Penn State Nittany Lions football
|Penn State Nittany Lions football|
|Athletic director||David M. Joyner|
|Head coach||Bill O'Brien
2nd year, 12–6 (.667)
|Home stadium||Beaver Stadium|
|Location||State College, Pennsylvania|
|All-time record||726–366–43 (.659)|
|Postseason bowl record||21–15–2|
|Claimed national titles||2|
|Conference titles||2 (PIFA 1891, Big Ten 1994)|
Navy Blue and White
|Fight song||Fight On, State|
|Marching band||Penn State Blue Band|
|Rivals||Maryland Terrapins (dormant)
Michigan State Spartans (trophy game)
Minnesota Golden Gophers (trophy game)
Nebraska Cornhuskers (cross-divisional)
Ohio State Buckeyes
Pittsburgh Panthers (in-state, dormant)
Temple Owls (in-state)
West Virginia Mountaineers (dormant)
|Website||Penn State Football|
The Penn State Nittany Lions football team represents the Pennsylvania State University in the National Collegiate Athletic Association Division I Football Bowl Subdivision as a member of the Big Ten Conference. Penn State has played all home games at Beaver Stadium since 1960. The team is currently coached by Bill O'Brien.
- 1 History
- 2 Current coaching staff
- 3 Traditions
- 4 Penn State child sex abuse scandal
- 5 Notable seasons
- 6 Season-by-season records
- 7 Coaching history
- 8 Bowl history
- 9 Rivalries
- 10 Individual award winners
- 11 Current NFL Players
- 12 College Football Hall of Fame inductees
- 13 Pro Football Hall of Fame inductees
- 14 Future schedules
- 15 Charity and awareness efforts
- 16 Penn State football radio affiliates
- 17 References
- 18 External links
Early History (1892-1917)
George W. Hoskins was the first head football coach in Penn State football history. He posted a 17-4-4 record in his four seasons as head coach, and his .76 winning percentage ranks highest in program history. He was succeeded by Samuel B. Newton, who posted a 12-14 record in three seasons. Pop Golden coached the Nittany Lions for three seasons from 1900-1902, tallying a record of 16-12-1. Tom Fennell coached the Nittany Lions for five seasons from 1904-1908, posting a 33-17-1 record. Brothers Bill and Jack Hollenback also served as head football coaches at Penn State, posting 28-9-4 and 5-2-1, respectively. Dick Harlow brought a new form of defense, trying to go in-between or around offensive blockers rather than try to overpower them. Harlow posted a 20-8 record in his three seasons (1915-1917) and was later inducted into the College Football Hall of Fame as a coach for his accomplishments.
Hugo Bezdek Era (1918-1929)
Hugo Bezdek was Penn State's head football coach for 12 seasons and the Nittany Lions' first athletics director. Bezdek posted a 65-30-11 record, which included two undefeated seasons and a berth in the 1922 Rose Bowl, a game they lost. Bezdek's Nittany Lions posted a losing record in only two of Bezdek's seasons, going 1-2-1 in 1918 and 3-5-1 in 1928. Bezdek retired after the 1929 season and was inducted into the College Football Hall of Fame as a coach in 1954.
Bob Higgins Era (1930-1948)
Bob Higgins returned to his alma mater and served as Penn State's head football coach for 19 seasons. He compiled a 91-57-11 overall record, which included 11 winning seasons and only five losing seasons. Higgins' 1947 team tied SMU in the Cotton Bowl. Higgins was forced to retire due to poor health following the 1948 season. He was inducted into the College Football Hall of Fame as a coach in 1954.
Joe Bedenk Era (1949)
For one season, Joe Bedenk, also a Penn State alum, served as the Nittany Lions' head football coach. He was promoted from offensive line coach after the retirement of his predecessor. Bedenk posted a 5-4 record in his lone season before requesting to return to his previous post as offensive line coach.
Rip Engle Era (1950-1965)
Rip Engle came to Penn State from Brown. Engle posted a 104-48-4 record during his 16 season tenure as head coach and developed a game known as Angleball as a way for his players to maintain fitness in the off-season. Engle never had a losing season at Penn State, and his 5-5 final season was his only non-winning season. His 1959 and 1960 Nittany Lions teams won the Liberty Bowl, while his 1961 and 1962 teams reached the Gator Bowl, winning the first and losing the second. Engle retired following the 1965 season and was inducted into the College Football Hall of Fame in 1973.
Joe Paterno Era (1966-2011)
Penn State assistant Joe Paterno was promoted to head coach following the retirement of Engle. Paterno spent 46 seasons as the Nittany Lions head football coach, the longest tenure of any FBS head coach and 16 more as an assistant, making his 62 total years coaching at Penn State the most of any coach at any school. He also served as Penn State's athletics director from 1980-1982. His final record is 298-136-3 (111 wins, all from 1998-2011 were vacated as punishment for the child sex abuse scandal). Paterno's Nittany Lions won national championships in 1982 and 1986, posted non-losing records in all seasons but one, appeared in 37 bowl games with 24 wins (6 vacated by NCAA). Paterno's teams also won the Orange Bowl in 1968, 1969 and 1973 (2005 was vacated), the Fiesta Bowl in 1977, 1980, 1981, 1986, 1991 and 1996, and the Sugar Bowl in 1982. During Paterno's tenure, Penn State's athletics program, after a century as a Division I-A independent, joined the Big Ten Conference in June 1990. Beaver Stadium was expanded six times during Paterno's tenure. Paterno was elected to the College Football Hall of Fame in 2006, and was a major reason why the longtime rule of waiting until retirement to be inducted into the Hall of Fame was changed to any coach over 75 years of age. Players such as Kerry Collins, Matt Millen, Jack Ham, Franco Harris, Keith Dorney, John Cappelletti, Curt Warner, LaVar Arrington, and Ted Kwalick among many other NFL greats played collegiately for Joe Paterno. Paterno won numerous coaching and sportsman honors during his long run at Penn State.
