Penn State–Pittsburgh football rivalry

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Penn State–Pittsburgh football rivalry
First meeting November 6, 1893
Penn State 32, Pittsburgh 0
Latest meeting September 10, 2016
Pittsburgh 42, Penn State 39
Next meeting September 9, 2017
Trophy Spalding Trophy (former)
Statistics
Meetings total 97
All-time series Penn State leads, 50–43–4
Longest win streak Pittsburgh, 14 (1922–38)
Current win streak Pittsburgh, 2

The Penn State–Pittsburgh football rivalry is a long-standing American college football rivalry between the Penn State Nittany Lions and Pittsburgh Panthers. As of the end of the 2016 season, the teams have played 97 times. The game scheduled for 2019 in State College will mark their 100th matchup.

Series history[edit]

Pitt versus Penn State at Pitt Stadium on November 27, 1958

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.[1] The game often had regional and national implications with the winner often claiming Eastern college football supremacy and its respective Lambert-Meadowlands Trophy.[2] The rivalry began a slow death in the 1990s when both 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 game prior to the series hiatus 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.[3] The basis for the Penn State Athletic Department request for the unbalanced home games was the fact that of the 96 games played by the two teams at the time, only 23 occurred in Happy Valley.

The rivalry was renewed in the 2016 season. This game was the first of a four-game series from 2016–19, with the teams playing at Heinz Field in Pittsburgh in 2016 and 2018, while battling at Beaver Stadium in State College in 2017 and 2019.[4]

Penn State won 12 of the first 15, but Pitt dominated afterwards, going 21–2–2 (1913–40). Pitt at one point won 14 straight times (1922–38). Pitt coach Jock Sutherland never lost to Penn State (1924–38). From 1941 to 1951, the rivalry was much more even, as Pitt went 6–5 against Penn State in that span. From 1952 on, Penn State has dominated, going 31–13–2. Former Penn State coach Joe Paterno went 23–7–1 against Pitt (1966–92, 1997–2000).

Several games are of historic note:

The first game was played on November 6, 1893, in State College, PA, with Penn State prevailing 32–0. Penn State won the first six meetings. This was also the first game to be played in Old Beaver Field.

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 the day before. 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 beat 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 beat 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.

1998 game at Pitt Stadium

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 title in five years.

The 1982 game again featured two of the nation's best teams. Pitt had been ranked preseason #1, but had lost to Notre Dame to enter the game at 9–1. Penn State also entered the game 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.

In 2016, Pitt went up 28-7 during the second quarter. Penn State rallied back during the second half, but was still down 42-39 late in the fourth quarter. In the final minutes, the Nittany Lions drove the ball almost within field goal range before going for a deep pass in the endzone. Quarterback Trace McSorley's pass was intercepted, effectively ending the game. The loss was cited as a key reason the Nittany Lions failed to make it into the College Football Playoff. This game became the largest attended sporting event in the history of the city of Pittsburgh. [5]

Game results[edit]

