Penn State vs Pitt Football

Penn State vs Pitt Odds

The commonwealth of Pennsylvania boasts one of the oddest rivalries in the country between Penn State and Pitt.

It kicked back in in 2016 after taking fifteen years off, so it’s not as simple as it appears to break down. Good news for Penn State, the loss suffered that year won’t figure in when looking at these two teams moving forward.

Penn State has been the better team the last three seasons, despite losing three years ago to Pitt. On top of the usual three points the home team gets, there’s heavy inclination to take the better overall team in Penn State year-in and year-out.

The three-game sample size we’ve seen in recent years shows the ranked Penn State team handling Pitt, even in Pittsburgh last year. While there’s certainly spirit in this rivalry, it looks like it might be coming to an end.

Penn State vs Pitt History

The rivalry between the Nittany Lions and Panthers dates back over 120 years with a couple of breaks along the way. There is no plan as of now to resume the rivalry in 2020, but it has provided a lot of excitement as they build up for their 100th game in 2019.

Penn State has been the better team just nine times more than Pitt, winning the first and most recent matchups. Pitt actually had the longest winning streak in this rivalry, taking 14 straight games from 1922-1931, then again from 1935-1938 when the rivalry resumed.

PSU has been ranked the top team in the country four times during this rivalry, most recently in 1997. Pitt has only been ranked No. 1 in the country one time when playing Penn State, that being way back in 1937. Pitt won that game 28-7.

Great Penn State-Pitt Games

One of the most memorable games between these two teams was played in 1981. No. 1 Pitt came into the game establishing a 14-0 lead behind Dan Marino. But after a costly INT, the tables turned, and Penn State ran over the Panthers. The result sent a shock throughout the state, as PSU ran off 48 straight points.

From Marino to Dorsett, as the second most famous game involved another all-time NFL great. This time it was Pitt beating PSU 24-7 in 1976. Tony Dorsett finally beat Pitt’s archrival – and he won the Heisman Trophy.

Infamous Pitt-Penn State Moments

One of the most notable moments came in 1963. The two teams were scheduled to play a day after President Kennedy was assassinated, so unlike the NFL, the college games were delayed two weeks. Pitt won the game as PSU missed a game winning FG in the final minute of play.

The issue came after, there were so few bowls at the time, the committee refused to wait and denied Penn State at 9-1.

 Saquon Barkley is part of a long tradition of standout running backs in Penn State history.
Saquon Barkley is part of a long tradition of standout running backs in Penn State history.

Notable Players

Two of the most famous players to hit the NFL from Pitt have already been mentioned: Marino & Dorsett. Those two names are far from the only star power we’ve seen. Larry Fitzgerald, Mark May, Aaron Donald, Darrelle Revis and legendary coach/TE Mike Ditka. Some pretty big talent to match up with Penn State, who has their own impressive resume. Starting with Jack Ham, moving to players such as LaVar Arrington, Kerry Collins, Sean Lee, Franco Harris and, most recently, Saquon Barkley.

Penn State vs Pitt FAQs

  • What is the Penn State-Pitt All-Time Series Record?
    Penn State leads the all-time series with Pitt 52-43-4.
  • When Do Penn State and Pitt Play Next?
    Penn State and Pitt play next on September 14, 2019 and then won’t meet again until 2030 at the earliest.
  • When Did Penn State and Pitt Last Play? (college only)
    Penn State and Pitt last played on September 8, 2018. PSU won that game 51-6
  • When Did Penn State and Pitt First Play?
    The first meeting between Penn State and Pitt happened on November 6, 1893.
  • Who Won the First Meeting Between Penn State and Pitt?
    Penn State won the first meeting with Pitt 32-0.