After not playing since 2000, the Penn State-Pitt rivalry finally returns this season, as the two teams will meet at Heinz Field on Sept. 10. They’ll also play each other 2017-2019.
But that’s not enough for one former Penn State star.
Former QB Todd Blackledge, now an ESPN analyst, said he wishes the two could play every year while he talked on an ESPN conference call.
I wish they would play every year. I know logistically they may not be feasible, but to me one of the greatest things about college football and the thing that sets it apart from the NFL is rivalries. When I was at Penn State, the Pitt-Penn State game was as good a rivalry game as there was in college football, and it had its own niche, that Friday after Thanksgiving, the battle of route 322, a lot of the in-state competition, even though I was an Ohio guy, I found out pretty quickly how important that game was.
While Penn State’s starting QB from 1981-1983, Blackledge passed for 4,812 yards, 41 TD and 41 INTs. Most importantly, he led the Nittany Lions to a national championship in 1982.
But during the 1981 season, he helped Penn State complete a dramatic rally at then-No. 1 Pitt. The Panthers led 14-0 before the Nittany Lions scored the last 48 points in the game.
“I have great memories of that because we also — we didn’t have to go back to school right away because it was Thanksgiving break, and I remember going with my family and Kurt Warner and some other guys to Klein’s Restaurant downtown Pittsburgh, and just an incredible weekend capped off by that game,” Blackledge said during the conference call.