PSU, Pitt should work out a series
I’d like to start off by saying that Penn State does not have a permanent ongoing rivalry at this time.
There has been only one rivalry in my lifetime, and that has been Pitt vs. Penn State.
Those of us in our 50s through 80s know that Pitt and Penn State played back in the late 1960s and even further back to the first game on Nov. 6, 1893.
The series ended in 2000.
From 1893 through 2000, the overall record was 51-43-4 in favor of Penn State.
The series started to die in the 1990s due to only 23 of the 98 games played in Happy Valley.
Penn State wanted to even things up a bit by wanting to play 3-2 or 2-1 games at Penn State.
The University of Pittsburgh wanted no part of the deal. However, the two schools agreed to a four-game series starting in 2016-19.
Entering Saturday night’s matchup at Heinz Field, each team has won one game each.
No games are scheduled after 2019.
Now I read stories on the historical series when Pitt and Penn State traveled back and forth in those days on the train.
Back in those days, the rail tracks were heavily greased by the students from both schools to make it difficult for the opposing team to travel and get there on time to play the game.
Back then, this outstanding rivalry north of the Mason-Dixon Line was played around Thanksgiving, and many times when it was snowing.
Look, rationality dictates these two schools should put aside greed and set up a schedule of playing the game on a 3-2 basis with three of every five games played at Penn State.
Each year, the game would be the first game on the 12-game schedule.
Come on, Panthers and Nittany Lions.
Think about the fans that pay the freight for all the other sports programs.
Penn State defense better get better
In games Penn State has had late leads — such as USC (2017), Ohio State (2017) and Appalachian State (2018) — the defense all but collapses in the fourth quarter.
The impression I get is that our opponent slices through the PSU defense like a hot knife cutting through butter.
Is it defensive philosophy?
Is it conditioning?
Or something else?
Despite the defense’s lapse in the fourth quarter last week, which was not helped by the kickoff team apparently being oblivious to the possibility of an onside kick, I still love this PSU team.
Entering Saturday night’s game at Pitt, my confidence is shaken, however.
I get it that Appalachian State is a very good football team, but I have begun to question, fairly or unfairly, the coaching ability of Brent Pry.
I don’t mean to be harsh, but if I look at last Saturday’s game objectively, the better team lost.