UNIVERSITY PARK — Penn State will play at least two football games in prime time during the 2013 season.
The Nittany Lions’ homecoming clash with the Michigan Wolverines on Oct. 12 will be carried by either ESPN or ESPN2, the network announced Monday.
Penn State will be idle the next week and then travel to Columbus for a game against the Ohio State Buckeyes on Oct. 26. That game will also air on either ABC, ESPN or ESPN2.
Kickoff for the Michigan game is set for 5 p.m. in Beaver Stadium. The Ohio State game kicks off at 8 p.m. This will be the 14th consecutive season Penn State has played at least one regular season night game.
Kickoff times and broadcast schedule for Penn State’s other games have not been set.
While Penn State and Michigan are currently cross-division foes they will be vying for the same division championship in 2014. The Big Ten will scrap the current Leaders and Legends format and introduce an East/West alignment.
Both the Nittany Lions and Wolverines will play in the East with Ohio State.
Penn State is 6-10 against Michigan and 13-15 against Ohio State all-time. Although Michigan owns the overall edge, Penn State has had recent success against the Wolverines. The Nittany Lions have won the last three meetings with the Wolverines. Penn State beat Michigan 41-31 last season and 35-10 and 46-17 in two games before that, respectively.
It’s a different story with the Buckeyes. Although Ohio State was banned from bowl competition last season by the NCAA, it didn’t stop the Buckeyes from ravaging their opponents. Ohio State, under the leadership of new coach Urban Meyer, went 12-0 last season including a 35-23 win over Penn State under the lights at Beaver Stadium.
Penn State is 1-3 against Ohio State over the last four seasons and has not won consecutive games against the Buckeyes since 1980.
Ohio State will get at least three prime time games on ABC, ESPN or ESPN2. In addition to their showdown with the Nittany Lions, the Buckeyes will also host Wisconsin at 8 p.m. on Sept. 28 and visit Northwestern at 8 p.m. on Oct. 5.
Michigan will play just its second night game at the Big House since the stadium opened in 1927 when the Wolverines host Notre Dame on Sept. 7. Michigan’s first night game at home, a 35-31 win over the Fighting Irish, drew an average of 7,541,000 viewers to make it the most-watched regular season college football game that season. It was also the highest rated.
Purdue will play an 8 p.m. game against Notre Dame on Sept. 14, also on ABC, ESPN or ESPN2.