Penn State hosts Pittsburgh

College Football Predictions: Pittsburgh vs. Penn State 9/9/17

"We were happy to win, but there were no hard feelings".

Pittsburgh did a lot of things very well, particularly winning the time of possession battle, but Penn State made some big plays on offense, and bended, but didn't break on defense.

But the offense, which gained just 312 total yards, took a backseat to the Penn State defense and special teams for a change.

Pure power carried Barkley into the end zone on the first play of the fourth quarter with Penn State facing second and goal from the 8. Pitt eventually became part of the ACC. Penn State CB Amani Oruwariye left the game with a leg injury late in the fourth and did not return.

"We knew we had to come out here and give these guys what they deserve", Penn State wide receiver DaeSean Hamilton said. They held onto that win all season.

The number of times Franklin used the words "rival" or "rivalry" equaled the number of points Penn State allowed in an opening win over Akron.

Then there was the matter of Pitt's ball-hoggery. Pitt's offense lost tenacious running back James Conner and steady quarterback Nathan Peterman to the National Football League, replacing them with Conner's bruising backup, Qadree Ollison, and a quarterback new to the program, USC transfer Max Browne, who threw the game-winning 11-yard touchdown pass to speedy Jester Weah in overtime last week against Youngstown State.

Linebacker Koa Farmer said he and his teammates viewed Pitt as "just another team in our way". Several players from that team - Blackledge, Mark Battaglia, Joel Coles, Bill Contz, Gregg Garrity Sr., Al Harris, Ken Kelley and Pete Speros - signed autographs before the game.

The fans view the showdown with a different game plan.

Saturday's crowd of 109,898 was the largest for a Penn State-Pitt game and ranks seventh on Beaver Stadium's all-time attendance list, the most people to watch a game there since Ohio State visited in 2009.

"I know a year ago for their win (against us), it was like the Super Bowl", Franklin said following Saturday's win. Pitt has actually covered in four of the last five meetings.

"It was Week 2", Barkley continued. They're expected to win, so they have little to gain by actually playing. I mean, I feel sorry for Akron getting caught in the crossfire, but that's going to happen sometimes. I think there's a point where you can take it too far. I think our schedule is set through 2026 or something like that.

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