Peoples Gas to Serve as Presenting Sponsor
PITTSBURGH – The Pitt vs. Penn State football series will be tagged as the Keystone Classic presented by Peoples Gas as announced Friday by both institutions. The first meeting in the newly dubbed series will occur Saturday, Sept. 10 in front of a capacity crowd at Heinz Field (12 p.m. – ABC or ESPN). The Panthers are also scheduled to play at Penn State Sept. 9, 2017 in the second meeting of the four-game series that will continue in 2018 and 2019.
“We are extremely excited about renewing this great series and grateful to have Peoples Gas on board as a presenting sponsor,” said Pitt Athletic Director Scott Barnes. “The Pitt-Penn State matchup will serve as a marquee game of the early football season and I know our fan base will be out in full force for the matchup. This has been a great collaboration by the two institutions both in scheduling the game and securing a corporate partner.”
Pitt media rights holder IMG worked closely with Penn State media rights holder Learfield to secure Peoples Gas as the presenting sponsor of the series. The partnership includes Peoples Gas’ corporate mark embedded in the series logo as well as various branding, social media, activation and community assets. In addition, both schools are working with their licensing partner CLC on creating a line of merchandise featuring the Keystone Classic logo.
“Peoples is proud to support this event that celebrates two universities that add so much to Pennsylvania,” said Morgan O’Brien, CEO of Peoples Natural Gas. “The Keystone Classic will attract tens of thousands of visitors to our area to patronize restaurants, shops and hotels. And, it recognizes the proud traditions of Pitt and Penn State, whose alumni contribute greatly to our region’s workforce. So, I gladly welcome back and look forward to this annual football game!”
Pitt and Penn State last clashed on September 16, 2000, when the Panthers blanked the Nittany Lions, 12-0, at Three Rivers Stadium. Freshman Rod Rutherford scored the game’s lone touchdown when he took a short pass from John Turman and raced for a 62-yard TD. A smothering Pitt defense limited Penn State to just 64 yards rushing and 225 yards overall.
Penn State holds a 50-42-4 advantage in the all-time series that began in 1893. The schools played every season from 1900-31 and 1935-92. Following a four-year break, the series resumed for four games from 1997-2000 before its current hiatus. The rivalry gained national stature during the 1970s and `80s when the teams regularly met with both eastern supremacy and national title implications at stake.
Pitt-Penn State Series in Brief
Series Record: Penn State leads, 50-42-4
At Pittsburgh: Pitt leads, 34-28-4
At Penn State: Penn State leads, 17-6
Neutral: Penn State leads, 5-2
Last Game: Pitt won, 12-0 (played at Three Rivers Stadium Sept. 16, 2000)