Penn State returns to action this Saturday as they travel out to western Pennsylvania to battle in-state rival Pittsburgh Panthers. With the game nationally televised, which Nittany Lions should you keep an eye on?
After what many would describe as very fortunate win for Penn State over Appalachian State last weekend, it may just turn out to be a win that sets the stage for a conference and national title run. Standing in the way of the Nittany Lions this week are the Pittsburgh Panthers.
Debate between fans of both teams continues to rage if this truly is a rivalry contest or just another game on the schedule. Even the heach coaches of both squads addressed the topic this week during their weekly press conferences.
When asked what the importance of Saturday’s game with Penn State was for him and his program, Pitt Head Coach Pat Narduzzi said, “It’s an in-state rivalry game. It’s important in the state of Pennsylvania. We’ve said this all the time in these rivalry games, you either walk the streets or you’re going to walk the alleys after the game. You’re going to sneak out of Heinz Field, walk where you don’t have to see anybody, or walk out with your chest up and chin up, walk right down the middle of everybody, say, Here we are, let’s go. To me it means a lot.”
Penn State Head Coach James Franklin had a slightly different take on the importance of the game. “I hear people saying this is a big game, and anybody that says this isn’t a big game is kidding themselves. This is the biggest game in the world. This is the Super Bowl for us. It is the most important game on our schedule. Why? Because it’s the game we’re playing this week. Last week was the Super Bowl for us. It was the most important game in the universe. This week is a huge game for us. I’ve never denied that, from the very beginning. This is the most important game on our schedule, and it’s the Super Bowl. It’s the most important game in the universe. I don’t know how much clearer I can be on that.”
No matter with what team you align, the Penn State-Pittsburgh game evokes strong feelings. The back-and-forth from both fan bases can make for a fun week of trash talking and posturing on social media, but ultimately the game is played on the field, and the players will decide the outcome. So who are the players who can make a significant impact on the outcome of the game. Read on to find out who made the cut for this week’s players to watch.