Paterno was the winningest FBS head football coach in history and one of the most revered figures in college sports until the Penn State child sex abuse scandal involving longtime assistant and once heir-apparent Jerry Sandusky. The scandal resulted in the firing of Paterno in November 2011 and the loss of all wins from 1998-2011, dropping Paterno from first to twelfth on the all-time wins list. Paterno's statue outside Beaver Stadium was also taken down. Assistant coach Tom Bradley finished out the 2011 season as interim head coach after Paterno's ouster.
Bill O'Brien Era (2012-Present)
New England Patriots offensive coordinator Bill O'Brien was hired as the 15th head football coach in Penn State history, taking over the scandal-ridden Nittany Lions football program in January 2012. Early in O'Brien's tenure, the NCAA sanctioned Penn State with a four-season postseason ban and a loss of 40 scholarships due to the Jerry Sandusky scandal. O'Brien posted an 8-4 record in his first season as head coach of the Nittany Lions, a much better record than most anticipated.
Current coaching staff
|Head Coach/Offensive Coordinator||Bill O'Brien||2012||Brown (1992)|
|Defensive Coordinator/Cornerbacks||John Butler||2012||Catholic University of America (1995)|
|Quarterbacks||Charlie Fisher||2012||Springfield (1980)|
|Running Backs/Recruiting Coordinator||Charles London||2012||Duke (1997)|
|Wide Receivers/Assistant Head Coach||Stan Hixon||2012||Iowa State (1978)|
|Tight Ends||John Strollo||2012||Boston College (1976)|
|Offensive Line||Mac McWhorter||2012||Georgia (1974)|
|Defensive Line||Larry Johnson||1999||Elizabeth City State (1973)|
|Linebackers||Ron Vanderlinden||2000||Albion College (1977)|
|Safeties||Anthony Midget||2013||Virginia Tech (2000)|
|Strength and Conditioning||Craig Fitzgerald||2012||Maryland (1997)|
"Nittanyville" is the name attributed to the student tradition of camping out in front of Beaver Stadium prior to a home football game. Each week before a home game, students camp out in front of the stadium in order to hold their positions in line for front-row seats. Football players, the Blue Band, local food vendors and even the coaching staff frequently visit Nittanyville, pepping up the students as game days draw near. Nittanyville is governed by the student-run Nittanyville Coordination Committee. The tradition was established during the 2005 football season, when students began setting up tents and "camping" in front of Beaver Stadium one week before the game with rival school Ohio State on October 8. Nittanyville was originally known as "Paternoville," in honor of the head coach Joe Paterno but the name was changed in light of the Penn State child sex abuse scandal.
Success with Honor
Joe Paterno was widely known for his "grand experiment" in which he challenged his players to be successful both on the field and in the classroom. In 2011, the Nittany Lion football team posted an 87% graduation rate, tied with Stanford for No. 10 overall among the nation's 120 Football Bowl Subdivision (FBS) institutions, above the national average of 67%.
The June 2012 conviction of former assistant coach Jerry Sandusky on multiple counts of child sexual abuse and the alleged cover up of the incidents as part of the Penn State sex abuse scandal marred the "Success with Honor" image. President Rodney Erickson, athletics director Dave Joyner, and head football coach Bill O'Brien, all of whom have accepted their new jobs in the wake of the scandal, have made statements in which they express commitment to maintaining integrity at the university and within the athletics programs.
In 2012, a group of alumni and supporters established a non-profit organization (501.c.3 and registered trademark) that will build upon the “Success with Honor” motto. Their mission is to promote and support charitable endeavors as well as to inspire others to “Get in the Game.” Success with Honor is a Social Network Community that has identified more than 60+ charities. Success with Honor is creating a comprehensive network that will allow us to serve individuals and charities alike. SWH is helping individuals identify and connect with causes they’d like to volunteer their skills, time, and/or money to. Similarly, SWH is assisting charities in finding individuals to meet their current needs.
The team is widely noted for their simple game uniforms. They only wear white pants, and the jerseys are simple blue for home games, and white for away games. The team is only allowed to wear simple black Nike shoes with white calf socks for game days, though blue tights are permitted underneath the white socks for cold weather games. The helmet is white with a blue stripe down the center, and a blue on white "Penn State" sticker covers up the forehead helmet logo. No team logos, conference logos, numbers, or other stickers are permitted on the helmet, though two Nike logos are on facemask visors that some players choose to wear. Penn State has started to wear bowl decals only starting with 1997 Fiesta Bowl. Before that, Penn State always declined the decals so they can play out of their simple game uniforms. The blue and white uniforms replaced pink and black ones in 1890.
The uniforms became even simpler for the 2011 season, as the white cuffs and collars on the home jerseys and the corresponding blue cuffs and collars on the road jerseys were eliminated, leaving the jerseys solid blue and white, respectively.
In 2012 Penn State started wearing names on their uniforms for the first time and a blue ribbon in support the victims of child abuse.
In 2013 the Nittany Lion logo was added to the base of the jersey collar along with the Big Ten logo on the right side of the jersey.
