By Patrick D. Gallagher and Eric J. Barron
Sixteen years in the making. Two teams. One age-old competition.
The wait is finally over.
Our football teams will take Heinz Field on Saturday (Sept. 10) to face off for the first time in more than a decade. The stakes are higher than ever, as the hype surrounding this historic series has gained momentum throughout the entire Commonwealth.
On game day, we hope to represent the finest qualities of Pitt, Penn State and all of Pennsylvania.
A vibrant energy surrounds this matchup, and fans have shown a tremendous anticipation for its resurrection. We are excited to share this moment with you. We are proud to say we have two of the most passionate and dedicated fan bases in this country, and we hope this game produces positive memories for the thousands of students, alumni and friends who attend.
Over the years, both institutions have partnered on many important efforts on behalf of the Commonwealth and its people. During this current four-year football series, we’re glad to again work together. As host of this game, the University of Pittsburgh is both honored and committed to promoting an environment at Heinz Field that will showcase the very best of college football and our students. As the guest, Penn State plans to provide a spirited contest, setting the stage for a great four-year run.
The ESPN broadcast is an opportunity to provide an outstanding reflection of the passion Pennsylvania has for college football and, specifically, the Pitt-Penn State series. Good sportsmanship is key to any successful athletic contest and knowing that our fans are some of the best in the world, we expect no less.
Combined, Pitt and Penn State boast nearly 200 first-team All-Americans, 47 College Football Hall of Famers and 14 Pro Football Hall of Famers—and more honorees are surely on the way.
Consider this: The last time these two teams faced off was in 2000, when most members of this year’s freshman classes were just 2 years old. This is history in the making.
Let’s showcase the best versions of ourselves to help support our respective teams. We look to everyone to make wise choices and enjoy the game responsibly.
Join us, in person or via broadcast Saturday, as we kick off the next chapter in our programs’ shared history. Be loud, be respectful, and be a good sport.
And may the best team win!
Gallagher is chancellor of the University of Pittsburgh. Barron is president of the Pennsylvania State University.