Penn State–Pittsburgh football rivalry
|Penn State–Pittsburgh football rivalry|
|Series record||Penn State leads, 50–42–4|
|First meeting||November 6, 1893
Penn State 32, Pittsburgh 0
|Last meeting||September 16, 2000
Pittsburgh 12, Penn State 0
|Next meeting||September 10, 2016|
|Current win streak||Pittsburgh, 1|
The Penn State–Pittsburgh football rivalry is an American college football rivalry between the Penn State Nittany Lions and Pittsburgh Panthers. It has been dormant since 2000, but will be renewed with an alternating home-and-home series from 2016 to 2019.
Once considered one of the most important college football rivalries north of the Mason–Dixon line, this intrastate rivalry was deemed the biggest annual game for both schools for a large part of their histories. The game often had regional and national implications with the winner often claiming Eastern college football supremacy and its respective Lambert-Meadowlands Trophy. The rivalry began a slow death in the 1990s when the schools left the ranks of college football independents and chose to join different conferences. Penn State accepted an invitation to join the Big Ten Conference while Pitt's football program joined the Big East Conference where the majority of the school's athletic programs already participated. The conference affiliations of the two previously independent football programs resulted in fewer scheduling opportunities.
The last scheduled game in the series was played at Three Rivers Stadium in Pittsburgh, PA, on September 16, 2000 when Pitt shut out Penn State 12–0. The desire of the Penn State athletic department to host an unbalanced number of home games (proposing 2–1 and 3–2 series) at Beaver Stadium was a significant factor in not agreeing to renew the series.
The rivalry can be viewed as the tale of two eras in college football. Prior to 1950, Pitt dominated the series (29–18–2), in one span defeating Penn State in fourteen straight meetings. Pitt coach Jock Sutherland never lost to Penn State (1924–38). From 1950 on, Penn State dominated the series, going 32–13–2. Former Penn State coach Joe Paterno holds the best record against Pitt at 23–7–1 (1966–2000).
Several games are of historic note:
The first game between these instate rivals was played on November 6, 1893, in State College, PA, with Penn State prevailing 32–0. Penn State won the first six meetings.
Pitt's first victory in the series occurred on November 24, 1904 in Pittsburgh, 22–5.
The 1963 game was originally scheduled for Saturday, November 23, but was postponed to December 7 following the assassination of John F. Kennedy on Friday, November 22. The once-beaten Panthers were being touted as a possible Cotton Bowl participant, but the bowl representatives expressed desire to invite Pitt only if they had one loss. With the game postponed until December 7, the Cotton Bowl could not wait. Pitt went on to defeat Penn State 22–21, finishing the season at 9–1, with no bowl.
The 1976 game pitted undefeated Pitt, ranked number one in the nation, against Penn State at Three Rivers Stadium on the night after Thanksgiving, November 26. The score was tied 7–7 at the half. Pitt's coach Johnny Majors moved Tony Dorsett to fullback for the second half, and the Panthers went on to defeat Penn State, 24–7, finishing the regular season 11–0, on their way to a Sugar Bowl victory over Georgia and their first National Championship in 39 years.
The 1981 game was one for the ages. Pitt was once again undefeated at 10–0 and number one in the nation, ready to claim the title, "Beast of the East." The Nittany Lions had other ideas when they came to Pitt Stadium on November 28. The game featured two junior quarterbacks, Dan Marino for Pitt and Todd Blackledge for Penn State. Pitt went up 14–0 in the first quarter; Penn State tied it at 14 at the half. The second half belonged to Penn State, scoring 34 second-half points while holding the Panthers scoreless. The 48–14 final cost Pitt a chance for its second national championship in five years.
The 1982 game again featured two of the nation's best teams. Pitt had been ranked preseason number one, but had lost to Notre Dame to enter the game at 9–1. Penn State also entered the game at 9–1, having lost only to Alabama. Again, it would be Marino vs. Blackledge in their last regular season game at a windswept Beaver Stadium. Penn State prevailed 19–10 on the strength of one Blackledge touchdown pass to Kenny Jackson, four field goals and a tenacious defense, and was on its way to a Sugar Bowl upset of Georgia, earning its first National Championship.
The rivalry, which has been on hiatus since 2000, will resume with a four-game series from 2016–19. The teams will play at Heinz Field in Pittsburgh in 2016 and 2018, while battling at Beaver Stadium in State College in 2017 and 2019.
