There’s plenty of nostalgia that’s conjured up anytime Penn State plays Pitt.
We’ll leave the merits of whether or not this remains a true rivalry game for another time, though we got a chuckle out of uncovering this image of a Penn State-Pitt ticket from the 1967 game at Beaver Stadium.
Five bucks got you a seat. Even adjusting for inflation, that was below the current market rate. We also wouldn’t mind seeing those end zone graphics return, though we’ll leave that decision to the experts who ensure Beaver Stadium’s field is the best in the nation.
Regardless of whether you call it a “rivalry” — those of us who are old enough certainly do — there’s a buzz in the air as Pitt makes its long-awaited return to Happy Valley. This week’s podcast is all about that in-state battle.
This week’s guest letterman is Bill Contz ’83, a starting lineman on the 1982 national championship team and author of the new bookWhen the Lions Roared: Joe Paterno and One of College Football’s Greatest Teams.Continue reading →
The return of Penn State’s series with Pitt is bringing back all sorts of memories for those of us old enough to remember when it was one of the fiercest rivalries in college football. Our Alumni Association colleague Ilene White ’74 dropped by this week with some visual reminders of just how much it mattered.
It was 45 years ago, November 1971, when White and a dozens of other undergrads piled into “70 or 80 cars,” according to Mark Tygel ’71, then-president of Continue reading →
For the 1985 Nittany Lions, an unbeaten regular season was tarnished by an Orange Bowl loss, and overshadowed by a perfect season in 1986. Thirty years on, we look back at one of the great—but largely forgotten—teams in Penn State history.
* * *
As Massimo Manca remembers it, the pivotal moment in Penn State’s 1985 season came rather early.
On opening day, to be exact.
“I think the turning point was that very first game against Maryland,” Manca ’87 says now. “Nobody had us picked to win that game. That’s when we realized: We could beat anybody.”
The Nittany Lions’ long-awaited return to Maryland this week brings to mind Continue reading →
As he starts his 40th season in charge of The Football Letter, we look back at the time John Black starred on the field in Penn State’s biggest rivalry.
* * *
It was a legendary performance made all the more impressive given the injury that almost kept him out of action.
According to the pregame write-up in the Nov. 25, 1958 issue of The Daily Collegian, quarterback “Joltin’ Johnny” Black suffered—and we warn you, this is difficult reading—an “acute hangnail on the third finger of his throwing hand.” Continue reading →