Sports. Honestly. Since 2011

Pitt vs. Penn State Rivalry: No Disappointment Here

The Pitt vs. Penn State rivalry was reborn this past weekend with Pitt delivering Penn State a devastating 39-42 loss in Heinz Field. Although many Nittany Lions fans were originally highly concerned due to the Lions’ first half performance, that bittersweet feeling of hope emerged during the second half; specifically, the fourth quarter. The game, however, was just one portion of the experience for many. The city of Pittsburgh did not disappoint in hosting such a large number of people in addition to those visiting the Steel City for the Pirates series against the Cincinnati Reds.

The idea of a rivalry means that everything, is compared; whether it’s the team’s stadium, city/town, tailgating experience(s) or overall fan base, the need to win in every aspect is just a part of what adds to the greatness of college sports rivalries. Although Pitt may have won the most important aspect of a rivalry, the actual game itself, it was not such a clean sweep in the overall grand scheme.


Walking by Heinz Field on Saturday afternoon was absolutely surreal. Not only because that is where the football scene from Batman: The Dark Knight Rises was filmed, but also because it was completely full. Every seat in that stadium was filled, a sight that typically only occurs when the Steelers are playing. That being said, however, it is hard to beat Beaver Stadium. In a city like Pittsburgh, fans have other teams that draw strong numbers—professional teams; not to mention, the Panthers haven’t been the strongest football team so selling out stadiums is not a strength (if it means anything, student season tickets cost $25). Beaver Stadium seats 107,000 and it seems as if no matter what, or who the opposing team is, Nittany Lions fans will come roaring. The emotion that begins in the student section and makes its way throughout the entire stadium cannot really be described; at best, the word infectious will suffice.

Although both stadiums draw inspiration from their own respected cities—the incorporation of 12,000 tons of steel was used in the construction of Heinz Field, and local Pennsylvania limestone create the walls surrounding Beaver Stadium—there is somewhat of an elegance that is created by Beaver Stadium even though it doesn’t sit alongside a river like Heinz Field does with the Allegheny River.

Winner: Penn State


This category isn’t much of a competition. Pittsburgh is a city; larger and able to provide more amenities than a college town such as State college. Although a mid-sized city, Pittsburgh has great food (make sure to check out Pamela’s P&G Diner for their hotcakes if in town—worth the wait!), and a view of downtown, via the observation deck, from across the Allegheny River that is simply stunning. State College does have its charm, however. It’s quiet and allows for an escape from the busier aspects of life. It’s a perfect college town that does a great job of catering to the students of Penn State, but that perfect bubble can, at times, be just that: a bubble and somewhat constrictive.

Winner: Pitt

Tailgating Experience

Heinz Field is located in the downtown area of Pittsburgh surrounded by concrete and paved streets, because of that tailgating takes place in the parking lots. Some areas are paved (fans have to get up early to claim these spots) while others are filled with gravel and rocks. Penn State on the other hand has several fields, in addition to the parking lots, that fans are permitted to use for tailgating. The grass is not only easier to stand on for long periods of time, but it’s also not as hot since heat radiates off of concrete quickly. Also, the parking lots and areas that are permitted to be used for tailgating for Pitt games were not close in proximity to each other. Since Penn State has land that is not only close to the stadium but large enough so that large numbers of cars can park in one area, fans are able to visit/participate in several tailgates instead of just choosing one.

Winner: Penn State

Penn State looks to regroup against the Temple Owls in Beaver Stadium on Saturday at 12:00 PM Eastern Time.

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