Breaking it Down: A Look at Penn State’s 2017 Opponents

Breaking it Down: A Look at Penn State’s 2017 Opponents

As summer inches its way forward, so does the promising date of Saturday, September 2, 2017 - the kickoff to Penn State football. This year, Penn State will face a variety of top-ranked opponents. Thanks to the Lions’ success during the 2016 season, the Blue and White will be seeing much more TV coverage, prompting a different set of kickoff times than in years past. Let’s take a look at some of the top contenders the Lions will see this coming fall.

Akron: Penn State will welcome Akron to Beaver Stadium to begin the 2017 season with a noon kickoff on September 2. The Lions have never lost to the Akron Zips in their five meetings. The Zips went 5-7 last year, defeating notable teams like the Virginia Military Institute and Kent State. The game will be aired on ABC network.

Pitt: This year, Penn State will welcome Pitt to Lion country on September 9. After a harrowing loss to Pitt early in the 2016 season, both teams have a reason to hunger after a win. This 3:30 p.m. kickoff was picked up by ABC network and will undoubtedly draw fans from around the nation to Nittany Valley as well as to their TV sets. Pitt ended up going 8-5 and grabbing second in the ACC, but the Panthers clung to their 42-39 Penn State-defeat as the hallmark of their season.

Georgia State: Mixing things up with competition from down South, the Lions will face Georgia State, who went 3-9 last season in the Sun Belt Conference, on September 16.This will be the first meeting ever between the two teams, a clash of scrappy Big Ten play and more deliberate, Southern styles. This will also be the first evening game of the season for the Lions; kickoff will be at 7:30 in Beaver Stadium.


After these three opening games, the Lions will hit the road and immediately dive into Big Ten play. Their first away game will be against Iowa, who Penn State blew away 41-14 to propel them to a Big Ten East Championship. The Lions will then return home to host Indiana on September 30 before heading to the Midwest again to face Northwestern at noon on October 7.

The first true, tense test of the season will come on October 21 when the Blue and White will welcome Michigan to Beaver Stadium for the first time since 2015, when the Lions took a hard loss as a young team. This game is listed on many outlets as an evening game - and also as the White Out game - but Go PSU Sports has yet to confirm.

As if facing Michigan early in the season isn’t hard enough, the Lions will have to rally and head to Ohio State the very next weekend to take on the Buckeyes. No true Penn State fan reading this needs me to remind them of the awe-inspiring 24-21 victory that occurred in 2016, when the Lions toppled the then-No. 2 Buckeyes during a botched field goal attempt. Do you have chills just thinking about it? I sure do.

After those two fierce games, the Lions will wrap up their season with Big Ten play against Michigan State (away), then host Rutgers and Nebraska at home, before wrapping up the season with the notoriously ill-mannered Maryland Terps in College Park, Maryland.

How many of you have your season tickets already? Students, remember to check here for dates and instructions on how to secure your coveted student tickets for the 2017 season. Penn State football games are simply not events you can afford to miss!