Captains are chosen by the team, with the head coach's approval. Being named a captain is an honor almost always given to a senior, but there are some notable exceptions: Linebacker Sean Lee was named a captain in the beginning of Spring practice in 2008, the beginning of his 4th year with the team. However, he suffered a torn ACL during spring practice, redshirted in 2008, and returned as a captain again in 2009. The most recent example of a "true" junior being named was Paul Posluszny, who was named a captain in both 2005 and 2006, his junior and senior years, respectively. The last time a junior was named captain before Posluszny was in 1968, when Steve Smear and Mike Reid were named captains during their junior years.
Penn State is often referred to as Linebacker U for its reputation of producing outstanding linebackers.
- Dennis Onkotz was a two-time All American in 1968 and 1969, and played on two undefeated teams.
- Jack Ham finished his career with 251 tackles, blocked two punts, and went on to play on two undefeated teams. Ham later went on to the NFL, playing for the Pittsburgh Steelers, and was inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame.
- Charlie Zapiec a fourth round draft pick of the Dallas Cowboys, went on the star in the Canadian Football League as a linebacker with the Montreal Alouettes coached by future NFL Legend Marv Levy. Charlie switched from Offensive Guard his senior years where he also achieve All-American Honors; in the 2 years he started as a Guard and the one year as a Linebacker he accumulated 34 wins, including 3 Major Bowl victories, while suffering only one loss - the best record for a starter in Penn State History.
- Edward William O'Neil, an American football coach and former professional linebacker, played seven seasons in the National Football League (NFL). From 1970–1973, he played linebacker for coach Joe Paterno at Penn State. A three-year letterman, he was team captain of the Nittany Lions' undefeated 1973 team and was named an All-American that same season.
- Greg Buttle was a linebacker during the 1973–1975 seasons, finishing with 305 tackles in his junior and senior year. He was drafted by the New York Jets and is a part of the All Jet team.
- Shane Conlan was a two-time All-American and defensive MVP of the 1987 National Championship Fiesta Bowl. He was drafted No. 1 by the Bills in 1987, named NFL Defensive Rookie of the Year and was named to three straight Pro Bowls (1988–90).
- Lavar Arrington finished with 319 career tackles and 139 tackles for losses. He was later drafted 2nd overall by the Washington Redskins.
- Cameron Wake went on to capture MVP honors for the British Columbia Lions in the Canadian Football League before moving on to the Miami Dolphins and leading the National Football League in sacks during the 2010 season.
- Tamba Hali was the 20th overall pick in the 2006 NFL Draft and led the AFC in sacks during the 2010 NFL season helping the Kansas City Chiefs reach the playoffs. He played Defensive End during his college career.
- Paul Posluszny played from 2003–2006. Posluszny won the Dick Butkus Award in 2005 and the Chuck Bednarik Award in 2005 and 2006. He finished with 372 tackles, and was drafted by the Buffalo Bills.
- Dan Connor finished his career as the all-time leading tackler for Penn State with 419 and was drafted by the Carolina Panthers.
- Sean Lee, graduating Penn State in 2009, is now starting inside linebacker for the Dallas Cowboys.
- NaVorro Bowman, drafted by the San Francisco 49ers in the third round of the 2010 draft, ranked 7th in the league in tackles in 2011 and was named an AP first team All-Pro for his 2011 campaign.
- Michael Mauti and Gerald Hodges were "Co-Linebacker U" in 2012, both achieved over 95 tackles and both were drafted by the Minnesota Vikings.
Penn State child sex abuse scandal
The Penn State child sex abuse scandal centered on former Pennsylvania State University football assistant coach Jerry Sandusky's sexual assault of at least eight underage boys on or near university property. After an extensive grand jury investigation, Sandusky was indicted on 52 counts of child molestation dating from 1994 to 2009, though the abuse may date as far back as the 1970s. The trial of Jerry Sandusky on 52 charges of sexual crimes against children started on June 11, 2012, at the Centre County Courthouse in Bellefonte, Pennsylvania and ended on the evening of June 22, 2012, when the jury found Sandusky guilty on 45 of the 48 counts against him.
Several high-level school officials were charged with perjury, suspended, or dismissed for allegedly covering up the incidents or failing to notify authorities. In the wake of the scandal, school president Graham Spanier was forced to resign, and head football coach Joe Paterno was fired late in the season, while Sandusky maintained his innocence.
Former FBI director Louis Freeh, whose firm was hired by the Penn State Board of Trustees to conduct an independent investigation into the scandal, concluded, after interviewing over 400 people and reviewing over 3.5 million documents, that Paterno, Spanier, Curley and Schultz had deliberately conspired to conceal Sandusky's actions in order to protect publicity surrounding Penn State's vaunted football program. In an interview conducted by Showtime's 60 Minutes Sports, the former Chief Deputy Attorney General of Pennsylvania, Frank Fina, who investigated and prosecuted Jerry Sandusky, stated that he found no evidence that Joe Paterno participated in a cover-up.
On July 23, 2012, NCAA announced that it had fined the Penn State football program $60 million, levied a four-year ban from bowl games and vacated all of the program's 112 wins from 1998 to 2011. They were also required to cut 10 scholarships for the 2011–2012 season and 20 scholarships for the following four years.
Penn State has had seven undefeated, untied seasons in its history since the program started in 1887:
Penn State has won two consensus national championships, both under Joe Paterno's tenure as coach.
Other national championships selections:
1911 • (National Championship Foundation)
1912 • (National Championship Foundation)
1969 • (Foundation for the Analysis of Competitions and Tournaments, Massey Ratings)
1981 • (Dunkel System, Loren Maxwell, Soren Sorenson, The Fleming System)
1994 • (Billingsley Report, DeVold, Foundation for the Analysis of Competitions and Tournaments, Massey Ratings, Matthews Grid Ratings, National Championship Foundation, New York Times, Sagarin Ratings)
Penn State played as an independent from 1887 through 1890.
