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Pitt-Penn State Set to Battle Saturday for 100th Time
UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. – For 100th time Pitt and Penn State will lock horns in football when the Panthers travel east to take on the Nittany Lions at noon Saturday at Beaver Stadium in a game broadcast on ABC.
(Photo by Paul Burdick. Check out more of Burdick’s work here)
It’s the fourth straight year the two rivals will meet, but it also marks the end of the current series of games with no contests on the horizon. Pitt won in 2016 in Pittsburgh, but Penn State has taken the last two meetings including a 51-6 beating of the Panthers last year at Heinz Field. Overall, Penn State leads the all-time series 52-43-4.
Watch Pitt coach Pat Narduzzi’s weekly media conference. Video courtesy of UPMC Pitt LiveWire.
Both teams are coming off wins over MAC opponents last week.
Pitt (1-1) beat Ohio, 20-10, while Penn State (2-0), which is ranked 13th in one poll and 11th in another, rallied from a 10-7 halftime deficit to defeat Buffalo, 45-13.
Pitt, which hasn’t won in Beaver Stadium since 1988 and is 4-7 in University Park since 1979 and has lost five straight since the 14-0 win in 1988.
The Panthers are hoping junior quarterback Kenny Picket can build on his strong game against Ohio when he threw for a career-high 321 yards and a touchdown on 26 of 37 passing. Pickett’s main target is Maurice Ffrench.
Pitt’s defense has also been strong in the first two games and allows 261 yards per game, which ranks 24th in the nation, but Penn State will serve as the Panthers biggest test with the Nittany Lions averaging 515 yards, which is the 26th-best mark in the country. Penn State, which is led by first-year starting quarterback Sean Clifford, has scored 124 points (79 vs. Idaho; 45 vs. Buffalo) this season for the second-highest total (132 points; 1894) in the first two games of a season in school history.
Despite just taking over at QB this year, Clifford is 246 yards shy of 1,000 in his career and he has some key targets including KJ Hamler and Pat Freirmuth.
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