Home-and-home football series between Penn State, Syracuse to take place in 2027, 2028
May 5, 2022
One of the Nittany Lions' oldest regional rivals is returning to the football schedule. While the reunion with Pittsburgh is likely to be on hold for a while, the Nittany Lions will still be facing off against the Syracuse Orange.
On Wednesday, Penn State announced that it has agreed to a home-and-home series with Syracuse in 2027 and 2028. Penn State will host Syracuse on September 4, 2027, while Syracuse will host the Nittany Lions in the later season.
The addition of Syracuse to Penn State's schedule for the 2027 season will likely complete the Nittany Lions' non-conference slate. Aside from the matchup against Syracuse, the team will also be facing off against Temple and Delaware.
As long as the Big Ten continues to play a nine-game schedule, Penn State should be able to secure a solid schedule for the upcoming season. The Big Ten's schedule for 2027 will not be released until later. However, Penn State has lined up some of its toughest non-conference opponents in the Syracuse Orange, Temple Owls, and Delaware Blue Hens.
The only game that's currently on the schedule for the 2028 season is the road matchup against the Orange. However, since the Big Ten still has a nine-game schedule in 2028, two non-conference games will be added to the slate.
The annual football game between the two schools is regarded as one of the most significant rivalries in the country. According to John Wildhack, the athletic director of the Orange, the team is excited to continue its rivalry with Penn State.
The first meeting between the two schools happened in 1922. It ended in a scoreless draw. Over the years, the two schools have faced off against each other 71 times. They are currently ranked as the second-most frequent opponents for the Orange, after Pittsburgh.
The two teams last met in 2013, when Penn State defeated the Orange, 23-17. The upcoming game will be the Nittany Lions' first trip to the Big Orange since 2008.
Rivalry history leads to conference alliance
Both schools have a long history of playing great football. Through the years, Penn State and Syracuse have faced off against each other over 70 times.
In August last year, the Big Ten, along with the Pac-12, announced an alliance to create a more collaborative approach regarding the future of college athletics.
The presidents, chancellors, and athletic directors of the 41 participating schools unanimously supported the alliance. It aims to support the well-being of student-athletes and provide them with the necessary resources to succeed. They also believe that the collegiate model should be supported and improved. All of the schools participating in the alliance are committed to providing various educational and athletic experiences.
The alliance also includes a component that will allow schools to schedule additional games for football and men's and women's basketball. It aims to create more opportunities for student-athletes and improve the quality of college athletics by developing new inter-conference games.
The Orange returns 17 of its 22 starters from last year's team, including two All-ACC performers in linebacker Mikel Jones and running back Sean Tucker.