Paterno was aware of these scheduling discussions, a Penn State spokesman said Tuesday. His teams won 23 of 31 games played against Pitt.
It’s unlikely Paterno, 84, and Graham, 46, will be on opposite sidelines in 2016 — it is unlikely, isn’t it? — but it’s good to know he most likely offered his blessing to the resumption of this series.
Frank Bodani of the York Daily Record gathers reaction from current Penn State receiver Derek Moye and a host of others.
"I still go back there and hear people talking about how much they hate Penn State," Moye said. "They say they only cheer for me during the games but root for us to lose."
In high school, a Pittsburgh store owner once told him, "Whatever you do, don't go to Penn State. I can't stand them, can't stand the coach, can't stand anything about them."
Even now, people still tell him how they wish he would have chosen Pitt instead.
"I wish I wouldn't be getting out so soon," Moye said. "I'd like to play in that."
Mark Wogenrich of the Allentown Morning Call looks back on some great moments of series, including 1981.
1981: Perhaps the pinnacle for the Lions. Before the game Paterno was quoted as saying, "I would rather have a tough schedule and lose a couple of games than have a patsy schedule and be rated No. 1." Ranked No. 11 at the time, Penn State rallied from a 14-0 deficit (courtesy of Dan Marino) to steamroll No. 1 Pitt 48-14. The key play: Roger Jackson’s end-zone interception of a pass that could have given the Panthers a 21-0 lead.
Penn State football historian and friend of the program, Mr. Lou Prato to the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review.
"Pitt-Penn State, they have to be in the same league, the last game of the season and when one team beats another, it ruins someone's season. It will never reach that place again unless Pitt gets into the Big Ten."
Beano Cook to Cory Giger of the Altonna Mirror.
"I think the Pitt people want to play; they've always wanted to play," said Beano Cook, longtime college football analyst and former sports information director at Pitt.
"It was Paterno [who didn't]. To me it's unbelievable that a series that started in 1893, that the football coach can stop the series, which means the football coach has more power than the president."
Cook went on to add, "Basically I like [Paterno] 80 percent of the time. The other 20 percent of the time I find him vindictive and childish."
Our own Ben over at Victory Bell Rings.
Penn State leads the all-time series 52-40-4, so Pitt will need more than just the two games if they hope to catch up. I’d expect the renewal of this rivalry to bring more national attention to both schools just because the national media loves rivalries (so much that I’m assuming Corso will be there). It would be just great if both schools got enough attention to convince them to make this more than a two year special event.
Chris at Slow States adds this.
I’m decidedly meh about this (no sense getting worked up about the 2016 schedule without knowing what else is on it, right?), but it certainly holds our collective interest more than games against Syracuse, Temple, and Rutgers. If it gives me an excuse to revive this footage in five years, that’s not totally a bad thing.
Finally, Devon of Nittany Whiteout.
Even now, while my generation finds Ohio State to be the ultimate evil, and as Pitt has settled into a hate-filled rivalry with West Virginia, we’re still regaled with the stories. Take 1981, when Penn State beat then-undefeated Pitt 48-14, preventing the Panthers from playing for a national championship. That’s oft recounted as one of the greatest games in Penn State history, and it’s something kids like me have no basis to judge.
The only drawback is, of course, that this is just a 2-game series. It’s enough to whet our appetite, but not to fulfill our hunger. This game must be played on a yearly basis if it’s going to be played at all–but this is, at the very least, a very encouraging start.