Reacting to Penn State Football Schedule Announcements
The Nittany Lion faithful did not have to wait long for exciting football news. Announced exactly 100 days before kickoff, Penn State will face off against the Badgers in Madison, Wisconsin, on Sept. 4 at noon on FOX. This game will be the sixth all-time matchup broadcasted on the network.
For its season opener, Penn State will travel to Camp Randall Stadium in Madison for the first time since their last meeting in 2013 where the Nittany Lions secured a 31-24 victory. After the worst season start for the program since 2001, Penn State looks to surprise and impress. With a 10-9 overall record against the Badgers, the fight to start the season strong will not be easy.
With no losing seasons since 2001, Wisconsin hungers for a home win to kickstart its 2021 journey. In the midst of the offseason, 247Sports named Wisconsin as one of its “five surprise teams for 2021.”
Mentioned as a key to Wisconsin’s possible success is head coach Paul Chryst’s confidence in quarterback Graham Mertz as well as a strong wide receiving core poised to make moves on the turf. 247Sports also named Penn State in the same article. The Nittany Lions currently hold four consecutive victories over the Badgers.
The real excitement will be seeing how both teams perform out of the gate. Both Wisconsin and Penn State have returning quarterbacks eager to step outside of Ohio State’s shadow in the conference. The game will not only be a culmination of a hard offseason grind but an indicator of how the programs have grown and evolved.
Penn State’s matchup against Ball State on Sept. 11 will kickoff at 3:30 p.m. on FS1. Not only is this the first matchup between both teams, but it will be Penn State’s home opener in Beaver Stadium. Attendance in University Park in the fall will depend on health regulations in Pennsylvania, but rising vaccine rates and relaxing CDC guidelines have students and fans hopeful for the reality of a full stadium.
Into October, Penn State’s games against Iowa and Illinois also received official details. Penn State will face the Hawkeyes in Iowa City, Iowa on FOX or FS1 at an undisclosed kickoff time.
The last time Iowa and Penn State played one another in 2020, the Hawkeyes brutally defeated the blue and white 41-21 in University Park. Despite this loss, Penn State still has a 17-13 edge over Iowa with six victories in the seven previous matchups.
Iowa’s 6-2 record in 2020 speaks for itself as many members are returning for the 2021 season. The wide receiver position for the Hawkeyes will be worth watching with the departures of Ihmir Smith-Marsette and Brandon Smith from the roster. Junior Nico Ragaini had 18 receptions for 191 yards in 2020 and is a wide receiver that could see increased production in the upcoming season.
One of the most anticipated weekends in State College is Homecoming Weekend. The Illinois Fighting Illini are slated as the homecoming opponent against the Nittany Lions at noon on Oct. 23. The broadcast network is currently undisclosed.
With a 20-5 overall edge over the Illini, Penn State is projected as the favorite going into the matchup.
The most recent announcements mark that Penn State has been featured a total of 16 times on FOX and its family of networks. The 2021 Penn State football season promises exciting matchups as fans begin to eagerly count down the days until kickoff.
Emma Holtz is a freshman majoring in public relations and sports journalism. You can contact her at email@example.com.
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