Long-time rivals Penn State and Pittsburgh will be meeting for a few more games this decade as the schools announced today that they have extended their two-game series to a four-game series ranging from 2016 to 2019. The 2018 matchup between the two teams will take place at a completely empty Heinz Field on September 8 while the teams will come back to Beaver Stadium for their final matchup of the series on September 14, 2019.
Last June, the two schools decided to renew their rivalry in 2016 for a home-and-home set. This extension may be a sign of things to come, which is hopefully a full re-emergence of the games between arguably the two biggest college football schools in the Commonwealth.
We are thrilled to have the University of Pittsburgh back on the schedule for several consecutive years. Regional rivalries in college football are special. I have been involved in a few as a coach. Penn State versus Pitt is a rivalry rich with history and tradition. We have a great deal of respect for Paul Chryst and the Pitt Panther football program and we are looking forward to competing against them on the gridiron.
-Bill O'Brien on the extension of the Penn State-Pitt rivalry
O'Brien has publicly called for the series to be started back up again on a regular basis a number of times during his first year in State College.
The Nittany Lions and Panthers have played 96 times, the most times Penn State has played any opponent, with the Nits holding a 48-42-4 series advantage (50-42-4 sans vacated wins). Their last matchup came in 2000 when Pitt shutout the good guys, 12-0.
The first game in the series will have a number of storylines to go along with it. It will be the first season when Penn State is off of sanctions and it will have to be seen if they can keep the same competitiveness on the field after four years of scholarship reductions. Also, it will be interesting to see who is on both sidelines come 2016. Both O'Brien and Chryst had their names floating around for different jobs this offseason.
But,. we have more than three years to think about those things. For now, this should get you by.
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