Penn State victories Pittsburgh victories Tie games
# Date Location Winner Score
1 November 6, 1893 State College, PA Penn State 32–0
2 October 3, 1896 State College, PA Penn State 10–4
3 September 30, 1900 Bellefonte, PA Penn State 12–0
4 September 29, 1901 Bellefonte, PA Penn State 27–0
5 September 27, 1902 State College, PA Penn State 27–0
6 October 24, 1903 Pittsburgh, PA Penn State 59–0
7 November 24, 1904 Pittsburgh, PA Pittsburgh 22–5
8 November 30, 1905 Pittsburgh, PA Penn State 6–0
9 November 29, 1906 Pittsburgh, PA Penn State 6–0
10 November 28, 1907 Pittsburgh, PA Pittsburgh 6–0
11 November 26, 1908 Pittsburgh, PA Penn State 12–6
12 November 25, 1909 Pittsburgh, PA Penn State 5–0
13 November 24, 1910 Pittsburgh, PA Pittsburgh 11–0
14 November 30, 1911 Pittsburgh, PA Penn State 3–0
15 November 28, 1912 Pittsburgh, PA Penn State 38–0
16 November 27, 1913 Pittsburgh, PA Pittsburgh 7–6
17 November 26, 1914 Pittsburgh, PA Pittsburgh 13–3
18 November 25, 1915 Pittsburgh, PA Pittsburgh 20–0
19 November 30, 1916 Pittsburgh, PA Pittsburgh 31–0
20 November 29, 1917 Pittsburgh, PA Pittsburgh 28–6
21 November 28, 1918 Pittsburgh, PA Pittsburgh 28–6
22 November 27, 1919 Pittsburgh, PA Penn State 20–0
23 November 25, 1920 Pittsburgh, PA Tie 0–0
24 November 24, 1921 Pittsburgh, PA Tie 0–0
25 November 30, 1922 Pittsburgh, PA Pittsburgh 14–0
26 November 29, 1923 Pittsburgh, PA Pittsburgh 20–3
27 November 27, 1924 Pittsburgh, PA Pittsburgh 24–3
28 November 26, 1925 Pittsburgh, PA Pittsburgh 23–7
29 November 25, 1926 Pittsburgh, PA Pittsburgh 24–6
30 November 24, 1927 Pittsburgh, PA Pittsburgh 30–0
31 November 29, 1928 Pittsburgh, PA Pittsburgh 26–0
32 November 28, 1929 Pittsburgh, PA Pittsburgh 20–7
33 November 26, 1930 Pittsburgh, PA Pittsburgh 19–12
34 October 31, 1931 State College, PA Pittsburgh 41–6
35 October 26, 1935 Pittsburgh, PA Pittsburgh 9–0
36 November 7, 1936 Pittsburgh, PA #5 Pittsburgh 34–7
37 November 20, 1937 Pittsburgh, PA #1 Pittsburgh 28–7
38 November 19, 1938 Pittsburgh, PA #5 Pittsburgh 26–0
39 November 25, 1939 State College, PA Penn State 10–0
40 November 23, 1940 Pittsburgh, PA Pittsburgh 20–7
41 November 22, 1941 Pittsburgh, PA Penn State 31–7
42 November 21, 1942 State College, PA Penn State 14–6
43 November 20, 1943 Pittsburgh, PA Penn State 14–0
44 November 25, 1944 Pittsburgh, PA Pittsburgh 14–0
45 November 24, 1945 Pittsburgh, PA Pittsburgh 7–0
46 November 23, 1946 Pittsburgh, PA Pittsburgh 14–7
47 November 22, 1947 Pittsburgh, PA #5 Penn State 29–0
48 November 20, 1948 Pittsburgh, PA Pittsburgh 7–0
49 November 19, 1949 Pittsburgh, PA Pittsburgh 19–0
# Date Location Winner Score
50 December 3, 1950 Pittsburgh, PA Penn State 21–20
51 November 14, 1951 Pittsburgh, PA Pittsburgh 13–7
52 November 22, 1952 Pittsburgh, PA Penn State 17–0
53 November 21, 1953 Pittsburgh, PA Penn State 17–0
54 November 20, 1954 Pittsburgh, PA Penn State 13–0
55 November 19, 1955 State College, PA #15 Pittsburgh 20–0
56 November 24, 1956 Pittsburgh, PA Tie 7–7
57 November 23, 1957 Pittsburgh, PA Pittsburgh 14–13
58 November 27, 1958 Pittsburgh, PA Penn State 25–21
59 November 21, 1959 Pittsburgh, PA Pittsburgh 22–7
60 November 19, 1960 Pittsburgh, PA Penn State 14–3
61 November 25, 1961 Pittsburgh, PA Penn State 47–26
62 November 24, 1962 Pittsburgh, PA #9 Penn State 16–0
63 December 7, 1963 Pittsburgh, PA #4 Pittsburgh 22–21
64 November 21, 1964 Pittsburgh, PA Penn State 28–0
65 November 20, 1965 Pittsburgh, PA Pittsburgh 30–27
66 November 19, 1966 Pittsburgh, PA Penn State 48–24
67 November 25, 1967 State College, PA Penn State 42–6
68 November 23, 1968 Pittsburgh, PA #3 Penn State 65–9
69 November 22, 1969 Pittsburgh, PA #4 Penn State 27–7
70 November 21, 1970 State College, PA #20 Penn State 35–15
71 November 20, 1971 Pittsburgh, PA #6 Penn State 55–18
72 November 25, 1972 State College, PA #6 Penn State 49–27
73 November 24, 1973 State College, PA #6 Penn State 35–13
74 November 28, 1974 Pittsburgh, PA #10 Penn State 31–10
75 November 22, 1975 Pittsburgh, PA #10 Penn State 7–6
76 November 26, 1976 Pittsburgh, PA #1 Pittsburgh 24–7
77 November 26, 1977 Pittsburgh, PA #9 Penn State 15–13
78 November 24, 1978 State College, PA #1 Penn State 17–10
79 December 1, 1979 State College, PA #11 Pittsburgh 29–14
80 November 28, 1980 State College, PA #4 Pittsburgh 14–9
81 November 28, 1981 Pittsburgh, PA #11 Penn State 48–14
82 November 26, 1982 State College, PA #2 Penn State 19–10
83 November 19, 1983 Pittsburgh, PA Tie 24–24
84 November 24, 1984 State College, PA Pittsburgh 31–11
85 November 23, 1985 Pittsburgh, PA #1 Penn State 31–0
86 November 22, 1986 State College, PA #1 Penn State 34–14
87 November 14, 1987 Pittsburgh, PA Pittsburgh 10–0
88 November 12, 1988 State College, PA Pittsburgh 14–7
89 November 25, 1989 Pittsburgh, PA #22 Penn State 16–13
90 November 24, 1990 State College, PA #11 Penn State 22–17
91 November 28, 1991 Pittsburgh, PA #6 Penn State 32–20
92 November 21, 1992 State College, PA #23 Penn State 57–13
93 September 6, 1997 State College, PA #1 Penn State 34–17
94 September 19, 1998 Pittsburgh, PA #8 Penn State 20–13
95 September 11, 1999 State College, PA #2 Penn State 20–17
96 September 16, 2000 Pittsburgh, PA Pittsburgh 12–0
97 September 10, 2016 Pittsburgh, PA Pittsburgh 42–39
Series: Penn State leads 50–43–4

