Penn State football returns in 10 weeks

·3 min read

As the heat and humidity spikes back up in the Keystone State, so does the excitement for the start of a brand new Penn State football season. The Nittany Lions kick things off for their 2021 season in just 10 more Saturdays, meaning our weekly countdown is about to enter single digits.

Penn State opens the college football season on the road against formidable Big Ten West contender Wisconsin on September 4. The game has already been slotted to be FOX’s showcase early afternoon game for the Big Noon Kickoff. While the Nittany Lions are a slight road underdog, Penn State is hoping to make a bit of a statement right out of the gates of the new year after limping out to a disappointing 0-5 start during the 2020 season.

Penn State is looking to avoid losing back-to-back season openers for the first time since 2000 and 2001. Penn State lost to USC in the 2000 Kickoff Classic in East Rutherford, New Jersey (29-5). Penn State opened the 2001 season at home with the inspirational entrance by Adam Taliaferro before being dominated by the Miami Hurricanes, 33-7.

This will also be the first time Penn State has opened back-to-back seasons on the road against Big Ten opposition. Penn State has only started two seasons against Big Ten opponents prior to 2021. Penn State joined the Big Ten in football in 1993 and played its first game at home against Minnesota to commemorate the occasion. Penn State opened the adjusted 2020 season against Indiana.

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The last time Penn State opened consecutive seasons outside of Beaver Stadium came with a three-year stretch from 2013 through 2015. Penn State opened the 2013 season in East Rutherford, New Jersey against Syracuse. The 2014 season, the first with head coach James Franklin, opened in Dublin, Ireland against UCF in the Croke Park Classic. In 2015, Penn State began the season in Philadelphia against the Temple Owls.

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