Penn State victories are shaded ██ blue. Pittsburgh victories are shaded ██ gold. Ties are white.
|1||November 6, 1893||State College, PA||Penn State||32||Pittsburgh||0||Penn State 1–0|
|2||October 3, 1896||State College, PA||Penn State||10||Pittsburgh||4||Penn State 2–0|
|3||September 30, 1900||Bellefonte, PA||Penn State||12||Pittsburgh||0||Penn State 3–0|
|4||September 29, 1901||Bellefonte, PA||Penn State||27||Pittsburgh||0||Penn State 4–0|
|5||September 27, 1902||State College, PA||Penn State||27||Pittsburgh||0||Penn State 5–0|
|6||October 24, 1903||Pittsburgh, PA||Penn State||59||Pittsburgh||0||Penn State 6–0|
|7||November 24, 1904||Pittsburgh, PA||Pittsburgh||22||Penn State||5||Penn State 6–1|
|8||November 30, 1905||Pittsburgh, PA||Penn State||6||Pittsburgh||0||Penn State 7–1|
|9||November 29, 1906||Pittsburgh, PA||Penn State||6||Pittsburgh||0||Penn State 8–1|
|10||November 28, 1907||Pittsburgh, PA||Pittsburgh||6||Penn State||0||Penn State 8–2|
|11||November 26, 1908||Pittsburgh, PA||Penn State||12||Pittsburgh||6||Penn State 9–2|
|12||November 25, 1909||Pittsburgh, PA||Penn State||5||Pittsburgh||0||Penn State 10–2|
|13||November 24, 1910||Pittsburgh, PA||Pittsburgh||11||Penn State||0||Penn State 10–3|
|14||November 30, 1911||Pittsburgh, PA||Penn State||3||Pittsburgh||0||Penn State 11–3|
|15||November 28, 1912||Pittsburgh, PA||Penn State||38||Pittsburgh||0||Penn State 12–3|
|16||November 27, 1913||Pittsburgh, PA||Pittsburgh||7||Penn State||6||Penn State 12–4|
|17||November 26, 1914||Pittsburgh, PA||Pittsburgh||13||Penn State||3||Penn State 12–5|
|18||November 25, 1915||Pittsburgh, PA||Pittsburgh||20||Penn State||0||Penn State 12–6|
|19||November 30, 1916||Pittsburgh, PA||Pittsburgh||31||Penn State||0||Penn State 12–7|
|20||November 29, 1917||Pittsburgh, PA||Pittsburgh||28||Penn State||6||Penn State 12–8|
|21||November 28, 1918||Pittsburgh, PA||Pittsburgh||28||Penn State||6||Penn State 12–9|
|22||November 27, 1919||Pittsburgh, PA||Penn State||20||Pittsburgh||0||Penn State 13–9|
|23||November 25, 1920||Pittsburgh, PA||Pittsburgh||0||Penn State||0||Penn State 13–9–1|
|24||November 24, 1921||Pittsburgh, PA||Pittsburgh||0||Penn State||0||Penn State 13–9–2|
|25||November 30, 1922||Pittsburgh, PA||Pittsburgh||14||Penn State||0||Penn State 13–10–2|
|26||November 29, 1923||Pittsburgh, PA||Pittsburgh||20||Penn State||3||Penn State 13–11–2|
|27||November 27, 1924||Pittsburgh, PA||Pittsburgh||24||Penn State||3||Penn State 13–12–2|
|28||November 26, 1925||Pittsburgh, PA||Pittsburgh||23||Penn State||7||Tie 13–13–2|
|29||November 25, 1926||Pittsburgh, PA||Pittsburgh||24||Penn State||6||Pittsburgh 14–13–2|
|30||November 24, 1927||Pittsburgh, PA||Pittsburgh||30||Penn State||0||Pittsburgh 15–13–2|
|31||November 29, 1928||Pittsburgh, PA||Pittsburgh||26||Penn State||0||Pittsburgh 16–13–2|
|32||November 28, 1929||Pittsburgh, PA||Pittsburgh||20||Penn State||7||Pittsburgh 17–13–2|
|33||November 26, 1930||Pittsburgh, PA||Pittsburgh||19||Penn State||12||Pittsburgh 18–13–2|
|34||October 31, 1931||State College, PA||Pittsburgh||41||Penn State||6||Pittsburgh 19–13–2|
|35||October 26, 1935||Pittsburgh, PA||Pittsburgh||9||Penn State||0||Pittsburgh 20–13–2|