On September 26, 1891, the Pennsylvania Intercollegiate Football Association (PIFA) was formed. The PIFA consisted of Bucknell, Dickinson, Franklin and Marshall, Haverford, Penn State and Swarthmore. Penn State won the championship with a 4–1–0 PIFA record (Bucknell's record was 3–1–1). The PIFA dissolved prior to the 1892 season.
Penn State then played as an independent again until joining the Big Ten Conference in 1990 and beginning play in 1993. Penn State then won its first Big Ten championship in 1994. Two other titles in 2005 and 2008 were vacated July 23, 2012 by the NCAA as a sanction in response to the Penn State child sex abuse scandal.
|Coach||Years||Seasons||Record||Pct.||Cnf. Record||Pct.||Cnf. Titles||Bowls||Nat. Titles|
|Daniel A. Reed||1903||1||5–3–0||.625|
|Bill Hollenback||1909, 1911–1914||5||28–9–4||.732|
|Joe Paterno||1966–2011||45||409-136–3 (*298-136-3)||.749 (*.648)||95-54 (*31–54)||.629 (*.365)||3 (*1)||37||2|
|Tom Bradley||2011||<1||1–3 (*0-3)||.250 (*.000)||1-2 (*0-2)||.333 (*.000)||1|
|Totals||1887–2012||125||835–365–43 (*723-365-43)||.689 (*.658)||106-59 (*41–59)||.642 (*.410)||4 (*2)||44||2|
Note: Records and winning percentiles in parentheses with asterisks are those accepted by the NCAA. Wins were removed by the NCAA from the Penn State Child Sex Abuse Scandal.
Penn State has earned invitations to 43 bowl games. The Nittany Lions have compiled a bowl record of 21–14–2 (0.594), including a 13–6–1 (0.675) record in the major bowls (Rose, Orange, Sugar, Fiesta, and Cotton).
Coach Joe Paterno was responsible for most of these bids and victories, compiling more appearances (37) than any other coach in college football history en route to his bowl record of 18–12–1 (0.596). Paterno also has a record of 10–5–0 (0.666) in "major" bowls and is the only coach to have won all five major college bowls during his career.
|Alamo Bowl||2||1999, 2008||2–0|
|Blockbuster Bowl||2||1990, 1993||0–2|
|Citrus Bowl/Capital One Bowl||5||1988, 1994, 1998, 2003, 2010||2–3|
|Cotton Bowl Classic||3||1948, 1972, 1975||2–0–1|
|Fiesta Bowl||6||1977, 1980, 1982, 1987, 1992, 1997||6–0|
|Gator Bowl||4||1961, 1962, 1967, 1976||1–2–1|
|Liberty Bowl||3||1959, 1960, 1979||3–0|
|Orange Bowl||5||1969, 1970, 1974, 1986, 2006||4–1|
|Outback Bowl||4||1996, 1999, 2007, 2011||3–1|
|Rose Bowl||3||1923, 1995, 2009||1–2|
|Sugar Bowl||4||1972, 1976, 1979, 1983||1–3|
Penn State competes for two rivalry trophies, both introduced when the Nittany Lions began Big Ten football in 1993. Penn State has other non-trophy rivalries and matchups against other opponents that have garnered national attention.
From 1959 through 1990, Penn State played Alabama. The series was renewed in 2010 in Tuscaloosa and then 2011 in State College. Alabama currently holds a 10-5 series lead winning the last contest 27-11 on September 10, 2011.
This lop-sided rivalry was first played in 1917, and all but three years between 1960 and 1993, but has remained inactive since. As recently as October 2008, there have been inconclusive negotiations between the schools for a revival. Penn State has a commanding 35–1–1 lead in the series. In 2014 Maryland will join the Big Ten Conference and be in the Eastern Division with Penn State renewing this rivalry.
From 1993 to 2010, Penn State played Michigan State for the Land Grant Trophy. Michigan State currently holds possession of the trophy after winning the 2010 contest. Michigan State has a 5–4 record in these trophy games. Penn State held a 14–13–1 lead in the all-time series although currently Michigan State leads the series 13–5–1 due to the vacation of 9 Penn State wins as fallout from the Penn State child sex abuse scandal. Beginning with the league's expansion and new division format in 2011, the two teams are in different divisions and will only meet twice every five years. This rivalry will renew in the 2014-2015 season when they will both be in the Big Ten's Eastern Division.
Since 1993, Penn State has played Minnesota for the Governor's Victory Bell. Prior to the sanctions handed down by the NCAA in 2012, Penn State led 8–4 against the Golden Gophers in this series, but now trails 5–3.
Due to the Big Ten's schedule rotation, Penn State and Minnesota did not meet in 2007 and 2008. The series resumed in 2009. Beginning with the league's expansion and new division format in 2011, the two teams will play in opposite divisions and meet twice every five years. Penn State will next play Minnesota in the 2016-2017 football season.
