There’s an in-state battle brewing in Week 2 of the 2017 college football season, as the Pittsburgh Panthers take on the Penn State Nittany Lions in Happy Valley. Penn State returns a Heisman Trophy candidate in running back Saquon Barkley, and stopping him will be a priority if the Panthers want to win at 3:30 p.m. ET on ABC (stream it on ABC.go.com).
Barkley is one of the best offensive powerhouses currently suiting up in college ball, and it isn’t just on offense that the Panthers will need to account for the rusher. Last week, Penn State was up 35-0 coming out of halftime, but instead of resting their starter, Barkley lined up to return the second-half kick-off. No matter where he lines up, the running back will affect Pitt’s playcalling.
The Panthers, on the other hand, face an uphill battle after losing two of their main offensive weapons in quarterback Nathan Peterman and running back James Conner, and only returning 10 starters for 2017. Pitt was able to claim a Week 1 win over Youngstown State by way of an overtime touchdown and interception, but the team’s future lies in the hands of transfer QB Max Browne, from USC.
Time, TV channel, and streaming info
- Time: 3:30 p.m. ET
- Location: Beaver Stadium, Penn.
- TV: ABC
- Streaming: ABC.go.com
- Odds: Penn State is favored by 20.5
Pitt vs. Penn State news:
- Pitt released their depth chart for the match-up.
- Penn State released their depth chart too, but don’t read into it too much.
- Head coach Pat Narduzzi explained why Panthers players aren’t talking to the media.
It has nothing to do with keeping you out, it’s just keeping our kids tight. It has nothing to do — as a matter of fact, after the game we’ll give you more guys, win or lose. That’s what we’ll do.
It was early in the season, and the team hadn’t found itself yet. Was also in a hostile environment against a talented team.
Penn State leads the overall series 50-43-4
History is on the side of the Nittany Lions, with the two teams ping-ponging victories over the past decade and the Panthers last winning by just three points in 2016. The home team will be looking for the edge at Beaver Stadium, in their home environment, in a rivalry series dating back to 1893.
Pitt vs. Penn State prediction:
One team returns most of their star-power and the other doesn’t. Being a 20-point favorite is a hard thing to mess up, but Penn State will need to prepare for all the unknowns to avoid an early-season trap game.