Pitt’s 42-39 win against Penn State in September came in the schools’ first meeting in 16 years. The matchup was the first installment of a four-year series between the Pennsylvania schools, and though the game proved to be a close, entertaining affair, it won’t become a permanent fixture on the Nittany Lions’ schedule.
At least not in the near future.
Penn State athletic director Sandy Barbour said Wednesday that the Nittany Lions have already filled their Power 5 nonconference scheduling spot from 2020-25. That means will be at least a six-year gap before the Penn State-Pitt series could restart once this current series concludes in 2019.
PSU AD Sandy Barbour said renewing 4-year Pitt series won't happen through 2025. PSU's Power 5 scheduling slot spoken for until then.
— Jerry DiPaola (@JDiPaola_Trib) May 10, 2017
The September matchup was as thrilling as just about any game either team played all season, Penn State almost recovering from a 28-7 deficit. Saquon Barkley’s 2-yard plunge with 5 minutes left got Penn State to within 3 points at 42-39, but the Nittany Lions couldn’t mount one final drive. Trace McSorley completed a 34-yard pass on fourth-and-16 to get into Pitt territory, but was then intercepted to effectively end the game.
Penn State fans will still have the next three seasons to enjoy the rivalry. Maybe they’ll be lucky enough to get another installment like that one.
This story originally said there would be at least five-year gap before the series could resume, but that gap is actually six years. It’s been updated to reflect this correction, and we regret the error.