The teams played a series of games before Penn State joined the Big Ten, most notably in the early 1980s. The high point of the rivalry was an epic battle in week three of 1982 season. Nebraska came to Happy Valley ranked #2; Penn State was ranked No. 8 at the time. After Nebraska had scored to take the lead with a minute remaining, Todd Blackledge led the Lions down the field. Penn State won the game with a touchdown as time expired, and went on to win the National Championship. The series was renewed briefly in 2002–03 after a 19-year gap (during which in 1994, Nebraska and Penn State finished 1–2 in both major polls). Beginning in the 2011 season, Penn State and Nebraska will play every year as cross-division rivals. Nebraska beat Penn State in the first game since joining the Big Ten conference, the weekend that immediately followed the firing of legendary head coach Joe Paterno. Penn State is currently 7-8 all-time versus Nebraska but recognized by the NCAA as 6-8 from the removal of Penn State's last win against Nebraska in 2002 due to the Penn State child sex abuse scandal.
The series from 1981 through 1992 put the rivalry into focus on a national level. At the time, Penn State and Notre Dame were two of the few remaining Independent teams remaining in Division I FBS. It was also a very successful time for both programs, with Notre Dame winning a National Championship in 1988 and Penn State crowned National Champions in 1982 and 1986. In the 12-game series, Penn State held a 8–4–0 advantage including a 1990 win at Notre Dame Stadium where Penn State knocked off top-ranked Notre Dame with a last second field goal.
The rivalry was briefly renewed with a home-and-home series in 2006 and 2007. Penn State evened the series to 9–9–1, after defeating Notre Dame 31–10 at Beaver Stadium, 2007 after being defeated in the previous year 41–17 at Notre Dame Stadium. Although this win was taken away by the NCAA due to the child sex abuse scandal and Penn State now trails the series 8-9-1.
Ohio State and Penn State first played in 1912, but until 1993 when Penn State joined the Big Ten conference, the meetings were infrequent. Including their last non-conference meeting in the 1980 Fiesta Bowl, the series was 6–2 in favor of Penn State before the Big Ten established the two teams as designated conference rivals playing annually starting in 1993. Penn State trails the overall series 13-15 and is 7–13 in conference play (recognized by the NCAA as 8-15 overall and 2-13 in conference play due to the NCAA's removal of wins from Penn State's child sex abuse scandal).
Penn State is 6–9 at Ohio Stadium (the 1912 game was played at its predecessor, Ohio Field) and after a 13–6 win in 2008, Penn State had broken a seven-game away losing streak at Ohio Stadium that had been held since 1975. Penn State is 5–6 against Ohio State in Beaver Stadium, including a memorable come-from-behind win in 2001 to give Joe Paterno his 324th win, passing Bear Bryant for the lead in career victories among major college coaches.
A couple of meetings have determined the conference champion. Of the 28 games they played, 11 have been determined by 7 points or less, 16 games by 14 points or less. Penn State has shut out Ohio State three times but all occurred prior to Penn State joining the Big Ten, while Ohio State has never held Penn State below six points. Due to the nature of the rivalry, a large number of games between the two teams are night games.
As with Penn State, Ohio State's football team has also been hit with a scandal in recent years, regarding coach Jim Tressel covering up the fact that five OSU football players, including Terrelle Pryor, received improper benefits. OSU would self-vacate its entire 2010 season as a result, and the NCAA eventually banned them from the 2012-13 bowl season (which had a profound impact on the national title race that season, as unbeatens Notre Dame and OSU were not able to meet in the 2013 BCS National Championship Game, 1-loss Alabama played instead and won, bringing the Southeastern Conference its 7th straight national title). Tressel was also given a 5-year show-cause penalty, which effectively prevents him from coaching in the NCAA during this period.
The Pitt-Penn State rivalry is a currently dormant series between in-state rivals Penn State and Pittsburgh. Once considered the fiercest and most important college football rivalry north of the Mason-Dixon line, this rivalry was first played in 1893 when Penn State won 32–0. The most recent game in the series was played in 2000 with Pitt winning 12–0 over Penn State at Three Rivers Stadium. Penn State holds a 48–42–4 record in the series (with 2 more wins stripped from the NCAA due to the child sex abuse scandal).
Of the 96 games played between the two, 72 have been held in Pittsburgh. Twenty-two have been played in State College. Two games, in 1900 and 1901, were played in Bellefonte, Pennsylvania.
Pitt and Penn State are scheduled to renew their rivalry with a 4-game home-and-home series starting in 2016 and continuing through 2019. The first and third games of the series will be played at Heinz Field in Pittsburgh, in 2016 and 2018, with the second and fourth games taking place in 2017 and 2019 at Beaver Stadium in State College.
With the exception of 1943, Penn State and Syracuse played every year from 1922 through 1990. However, the rivalry became dormant when Syracuse joined the Big East Conference and Penn State joined the Big Ten.
The rivalry was briefly renewed when the teams agreed to a two-game home-and-home series for 2008 and 2009, in which Penn State won both games but the wins have been vacated by the NCAA due to the child sex abuse scandal. The two teams then played in MetLife Stadium in East Rutherford, NJ in the 2013 football season. Penn State holds an official 41–23–5 record in this series with their last official win occurring on August 31, 2013. The rivalry will next be renewed when the schools are scheduled to play a two-game home-and-home series in the 2020 and 2021 football seasons.
Penn State has been playing Temple frequently since 1931. Temple has not beaten Penn State since 1941, and Penn State holds a 31–3–1 record in the series (38-3-1 including games removed from the NCAA due to the child sex abuse scandal), after last defeating Temple 24-13 at Beaver Stadium in 2012. The current series will continue every season except the 2013 season through at least 2016. Penn State's 30-game winning streak over Temple is currently the longest active streak in college football.
First played in 1904, Penn State and West Virginia played every year from 1947 to 1992. The rivalry has been renewed in a home and home series to be played in State College in 2023 and Morgantown in 2024. Penn State leads the series 48–9–2.
