Pittsburgh (1-1) at No. 13 Penn State (2-0), Saturday at noon EDT (ABC).
Line: Penn State by 17.
Series record: Penn State leads 52-43-4.
WHAT’S AT STAKE
With the series dormant for years, this wasn’t much of a rivalry four years ago. But three hard-hitting, entertaining games have reinvigorated the intrastate feud that will culminate in the 100th meeting and conclude the four-game Keystone Classic series. With a renewal not yet on the table, indefinite bragging rights are on the line.
Pittsburgh’s passing offense vs. Penn State’s secondary. The Nittany Lions are talented and deep on the backend, but did give up a bunch of chunk plays through the air to Buffalo. The Panthers were lousy throwing the ball in their opener but looked good in their second game with new offensive coordinator Mark Whipple calling the shots and quarterback Kenny Pickett completing 70 percent of his throws for 321 yards and a touchdown.
PLAYERS TO WATCH
Pittsburgh: Pickett. The junior hooked up with eight different receivers to spark Pitt’s win over Ohio last week. He will undoubtedly face more pressure against Penn State’s snarling front seven in Beaver Stadium.
Penn State: CB John Reid. With interceptions in two straight games, Reid appears to be fully recovered from the torn ACL that cost him all of 2017 and slowed him much of last season. If anyone is going to capitalize on errant throws caused by pressure, it’s the Nittany Lions’ top coverage corner.
Penn State has won the last two meetings. . The Nittany Lions have outscored the Panthers 123-59 including a 51-6 rout last season. That margin of victory was the largest in the series since Penn State beat Pitt 65-9 in 1968. . Pitt is 4-7 all time in Beaver Stadium. . Penn State has notched 21 tackles for loss so far this season. . Down two starters on its defensive line, the Panthers have still generated a pass rush with nine sacks so far.
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