Stakes are high as Pitt hosts Penn St.

Associated Press


It took Pat Narduzzi three years to finally embrace the obvious. No more hiding behind coachspeak. No more cliches about treating all 12 of Pittsburgh’s opponents the same.

It just doesn’t work that way when it comes to the Panthers and No. 13 Penn State.

“Anybody wants to argue and say this is no different than any other week, OK, it is. That’s a fact,” the Pitt coach said. “If you want to ignore that, you can ignore it. It’s a big game.”

The meeting at Heinz Field tonight will be the 99th in a series that dates to 1893. It’s also the last in Pittsburgh for the foreseeable future between the Panthers (1-0) and the Nittany Lions (1-0). There are no plans for the teams to play past next year’s centennial showdown at Beaver Stadium.

The Panthers have a chance to prove they’re back after a disappointing 2017 season. Penn State can show its uneven performance in the opener was an aberration.

“We’ve got to make big improvements between week one and week two,” Franklin said. “A lot of people feel that’s when you make the biggest improvements, so we’re going to need it.”

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