No. 4 Penn State (1-0, 0-0 Big Ten) vs. Pittsburgh (1-0, 0-0 ACC)
Beaver Stadium, State College, Pennsylvania
Saturday, 3:30 p.m., ABC
Penn State, having jumped from No. 6 to No. 4 in the major polls, hosts Pitt.
Scouting Penn State
The fourth-ranked Nittany Lions opened their season with a 52-0 rout of Akron, as Saquon Barkley rushed 14 times for 172 yards and two touchdowns, and Trace McSorley threw for two TDs and ran for another. Both scoring passes went to tight end Mike Gesicki, who led both teams with six catches. Juwan Johnson added four receptions for 84 yards in his first career start. DeAndre Thompkins also became the first PSU player since 2008 to return a punt for a touchdown, and the defense limited the Zips to 159 yards. The Lions recorded 14 tackles for loss, three of those by backup defensive tackle Tyrell Chavis, and three sacks. Jarvis Miller and Ryan Buchholz had one each, and Chavis combined with Curtis Cothran for the other.
The Panthers went to overtime to nudge Youngstown State, 28-21, in their opener, on Max Browne’s 11-yard touchdown pass to Jester Weah. Bricen Garner then clinched the game with an end-zone interception. Qadree Ollison rushed 22 times for 91 yards and two TDs, while Browne, a graduate transfer from USC, went 17 for 24 for 140 yards. Wide receiver Quadree Henderson also contributed 155 all-purpose yards, including 77 yards on nine rushes, while linebacker Oluwaseun Idowu and cornerback Dennis Briggs had seven tackles apiece to pace the defense. Safety Jordan Whitehead served the first of a three-game suspension, and the Panthers allowed 311 yards passing.
Penn State leads the all-time series, 50-43-4, but the Panthers won last year’s meeting at Heinz Field, 42-39.
Storyline to watch
Two things: Whether the Lions can contain Henderson, who piled up 201 all-purpose yards in last year’s game, and how Pitt defends the pass. The Panthers finished 127th among 128 FBS teams in yards allowed through the air last season (333.2), and saw their struggles continue against Youngstown State.
What’s at stake
Depends who you ask. The Panthers regard this as a rivalry game, while the Lions claim it is not.
Rivalry or not, PSU remembers last year.
Penn State 45, Pittsburgh 14