Penn State-Pitt will be a prime time game, featured on ABC’s Saturday Night Football in Week 2
Penn State quarterback Trace McSorley runs during the third quarter at Beaver Stadium on Sept. 9, 2017. The Nittany Lions beat Pitt, 33-14.Joe Hermitt | firstname.lastname@example.org
Penn State and Pittsburgh have landed the most coveted spot on college football’s Week 2 schedule.
The 99th meeting between the Lions and Panthers will be ABC’s Saturday Night Football contest on Sept. 8, and it will start at 8 p.m. Details are not yet confirmed, but the network’s top broadcast team, which consists of Chris Fowler, Kirk Herbstreit, and Maria Taylor, should be on the call from Heinz Field.
Penn State and Pittsburgh have split the previous two meetings (both afternoon starts) since their series was renewed in 2016 after a long hiatus, with the former winning the last showdown a year ago at Beaver Stadium. All-time, the Lions own a 51-43-4 advantage.
The evening affair will mark the first night game between the two programs since at the 1980s, and it was only possible thanks to the Pittsburgh Pirates, who asked for and received permission from Major League Baseball to move a scheduled night game with the Miami Marlins on that Saturday to a 1:05 p.m. start. It’s expected, even with the change, that parking and traffic will be congested leading up to kickoff, however.
It’s the first kickoff time announced for the Lions ahead of the 2018 season, which will begin on Sept. 3 when Appalachian State comes to town.
Penn State football mailbag: Will PSU beat Pitt in 2018?
Tickets are still available from TicketMaster and third party sellers roughly four months before kickoff. It’s expected to be the last game between the two schools at the home of the Pittsburgh Steelers until at least 2030, according to Lions’ athletic director Sandy Barbour, who recently commented on the matter during the school’s Coaches Caravan tour.
“I think at this point that we both agree based on Big Ten and ACC scheduling principles — and it’s a complicated puzzle nowadays — that we’re probably not going to do anything at this point and maybe look at some point after  maybe to do something,” she said.
The news was announced as part of ABC releasing the first three weeks of Saturday Night Football matchups; Week 1 will feature Louisville vs. Alabama and then a Sunday night special presentation of Miami vs. LSU, while Week 3 will showcase Ohio State opposite TCU at the Dallas Cowboys’ Stadium.