Individual award winners
- Lambert Trophy – 1947, 1961, 1962, 1964, 1967, 1968, 1969, 1971, 1972, 1973, 1974, 1975, 1977, 1978, 1981, 1982, 1985, 1986, 1989, 1990, 1991, 1994, 1996, 1997, 1998, 2005, 2008
Current NFL Players
College Football Hall of Fame inductees
|Keith Dorney||Offensive tackle||2005|
|Ted Kwalick||Tight end||1989|
|Lydell Mitchell||Running back||2004|
|Mike Reid||Defensive tackle||1987|
Pro Football Hall of Fame inductees
|Name||Position||NFL team(s)||Year inducted|
|Jack Ham||Linebacker||Pittsburgh Steelers||1988|
|Franco Harris||Running back||Pittsburgh Steelers, Seattle Seahawks||1990|
|Mike Michalske||Guard||Green Bay Packers||1964|
|Lenny Moore||Flanker/running back||Baltimore Colts||1975|
|Mike Munchak||Guard||Houston Oilers||2001|
|Dave Robinson||Linebacker||Green Bay Packers||2013|
To view Penn State's future 2013 season scheduled games see: 2013 Penn State Nittany Lions football team
|08/30/2014||8:30 am||vs. UCF*||Croke Park • Dublin, Ireland (Croke Park Classic)||ESPN2|
|09/06/2014||Akron*||Beaver Stadium • University Park, PA|
|09/13/2014||at Rutgers||High Point Solutions Stadium • Piscataway, NJ|
|09/20/2014||Massachusetts*||Beaver Stadium • University Park, PA|
|09/27/2014||Northwestern||Beaver Stadium • University Park, PA|
|10/11/2014||at Michigan||Michigan Stadium • Ann Arbor, MI|
|10/25/2014||Ohio State||Beaver Stadium • University Park, PA (Ohio State - Penn State rivalry)|
|11/01/2014||Maryland||Beaver Stadium • University Park, PA (Maryland-Penn State football rivalry)|
|11/08/2014||at Indiana||Memorial Stadium • Bloomington, IN|
|11/15/2014||Temple*||Beaver Stadium • University Park, PA|
|11/22/2014||at Illinois||Memorial Stadium • Champaign, Il|
|11/29/2014||Michigan State||Beaver Stadium • University Park, PA (Land Grant Trophy)|
|*Non-conference game. Homecoming. #Rankings from Coaches' Poll released prior to game. All times are in Eastern Time.|
|09/05/2015||at Temple*||Lincoln Financial Field • Philadelphia, PA|
|09/12/2015||Buffalo*||Beaver Stadium • University Park, PA|
|09/19/2015||Rutgers||Beaver Stadium • University Park, PA|
|09/26/2015||San Diego State*||Beaver Stadium • University Park, PA|
|10/10/2015||Indiana||Beaver Stadium • University Park, PA|
|10/17/2015||at Ohio State||Ohio Stadium • Columbus, OH (Ohio State - Penn State rivalry)|
|10/24/2015||at Maryland||M&T Bank Stadium • Baltimore, MD (Maryland-Penn State football rivalry)|
|10/31/2015||Illinois||Beaver Stadium • University Park, PA|
|11/07/2015||at Northwestern||Ryan Field • Evanston, IL|
|11/21/2015||Michigan||Beaver Stadium • University Park, PA|
|11/28/2015||at Michigan State||Spartan Stadium • East Lansing, MI (Land Grant Trophy)|
|*Non-conference game. Homecoming. #Rankings from Coaches' Poll released prior to game. All times are in Eastern Time.|
|09/02/2017||Akron*||Beaver Stadium • University Park, PA|
|09/16/2017||Pittsburgh*||Beaver Stadium • University Park, PA (Penn State-Pittsburgh football rivalry)|
|09/30/2017||Indiana||Beaver Stadium • University Park, PA|
|10/07/2017||at Northwestern||Ryan Field • Evanston, IL|
|10/14/2017||at Iowa||Kinnick Stadium • Iowa City, IA|
|10/21/2017||Michigan||Beaver Stadium • University Park, PA|
|10/28/2017||at Ohio State||Ohio Stadium • Columbus, OH (Ohio State-Penn State football rivalry)|
|11/04/2017||at Michigan State||Spartan Stadium • East Lansing, MI (Land Grant Trophy)|
|11/11/2017||Rutgers||Beaver Stadium • University Park, PA|
|11/18/2017||Nebraska||Beaver Stadium • University Park, PA|
|11/25/2017||at Maryland||Byrd Stadium • College Park, MD (Maryland-Penn State football rivalry)|
|*Non-conference game. Homecoming. #Rankings from Coaches' Poll released prior to game. All times are in Eastern Time.|
|09/08/2018||at Pittsburgh*||Heinz Field • Pittsburgh, PA (Penn State-Pittsburgh football rivalry)|
|09/22/2018||at Illinois||Memorial Stadium • Champaign,IL|
|09/29/2018||Ohio State||Beaver Stadium • University Park, PA|
|10/13/2018||Michigan State||Beaver Stadium • University Park, PA|
|10/20/2018||at Indiana||Memorial Stadium • Bloomington, IN|
|10/27/2018||Iowa||Beaver Stadium • University Park, PA|
|11/03/2018||at Michigan||Michigan Stadium • Ann Arbor, MI|
|11/10/2018||Wisconsin||Beaver Stadium • University Park, PA|
|11/17/2018||at Rutgers||High Point Solutions Stadium • Piscataway, NJ|
|11/24/2018||Maryland||Beaver Stadium • University Park, PA|
|09/14/2019||Pittsburgh*||Beaver Stadium • University Park, PA (Penn State-Pittsburgh football rivalry)|