|36||November 7, 1936||Pittsburgh, PA||Pittsburgh||34||Penn State||7||Pittsburgh 21–13–2|
|37||November 20, 1937||Pittsburgh, PA||Pittsburgh||28||Penn State||7||Pittsburgh 22–13–2|
|38||November 19, 1938||Pittsburgh, PA||Pittsburgh||26||Penn State||0||Pittsburgh 23–13–2|
|39||November 25, 1939||State College, PA||Penn State||10||Pittsburgh||0||Pittsburgh 23–14–2|
|40||November 23, 1940||Pittsburgh, PA||Pittsburgh||20||Penn State||7||Pittsburgh 24–14–2|
|41||November 22, 1941||Pittsburgh, PA||Penn State||31||Pittsburgh||7||Pittsburgh 24–15–2|
|42||November 21, 1942||State College, PA||Penn State||14||Pittsburgh||6||Pittsburgh 24–16–2|
|43||November 20, 1943||Pittsburgh, PA||Penn State||14||Pittsburgh||0||Pittsburgh 24–17–2|
|44||November 25, 1944||Pittsburgh, PA||Pittsburgh||14||Penn State||0||Pittsburgh 25–17–2|
|45||November 24, 1945||Pittsburgh, PA||Pittsburgh||7||Penn State||0||Pittsburgh 26–17–2|
|46||November 23, 1946||Pittsburgh, PA||Pittsburgh||14||Penn State||7||Pittsburgh 27–17–2|
|47||November 22, 1947||Pittsburgh, PA||Penn State||29||Pittsburgh||0||Pittsburgh 27–18–2|
|48||November 20, 1948||Pittsburgh, PA||Pittsburgh||7||Penn State||0||Pittsburgh 28–18–2|
|49||November 19, 1949||Pittsburgh, PA||Pittsburgh||19||Penn State||0||Pittsburgh 29–18–2|
|50||December 3, 1950||Pittsburgh, PA||Penn State||21||Pittsburgh||20||Pittsburgh 29–19–2|
|51||November 14, 1951||Pittsburgh, PA||Pittsburgh||13||Penn State||7||Pittsburgh 30–19–2|
|52||November 22, 1952||Pittsburgh, PA||Penn State||17||Pittsburgh||0||Pittsburgh 30–20–2|
|53||November 21, 1953||Pittsburgh, PA||Penn State||17||Pittsburgh||0||Pittsburgh 30–21–2|
|54||November 20, 1954||Pittsburgh, PA||Penn State||13||Pittsburgh||0||Pittsburgh 30–22–2|
|55||November 19, 1955||State College, PA||Pittsburgh||20||Penn State||0||Pittsburgh 31–22–2|
|56||November 24, 1956||Pittsburgh, PA||Penn State||7||Pittsburgh||7||Pittsburgh 31–22–3|
|57||November 23, 1957||Pittsburgh, PA||Pittsburgh||14||Penn State||14||Pittsburgh 32–22–3|
|58||November 27, 1958||Pittsburgh, PA||Penn State||25||Pittsburgh||21||Pittsburgh 32–23–3|
|59||November 21, 1959||Pittsburgh, PA||Pittsburgh||22||Penn State||7||Pittsburgh 33–23–3|
|60||November 19, 1960||Pittsburgh, PA||Penn State||14||Pittsburgh||3||Pittsburgh 33–24–3|
|61||November 25, 1961||Pittsburgh, PA||Penn State||47||Pittsburgh||26||Pittsburgh 33–25–3|
|62||November 24, 1962||Pittsburgh, PA||Penn State||16||Pittsburgh||0||Pittsburgh 33–26–3|
|63||December 7, 1963||Pittsburgh, PA||Pittsburgh||22||Penn State||21||Pittsburgh 34–26–3|
|64||November 21, 1964||Pittsburgh, PA||Penn State||28||Pittsburgh||0||Pittsburgh 34–27–3|
|65||November 20, 1965||Pittsburgh, PA||Pittsburgh||30||Penn State||27||Pittsburgh 35–27–3|
|66||November 19, 1966||Pittsburgh, PA||Penn State||48||Pittsburgh||24||Pittsburgh 35–28–3|
|67||November 25, 1967||State College, PA||Penn State||42||Pittsburgh||6||Pittsburgh 35–29–3|
|68||November 23, 1968||Pittsburgh, PA||Penn State||65||Pittsburgh||9||Pittsburgh 35–30–3|
|69||November 22, 1969||Pittsburgh, PA||Penn State||27||Pittsburgh||7||Pittsburgh 35–31–3|
|70||November 21, 1970||State College, PA||Penn State||35||Pittsburgh||15||Pittsburgh 35–32–3|
