The Penn State-Pitt rivalry just got a bigger spotlight.
This season’s Week 2 meeting on Sept. 8 at Heinz Field was recently named ABC’s Saturday Night Football game. It will kick off at 8 p.m. to a national TV audience.
That doesn’t necessarily make it a shoo-in as the site for ESPN’s College GameDay — that announcement won’t come until Sept. 2 — but it certainly helps the case. The last time College GameDay visited Pittsburgh was 13 years ago on Sept. 3, 2005, when the Panthers lost to Notre Dame 42-21.
College GameDay has covered Pitt games twice. It’s been to Happy Valley on six occasions and covered Penn State games 18 times.
Further boosting the importance of September’s meeting is the fact that this will be the last time Pitt hosts the Nittany Lions in the foreseeable future. The rivalry series will end in Beaver Stadium in 2019, and Penn State Athletic Director Sandy Barbour said last week a renewal likely won’t be revisited until some point after 2030.
This is the third game of a four-game series with Pitt. The Nittany Lions won 33-14 last season, but the Panthers came out on top in 2016 by a 42-39 score. Penn State is 51-43-4 all-time against Pitt.
ABC announced their first three weeks of Saturday Night Football on Wednesday morning, as Louisville-Alabama will highlight Week 1 and Ohio State-TCU will be the Week 3 matchup.