|09/28/2019||at Maryland||Byrd Stadium • College Park, MD|
|10/05/2019||Purdue||Beaver Stadium • University Park, PA|
|10/12/2019||at Iowa||Kinnick Stadium • Iowa City, IA|
|10/19/2019||Michigan||Beaver Stadium • University Park, PA|
|10/26/2019||at Michigan State||Spartan Stadium • East Lansing, MI|
|11/09/2019||at Minnesota||TCF Bank Stadium • Minneapolis, MN|
|11/16/2019||Indiana||Beaver Stadium • University Park, PA|
|11/23/2019||at Ohio State||Ohio Stadium • Columbus, OH|
|11/30/2019||Rutgers||Beaver Stadium • University Park, PA|
|09/05/2020||vs. LSU*||TBA •|
|09/19/2020||at Syracuse*||Carrier Dome • Syracuse, NY|
|09/18/2021||Syracuse*||Beaver Stadium • University Park, PA|
|09/17/2022||at Virginia Tech*||Lane Stadium • Blacksburg, VA|
|09/02/2023||West Virginia*||Beaver Stadium • State College, PA|
|09/16/2023||Virginia Tech*||Beaver Stadium • State College, PA|
|08/31/2024||at West Virginia*||Mountaineer Field • Morgantown, WV|
Charity and awareness efforts
The Penn State football team has worked in coordination with Uplifting Athletes, a non-profit organization, to raise awareness and funds for the Kidney Cancer Association. In 2003 the team turned their annual weight-lifting competition into a fund-raiser when a player’s father was diagnosed with Kidney Cancer. The event that is now known as Lift for Life, has raised more than $225,000 since its inception.
Penn State football radio affiliates
- "Storied programs dominate Ladder 119's top rungs". ESPN. July 27, 2007. Retrieved December 9, 2007.
- Musselman, Ron (October 27, 2007). "Penn State visit from No. 1". Pittsburgh Post-Gazette. Retrieved December 9, 2007.
- Carey, Jack (October 3, 2005). "Storied programs revive tradition". USA Today. Retrieved December 9, 2007.
- "Penn State Selects Bill O'Brien To Lead Football Program". Penn State Intercollegiate Athletics. January 7, 2012.
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- "Larry Johnson". Penn State Intercollegiate Athletics. Retrieved November 5, 2007.
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- Flounders, Bob (14 February 2013). "Staff Set: Penn State coach Bill O'Brien adds Anthony Midget as defensive backs coach". Harrisburg Patriot-News. Retrieved 14 March 2013.
- "Paternoville Coordination Committee". Retrieved Oct 10, 2011.
- "History of Paternoville". Retrieved Oct 10, 2011.
- "Penn State student group: Tent city now will be Nittanyville".
- "Penn State Football Tied For Best Graduation Success Rate Among BCS/AP Top 25 Teams - Penn State Official Athletic Site". Gopsusports.com. Retrieved 2012-08-10.
- "Juror: Sandusky lacked emotion, confirming correct verdict". Fox News. Retrieved 2012-08-10.
- "Erickson, Joyner, O'Brien Release Statements". Black Shoe Diaries. Retrieved 2012-08-10.
- Fornelli. "Penn State making uniform change". Retrieved May 7, 2011.
- "Bleed Pink and Black? | Corner of College and Allen". Studentblog.worldcampus.psu.edu. 2009-10-16. Retrieved 2012-08-10.
- "Penn State to add names to back of football jerseys". Philly.com. Retrieved 2012-08-10.
- Hudson, Beth (2 August 2005). "PSU tri-captains bring a solid mix to the table". The Morning Call (Allentown, Pennsylvania). Retrieved 10 April 2013.
- Hubbell, Mike (10 January 2007). "The Greatest Penn State Linebackers of All Time". Black Shoe Diaries - SB Nation. Vox Media. Retrieved 10 April 2013.
- Archer, Todd (26 October 2011). "Sean Lee part of new/old Linebacker U". Dallas Cowboys Blog - ESPN Dallas. ESPN Internet Ventures. Retrieved 10 April 2013.
- Sat, Aug 188:00 PM ET (1988-05-28). "NaVorro Bowman Stats, News, Videos, Highlights, Pictures, Bio - San Francisco 49ers - ESPN". Espn.go.com. Retrieved 2012-08-10.
- Sara Ganim (November 17, 2011). "Exclusive: Jerry Sandusky interview prompts long-ago victims to contact lawyer". The Patriot-News. Retrieved November 21, 2011.
- Belson, Ken (June 11, 2012). "Sandusky's Trial Begins With Graphic Testimony". The New York Times. Retrieved June 12, 2012.
- Curry, Colleen; Avila, Jim (June 11, 2012). "Jerry Sandusky Offered Victim 4 a Contract to Keep Seeing Him". ABC News. Retrieved June 12, 2012.
- Scolforo, Mark; Armas, Genaro (June 22, 2012). "Ex-Penn St. assistant Sandusky convicted of abuse". Associated Press. Retrieved June 22, 2012.
- Drape, Joe (June 22, 2012). "Sandusky Convicted of Sexually Abusing Boys". The New York Times. Retrieved June 23, 2012.
- "Two Top Officials Step Down Amid Penn State Scandal". Fox News. Associated Press. November 7, 2011. Retrieved November 9, 2011.