|71||November 20, 1971||Pittsburgh, PA||Penn State||55||Pittsburgh||18||Pittsburgh 35–33–3|
|72||November 25, 1972||State College, PA||Penn State||49||Pittsburgh||27||Pittsburgh 35–34–3|
|73||November 24, 1973||State College, PA||Penn State||35||Pittsburgh||13||Tie 35–35–3|
|74||November 28, 1974||Pittsburgh, PA||Penn State||31||Pittsburgh||10||Penn State 36–35–3|
|75||November 22, 1975||Pittsburgh, PA||Penn State||7||Pittsburgh||6||Penn State 37–35–3|
|76||November 26, 1976||Pittsburgh, PA||Pittsburgh||24||Penn State||7||Penn State 37–36–3|
|77||November 26, 1977||Pittsburgh, PA||Penn State||15||Pittsburgh||13||Penn State 38–36–3|
|78||November 24, 1978||State College, PA||Penn State||17||Pittsburgh||10||Penn State 39–36–3|
|79||December 1, 1979||State College, PA||Pittsburgh||29||Penn State||14||Penn State 39–37–3|
|80||November 28, 1980||State College, PA||Pittsburgh||14||Penn State||9||Penn State 39–38–3|
|81||November 28, 1981||Pittsburgh, PA||Penn State||48||Pittsburgh||14||Penn State 40–38–3|
|82||November 26, 1982||State College, PA||Penn State||19||Pittsburgh||10||Penn State 41–38–3|
|83||November 19, 1983||Pittsburgh, PA||Penn State||24||Pittsburgh||24||Penn State 41–38–4|
|84||November 24, 1984||State College, PA||Pittsburgh||31||Penn State||11||Penn State 41–39–4|
|85||November 23, 1985||Pittsburgh, PA||Penn State||31||Pittsburgh||0||Penn State 42–39–4|
|86||November 22, 1986||State College, PA||Penn State||34||Pittsburgh||14||Penn State 43–39–4|
|87||November 14, 1987||Pittsburgh, PA||Pittsburgh||10||Penn State||0||Penn State 43–40–4|
|88||November 12, 1988||State College, PA||Pittsburgh||14||Penn State||7||Penn State 43–41–4|
|89||November 25, 1989||Pittsburgh, PA||Penn State||16||Pittsburgh||13||Penn State 44–41–4|
|90||November 24, 1990||State College, PA||Penn State||22||Pittsburgh||17||Penn State 45–41–4|
|91||November 28, 1991||Pittsburgh, PA||Penn State||32||Pittsburgh||20||Penn State 46–41–4|
|92||November 21, 1992||State College, PA||Penn State||57||Pittsburgh||13||Penn State 47–41–4|
|93||September 6, 1997||State College, PA||Penn State||34||Pittsburgh||17||Penn State 48–41–4|
|94||September 19, 1998||Pittsburgh, PA||Penn State||20||Pittsburgh||13||Penn State 49–41–4|
|95||September 11, 1999||State College, PA||Penn State||20||Pittsburgh||17||Penn State 50–41–4|
|96||September 16, 2000||Pittsburgh, PA||Pittsburgh||12||Penn State||0||Penn State 50–42–4|
|97||September 10, 2016||Pittsburgh, PA|
|98||September 16, 2017||State College, PA|
|99||September 18, 2018||Pittsburgh, PA|
|100||September 14, 2019||State College, PA|
- Panaccio, Tim (1982). Beast of the East: Penn State vs Pitt: a game-by-game history of America's greatest football rivalry. West Point, NY: Leisure Press. ISBN 0-88011-068-6.
- Fittipaldo, Ray (2011-06-14). "Pitt, Penn State to renew football rivalry in 2016". Pittsburgh Post-Gazette (Pittsburgh, PA). Retrieved 2011-06-14.
- Cook, Ron (August 30, 2004). "Pitt-Penn State series is bigger than Paterno". Pittsburgh Post-Gazette. Retrieved 2009-01-29.
- "Penn State and Pitt to Renew Football Rivalry From 2016-19". Penn State Official Athletic Site. December 7, 2012. Retrieved 2012-12-07.