Penn State and Pittsburgh will meet for the 98th time on Saturday, but this week's game will be only the second meeting between the schools in the last 17 years. That last one came in 2016 when Pitt beat the Nittany Lions 42-39 in a thrilling game that saw Pitt pass for only 91 yards, and Penn State turn the ball over four times.
Here's what you need to know about this week's meeting.
Date: Saturday, Sept. 9 | Time: 3:30 p.m. ET
Location: Beaver Stadium -- University Park, Pennsylvania
TV: ABC | Live stream: Watch ESPN
Penn State: The Nittany Lions entered the 2017 season with high expectations after winning the Big Ten last year and reaching the Rose Bowl. We didn't get a chance to learn much about them last week, however, as things were rather easy in a 52-0 rout of Akron. The star of the show is running back Saquon Barkley, who had a brilliant start to the season, rushing for 172 yards and two scores last week. In last year's meeting, Barkley only rushed for 85 yards, but he found the end zone four times. Penn State will rely on their stud again this week to help end their two-game losing streak against the Panthers.
Pitt: There were certainly some questions about Pitt's offense coming into this season following the loss of offensive coordinator Matt Canada, as well as quarterback Nathan Peterman and the indestructible running back James Conner. None of those questions were answered last week against Youngstown State. Max Browne was inefficient at quarterback, though he didn't turn the ball over. Qadree Ollison finished with 91 yards and two touchdowns, but he needed 22 carries to get there. Overall, the offense just didn't seem as explosive as last year's unit, and while Youngstown State's defense is sturdy, it's not on par with the Penn State unit the Panthers will face this week.
When the line for this game was released on Sunday, I couldn't help but do a double-take. Naturally, I expected Penn State to be the favorite at home against Pitt ... but by three touchdowns? That just seemed to be too much, and it still does. Penn State will win this game, but it's not blowing Pitt out. This rivalry just means too much to both teams. Pick: Pitt +21.5