Kent State Golden Flashes (Sept. 3, 3:30 p.m., HOME)
Kent State had a rough season in 2015. Members of the MAC (Mid-American Conference), Kent State went 2-6 in conference play and 3-9 in regular season play. Their three wins were against the Delaware State Hornets (Sept. 12), Miami (OH) Redhawks (Sept. 26), and against the UMass Minutemen (Oct. 17). Each win was by a small margin, however.
Pittsburgh Panthers (Sept. 10, 12 p.m., AWAY)
Despite the long “rivalry” that Penn State and Pitt have harbored, Penn State has the upper hand when it comes to wins and fan base. Pitt had a solid season last year, going 8-5 in the regular season and 6-2 in the ACC. Their losses included a 26-19 loss to the North Carolina Tar Heels, a 42-30 loss to Notre Dame, and a 29-24 loss to Miami (FL).
Temple Owls (Sept. 17, 12 p.m., HOME)
After a difficult loss to the Temple Owls last year, Penn State is ready to take on this team again in the Stripe Out game. Temple had a very successful 2015 that surprised many, going 10-4 in the regular season and 7-1 in the ACC. Their biggest wins included a 37-3 rout of the Charlotte 49ers and a 27-3 trouncing of the UConn Huskies.
Michigan Wolverines (Sept. 24, TBA, AWAY)
One of Penn State’s biggest foes, Michigan has always been a solid team. Head Coach Jim Harbaugh led the Wolverines to a 10-3 record (6-2 Big Ten), with some incredible shutouts against BYU (31-0), Maryland (28-0), and Northwestern (38-0).
Minnesota Golden Gophers (Oct. 1, TBA, HOME)
Although they have had dominating seasons in the past, 2015 was not a good year to be a Gopher. The Golden Gophers went just under 500 at 6-7 and 2-6 in the Big Ten. However, it is important to note that all losses were of a close margin, meaning that Minnesota could be a darkhorse in 2016.
Maryland Terrapins (Oct. 8, 12 p.m. HOME, Homecoming)
Penn State had an embarrassingly difficult time against Maryland last year, eeking out a win by a single point. Maryland itself had an embarrassing season, recording 3-9 and 1-7 (Big Ten). Their only Big Ten win was against Rutgers with a close margin of 46-41. Seems like both team’s defenses may have been off that day…
Ohio State Buckeyes (Oct. 22, 8 p.m., HOME)
Another powerful team, Ohio State has given Penn State some trouble as of late. Ohio State was the National Champion in 2015, but failed to make the final in 2016. Their regular season was an undeniably formidable 12-1 and 7-1, with the only loss dealt by the storm that is Michigan State.
Purdue Boilermakers (Oct. 29, TBA, AWAY)
2015 was a rough year for the Boilermakers, who were 2-10 and 1-7 in the Big Ten. Their two wins were against Indiana State (38-14) and Nebraska (55-45). The Boilermakers were, however, able to hold the Spartans to scoring only 24 points, losing by just three points with a final score of 24-21.
Iowa Hawkeyes (Nov. 5, 7:30 p.m., HOME)
The Big Ten Champions in 2015, the Hawkeyes boasted a 12-2 record in the regular season and undefeated 8-0 conference season. Some of their biggest wins included a 62-16 rout of North Texas and a 40-10 win against Northwestern.
Indiana Hoosiers (Nov. 12, TBA, AWAY)
With the same record as Minnesota (6-7, 2-6), Indiana has the potential to come up with some big wins this year as the underdog. Penn State dealt Indiana a massive loss (29-7) during Penn State’s homecoming game in 2015.
Rutgers Scarlet Knights (Nov. 19, 8 p.m., AWAY)
Rutgers, stop trying to make the rivalry happen. It won’t happen. Going 4-8 and 1-7 hardly makes rivalry material, and Penn State dealt a solid loss to Rutgers (38-23) under the lights at Beaver Stadium. Rutgers’ only win in the Big Ten last year was against Indiana, and it was a close one, 55-52.
Michigan State Spartans (Nov. 26, TBA, HOME)
Famously always last on our regular season calendar, Penn State has had some trouble against the hardworking Spartans the last few seasons. Going 12-2 and 7-1, the Spartans’ only losses were conceded to Nebraska by a single point (39-38) and against Alabama in the Cotton Bowl, 38-0. The Spartans beat Penn State by a frustrating 55-16 margin, which Penn State hopes to avenge in 2016
Now that you are refreshed, get out your blue and white gear and get ready for kickoff on September 3rd at 3:30 p.m.!