A rivalry renewed, Pitt to face Penn State Saturday


Jack Hillgrove, Sports Editor

After 16 long years, the wait is finally over. The Pitt Panthers will square off against their longtime foe, the Penn State Nittany Lions, on Saturday at Heinz Field.

There are many great rivalries in college football, including Auburn-Alabama, Ohio State-Michigan, and Texas-Oklahoma. For a long time the Pitt-PSU game, now deemed “The Keystone Classic,” was one of those top rivalries.

This game is perhaps the most anticipated game all season in the state, due to the long hiatus in the series and the hostility between fans on social media.

Pitt fans of course love to bring up the Joe Paterno scandal, even making shirts being sold on Amazon that say “Joe Knew.” On the other hand, Penn Staters love to criticize the attendance of Pitt games at Heinz.

Fans from both sides have had it out all over Twitter, and if that is any indication how intense the game will be, it will certainly be one to remember.

Both teams come into week to with a record of 1-0. The Panthers took down Villanova 28-7, and PSU beat Kent State 33-13.

A tough, physical Nittany Lion defense will go up against James Conner and the Pitt offense. Last week, Conner ran for 53 yards in his long-awaited comeback from MCL surgery and Hodgkin’s lymphoma. He ran for one touchdown and caught another.

Penn State is led by sophomore quarterback Trace McSorley, who threw for 209 yards and two touchdowns last week. The Lions also have the talented running back Saquon Barkley, who ran for 105 yards and one touchdown in their opening game.

As high school students, we are too young to know what this rivalry meant to not only these two universities, but to the state of Pennsylvania. On Saturday, the rivalry will be renewed, and one of college football’s greatest games will return to the sport.

Look for Pitt to run the ball aggressively against the Penn State defensive front, and doing this should result in a 26-21 victory for the Panthers.