Pittsburgh (KDKA)- Finally! The Pitt/Penn State rivalry is back.
The two schools announced that one of the best rivalries in college football will resume starting in 2016.
The schools announced that the teams are scheduled to meet September 10, 2016 in Pittsburgh and September 16, 2017 in Beaver Stadium.
“This is an exciting day for college football fans,” Pitt athletic director Steve Pederson said. “The tremendous history of this rivalry is well documented and the passion that fans have for this game is enormous. We are very pleased that this two-game series is now in place and a new generation of fans can experience the excitement of a Pitt-Penn State football game beginning in 2016.”
Pederson said the Pitt-Penn State games will introduce a new generation of fans to get a chance to experience the game.
“It’s a game that has tremendous passion among fans on both sides,” Pederson said. “Some of the greatest players in the history of the game have played in this game, and I think it’s a really great day for not only the University of Pittsburgh and for Penn State, but for all college football fans.”
Pitt head coach Todd Graham said he is excited for the games, adding it “gives a respect and honor to the past and to the future.”
Graham also said if you talk to former Panther players, Penn State was the rivalry for Pitt.
“I remember some very physical, hard-fought games,” Graham said. “Growing up in Dallas I watched the games so it tells you how far out that reaches, this type of rivalry game. I’m big in the history of the game too, and I think these things are important. I think it’s important to play them.”
“We are very excited about renewing our rivalry with Pitt,” Penn State athletic director Tim Curley said. “We have worked our schedules to play some of our neighboring rivalries like Syracuse, Rutgers and Temple and are glad to have identified dates that worked for our schedules to play Pitt. The Penn State-Pitt game was one that football fans across the Commonwealth have been passionate about. There have been many memorable Penn State-Pitt games, featuring outstanding players and coaches, and we look forward to playing the Panthers again. “
The last time these schools played was on September 16, 2000, when Pitt shutout Penn State, 12-0 at Three Rivers Stadium.
The Nittany Lions have met the Panthers more than any other opponent – 96 times – with Penn State owning a 50-42-4 series advantage. The teams first met in 1893 and played every season from 1900-31 and 1935-92.