- "Jerry Sandusky regrets showers with boys at Penn State". BBC News Online. November 14, 2011. Retrieved November 14, 2011.
- "Penn State’s Part". The New York Times. July 12, 2012. Retrieved July 13, 2012.
- Johnson, Kevin; Marklein, Mary Beth (July 13, 2012). "Freeh report blasts culture of Penn State". USA Today. Archived from the original on July 13, 2012.
- "Remarks of Louis Freeh in Conjunction with Announcement of Report Regarding the Pennsylvania State University" (Press release). Kekst and Company. July 12, 2012. Archived from the original on July 13, 2012. "Although concern to treat the child abuser humanely was expressly stated, no such sentiments were ever expressed by them for Sandusky’s victims."
- Prisbell, Eric (July 22, 2012). "NCAA hands out severe punishment for Penn State". USA Today.
- "Penn State Coaching Records". College Football Data Warehouse. November 12, 2011. Retrieved November 12, 2011.
- "Team Records - Best Winning Percentage". Cfbdatawarehouse.com. Retrieved 2012-08-10.
- Jeff Barker, Even counting Virginia, Terrapins are unrivaled, Baltimore Sun, October 3, 2008.
- "Penn State – Notre Dame: A History of the Rivalry". Black Shoe Diaries. July 11, 2007. Retrieved December 2, 2008.[dead link]
- "Penn State vs Notre Dame (IN)". College Football Data Warehouse. Retrieved December 2, 2008.
- Nesnidal, Bill (November 8, 2007). "Remember the Illibuck". Big Ten Network. Retrieved October 27, 2008.
- "Penn State vs Ohio St.". College Football Data Warehouse. Retrieved October 27, 2008.
- "Penn State Captures Second Straight, Paterno Breaks All Time Record". Penn State Intercollegiate Athletics. October 27, 2001. Retrieved October 27, 2008.
- "Penn State vs Pittsburgh (PA)". College Football Data Warehouse. Retrieved October 21, 2008.
- "The History of the Penn State – Syracuse Rivalry". Black Shoe Diaries. September 11, 2008. Retrieved October 21, 2008.
- "The Penn State – Syracuse Rivalry Part II". Black Shoe Diaries. September 12, 2008. Retrieved October 21, 2008.
- "Penn State vs Syracuse (NY)". College Football Data Warehouse. Retrieved October 21, 2008.
- "Penn State vs Temple (PA)". College Football Data Warehouse. Retrieved December 2, 2008.
- "Penn State Football". ESPN College Football. Retrieved September 24, 2011.
- "Big Ten football schedules set for 2010–12". Penn State Live. June 16, 2008. Retrieved December 2, 2008.
- "Penn State vs West Virginia". College Football Data Warehouse. Retrieved October 21, 2008.
- "Heisman Winners". Heisman Trophy. HeismanTrophy.com. Retrieved 10 April 2013.
- "Maxwell Award Winners". College Football at Sports-Reference.com. USA Today Sports. Retrieved 10 April 2013.
- "Walter Camp Player of the YearAward Winners". College Football at Sports-Reference.com. USA Today Sports. Retrieved 10 April 2013.
- "Sammy Baugh Trophy Award Winners". College Football at Sports-Reference.com. USA Today Sports. Retrieved 10 April 2013.
- "Chuck Bednarik Award Winners". College Football at Sports-Reference.com. USA Today Sports. Retrieved 10 April 2013.
- "Fred Biletnikoff Award Winners". College Football at Sports-Reference.com. USA Today Sports. Retrieved 10 April 2013.
- "Dick Butukus Award Winners". College Football at Sports-Reference.com. USA Today Sports. Retrieved 10 April 2013.
- "Dave Rimington Trophy Winners". College Football at Sports-Reference.com. USA Today Sports. Retrieved 10 April 2013.
- "Vince Lombardi Award Winners". College Football at Sports-Reference.com. USA Today Sports. Retrieved 10 April 2013.
- "Davey O'Brien Award Winners". College Football at Sports-Reference.com. USA Today Sports. Retrieved 10 April 2013.
- "John Outland Trophy Winners". College Football at Sports-Reference.com. USA Today Sports. Retrieved 10 April 2013.
- "Doak Walker Award Winners". College Football at Sports-Reference.com. USA Today Sports. Retrieved 10 April 2013.
- "Chicago Tribune's Silver Football history". The Chicago Tribune. 30 November 2012. Retrieved 10 April 2013.
- "NFL Players by College - P". ESPN.com. Retrieved 26 November 2012.
- "Hall of Famers by College". College Football Hall of Fame. Retrieved November 5, 2007.
- "Hall of Famers by College". Pro Football Hall of Fame. Archived from the original on October 21, 2007. Retrieved November 5, 2007.
- "Penn State to Face UCF in Ireland's Croke Park Classic to Open 2014 Season" (Press release). Penn State Athletics. July 14, 2013. Retrieved July 14, 2013.
- "Penn State-Temple Gridiron Series To Continue". Penn State Intercollegiate Athletics. September 20, 2010. Retrieved September 20, 2010.
- "Penn State football schedules a rematch in 2015". Morning Call. 14 July 2011. Retrieved 9 May 2012.
- "Penn State and Syracuse To Continue Rivalry at New Meadowlands Stadium as Part of Three-Game Series". Penn State Intercollegiate Athletics. June 30, 2010. Retrieved June 30, 2010.
- "Penn State Uplifting Athletes". Scott Shirley, Uplifting Athletes. Retrieved June 16, 2008.
- "PSU Network Affiliates". Gopsusports.cstv.com. Retrieved 2012-08-10.