Men's Basketball[edit]

The Pitt and Penn State Men's basketball teams have met on the hardwood 147 times, second in most games played to only West Virginia for Penn State and third to Syracuse and West Virginia for Pittsburgh.[6][7] Penn State leads the all-time series, 75-72, but has lost the past seven match-ups.[8] They played at least once every year from 1935–82 and briefly rekindled the rivalry at the turn of the century, playing annually from 2000-05.[8] Since that time, they’ve gone against each other just twice, in 2013 as part of the Big Ten-ACC Challenge, and in the 2016 Never Forget Tribute Classic.[8] They are not scheduled to renew the series in the foreseeable future, though there have been significant talks between the universities about renewing the once heated rivalry.[9]

References[edit]

  1. ^ 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. 
  2. ^ Fittipaldo, Ray (2011-06-14). "Pitt, Penn State to renew football rivalry in 2016". Pittsburgh Post-Gazette. Pittsburgh, PA. Retrieved 2011-06-14. 
  3. ^ Cook, Ron (August 30, 2004). "Pitt-Penn State series is bigger than Paterno". Pittsburgh Post-Gazette. Retrieved 2009-01-29. 
  4. ^ "Penn State and Pitt to Renew Football Rivalry From 2016–19". Penn State Official Athletic Site. December 7, 2012. Retrieved 2012-12-07. 
  5. ^ "Pitt-Penn State Game Draws Record Crowds". CBS Pittsburgh. September 10, 2016. Retrieved March 6, 2017. 
  6. ^ "Pitt Panthers Head-to-Head Results | College Basketball at Sports-Reference.com". College Basketball at Sports-Reference.com. Retrieved 2017-02-21. 
  7. ^ "Penn State Nittany Lions Head-to-Head Results | College Basketball at Sports-Reference.com". College Basketball at Sports-Reference.com. Retrieved 2017-02-21. 
  8. ^ a b c "Renewal of Pitt-Penn State basketball rivalry in the works". Pittsburgh Post-Gazette. Retrieved 2017-02-21. 
  9. ^ "Renewal of Pitt-Penn State basketball rivalry in the works". Pittsburgh Post-Gazette. Retrieved 2017-02-21.