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Penn State football vs. Pittsburgh: Time, TV schedule, game preview, score

Nittany Lions battle Panthers

Penn State QB Trace McSorley is one of the best returning players in the Big Ten. (Jennifer Stewart/Getty Images)
Penn State QB Trace McSorley is one of the best returning players in the Big Ten. (Jennifer Stewart/Getty Images)

PITTSBURGH – Penn State survived an upset bid in its opener at home, putting the 10th-ranked Nittany Lions on shaky ground entering a heated rivalry game at Pittsburgh on Saturday night. After allowing Appalachian State to score 28 points in the fourth quarter last Saturday, Penn State survived in overtime to win 45-38, but questions surround a squad that entered the year with high hopes.

TV: 8 p.m. ET, ABC. LINE: Penn State -9

 

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"We have a lot of things that we need to get cleaned up and corrected before our next game," coach James Franklin told reporters after the victory. The Panthers cruised to a 33-7 win over FCS opponent Albany in their opener and will be licking their chops in the 99th meeting between the Keystone State rivals. "Anybody who wants to argue and say this is no different than any other week, it is," Pitt coach Pat Narduzzi told reporters this week. "That's a fact. If you want to ignore that, you can ignore it. It's a big game." The teams have split two meetings since the rivalry resumed in 2016 following a 16-year hiatus, with the Nittany Lions winning 33-14 at home last year.

ABOUT PENN STATE (1-0)

The Nittany Lions looked outmatched at times in the trenches against Appalachian State, prompting Franklin to tell reporters: "I don't think there's any doubt ... we got to play better up front on both sides of the ball." One of the bright spots away from the line of scrimmage was the play of freshman wide receiver KJ Hamler, who had a team high-tying 67 receiving yards - 15 on the game-tying TD catch in the final minute of regulation. Senior Trace McSorley threw for 229 yards and the one score and needs 402 passing yards to become the second passer in school history with 8,000 in a career.

ABOUT PITTSBURGH (1-0)

Kenny Pickett's first collegiate start came in the stunning upset of second-ranked Miami late last season and the sophomore picked up where he left off in the opener against Albany, throwing for two TDs and running for another in the first half alone. Rafael Araujo-Lopes caught both scores from Pickett to match his TD total from last season while Maurice Ffrench found the end zone twice - once with a nine-yard rush and once on a 91-yard kickoff return. Senior Qadree Ollison, who had a season-high 96 rushing yards in just 15 attempts at Penn State last year, led the ground attack with 73 yards versus the Great Danes.

EXTRA POINTS

1. McSorley needs 48 rushing yards to become the second quarterback in Penn State history with at least 1,000.

2. Panthers DL Keyshon Camp had two sacks and two tackles for a loss against Albany.

3. Penn State leads the all-time series 51-43-4.

PREDICTION: Penn State 38, Pittsburgh 33

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