Penn State, Pitt Coaches Look To Extend In-State Rivalry

The Penn State Nittany Lions and Pittsburgh Panthers have not played each other since 2000, but that’s about to change. According to Kevin McGuire of NBC Sports’ College Football Talk, the two teams will play each other four times between 2016 and 2019.

However, Pitt coach Pat Narduzzi and PSU coach James Franklin have stated that they would like the series to be more long term. Speaking to Gordie Jones of The Patriot-News, Narduzzi went into specifics about the rivalry itself.

“I think it’s an in-state rival,” Narduzzi said before Tuesday while touring the state. “It’s two Power Five conferences that can go head to head. … To me, why not keep the money in state and play (a game between) the two best schools in the state? I’m a firm believer that you keep those rivalries going as long as you can, especially in state.”

Franklin voiced a similar opinion in speaking to The Philadelphia Inquirer.

“The Pitt series, I think the four-game series is really good,” Franklin said Tuesday in Philadelphia. “Everybody’s talking about extending the series. The problem is, the schedules have been set five years out.”

Both schools have boatloads of future potential, so a four-game series would be highly entertaining. Hopefully, it can evolve beyond that into a regular occurrence.

Penn State went 7-6 (2-6 Big Ten) in its first season under Franklin and defeated Boston College in an overtime thriller in the Pinstripe Bowl. Pittsburgh was 6-6 (4-4 ACC) in its final season under Paul Chryst, who was later hired by Wisconsin, and lost to Houston in the Armed Forces Bowl.

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*Featured Photo (above) credit to USA TODAY Sports

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