PSU QB Trace McSorley downplays rivalry with Pitt

Pittsburgh Post-Gazette (TNS)
  • PSU QB Trace McSorley says Saturday's battle vs. Pitt is just 'the next game.'
  • Penn State and Pitt will play Saturday for the first time since 2000.
  • Penn State is 50-42-2 all-time in its series against Pitt.

Apparently Penn State takes that whole "unrivaled" tagline seriously.

A day after Pitt coach Pat Narduzzi announced his decision to lock down media availability for his players in order to "eliminate all distractions" ahead of the in-state game renewal, Nittany Lions quarterback Trace McSorley put the kibosh on that whole rivalry thing.

Penn State quarterback Trace McSorley isn't looking at Saturday's game against Pitt as a big rivalry.

When McSorley was asked during a conference call today if he considers Pitt-Penn State a rivalry game, he responded: "No, I'm not saying it's a rivalry."

The redshirt sophomore, a Virginia native who was five years old during the teams’ last meeting in 2000, said he knew about the "rich tradition" of the series, that it is something the people of Pennsylvania look forward to and he is "definitely excited to just start that tradition back up again." But he also said his team is "treating it as the next game" on the schedule and not making it any more important than that.

Do Narduzzi's actions communicate the opposite of Penn State's next-game mentality? McSorley said Narduzzi is a great coach that just made a different choice than Penn State coach James Franklin.

"I think we're approaching it the same, but we happen to just do it in a different way, I guess is probably the best way of saying it," McSorley said. "Obviously, we all understand on both sides that this is a big game. It is getting back to that Pitt-Penn State, that Pennsylvania state pride that everyone has.

"We understand the magnitude of the game."

The teams will meet Saturday at noon at Heinz Field in the first game of a four-game home-and-home series. The Nittany Lions have played the Panthers 96 times, more than any other team. Penn State is 50-42-4 against Pitt. (Pitt’s most frequent opponent is West Virginia at 104 games played, with Pitt leading that series, 61-40-3.)

With PSU looming, Pitt coach wants no distractions