Penn State-Pitt series put on hold; Nittany Lions will host Nevada, San Jose State in 2020

Centre Daily Times (TNS)
  • Penn State and Pitt will not play in football during the 2020 regular season.
  • Penn State's non-conference 2020 schedule includes Viriginia Tech, Nevada and San Jose State.
  • Penn State and Pitt will play in 2018 and 2019. The schools aren't scheduled to play after that.

The Penn State Nittany Lions’ 2020 non-conference football schedule is complete — and their in-state rivals aren’t on the slate.

Heather Lyke

Penn State announced on Monday afternoon that it will face Nevada and San Jose State at home in 2020, complementing a previously-announced road game at Virginia Tech. The Nittany Lions face the Wolfpack and Spartans on Sept. 5 and Sept. 19, respectively.

The news means Penn State’s series with Pittsburgh — which ends in 2019 — will not be immediately extended.

Despite optimism by Pitt athletic director Heather Lyke — she told The Canton Repository in November that a new contract was “very close to being done” — it was always unlikely the Panthers and Nittany Lions would work out an extension in the near future.

Penn State takes the approach of scheduling one non-conference Power 5 team per season, and that aspect is scheduled through 2025. The Nittany Lions face Virginia Tech in 2020 and 2025, Auburn in 2021 and 2022 and West Virginia in 2023 and 2024.

Plus, Penn State athletic director Sandy Barbour said in December that there was “no progress” in extending the series despite meeting with Lyke in State College in September to discuss the topic.

The Nittany Lions travel to Heinz Field in 2018 and host the Panthers at Beaver Stadium the following season.

In addition to Nevada and San Jose State being announced on Monday, Penn State also revealed its second 2024 non-conference opponent: Bowling Green. The Nittany Lions and Falcons square off on Sept. 7, 2024.


LaVar Arrington becomes head football coach in California: LaVar Arrington, the former Penn State and NFL linebacker, is becoming a high school football coach. Maranatha High, a Christian academy in Pasadena, Calif., announced Tuesday that Arrington will be its next head coach.

Arrington, who reached three Pro Bowls in seven NFL seasons, has built an entrepreneurial career since retiring from the NFL. He formed a sports-management agency, opened a restaurant in Maryland and started a football training company. Arrington also has hosted radio shows and served as a contributor to the NFL Network.

Arrington, the No. 2 pick of the 2000 NFL draft, spent most of his career with the Washington Redskins. He previously was an assistant coach at Long Beach Poly in California.

The (Allentown) Morning Call contributed to this report.