Penn State-Rutgers Big Ten opener set for primetime on BTN

UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. – The return of one of Penn State’s longtime rivalries is set for prime time, as the Nittany Lions’ Big Ten Conference opener at Rutgers has been selected as their third night game of the 2014 campaign.

The contest between the old rivals, and new Big Ten East Division foes, will kick at 8 p.m. Sept. 13 and air on BTN, the Penn State Sports Network and www.GoPSUsports.com. The contest at High Point Solutions Stadium in Piscataway, N.J., will mark Rutgers’ first Big Ten Conference game and will be the opening contest of the Big Ten’s 119th football season. The Nittany Lions will be playing their earliest Big Ten opener since starting the 1994 season at Minnesota.

The Rutgers game is Penn State’s third announced kick time for the 2014 season. Coach James Franklin’s Nittany Lions will visit Michigan at 7 p.m. Oct. 11 for a clash that will air on ESPN or ESPN2. The Big Ten East Division contest will be Michigan’s first Big Ten home night game. Penn State will host Ohio State on Oct. 25, with the East Division clash set for an 8 p.m. kick on ABC, ESPN or ESPN2.

Penn State will be playing a prime time game on BTN for the fourth consecutive season. The Nittany Lions won at Northwestern (2011) and Iowa (2012) and lost at home to UCF by a field goal in 2013 on BTN.

Penn State and Rutgers have met 24 times, with the first meeting in 1918 and the last coming in 1995. Starting this season, the teams will play annually as Big Ten East Division rivals. From 1977-95, the Nittany Lions and Scarlet Knights played every season except in 1980 and ’81. The Nittany Lions have played Rutgers nine times in New Jersey, but the last six meetings came at Giants Stadium, including the 1995 contest. Penn State played at Rutgers in 1951, ’53 and ’55.

Rutgers and Maryland will officially join the Big Ten on July 1, and Penn State will play both annually as East Division foes. The Nittany Lions host the Terrapins on Nov. 1. The three schools are joined by Indiana, Michigan, Michigan State and Ohio State in the East Division.

Penn State’s Aug. 30 season opener vs. UCF in the Croke Park Classic will kick at 1:30 p.m. (8:30 a.m.) in Dublin, Ireland, and air on ESPN2, the Penn State Sports Network and www.GoPSUsports.com. Penn State will be playing its first international game in its 128-year history when it travels to Ireland to meet the Knights.

Penn State will be playing at least one regular season night game for the 15th consecutive season. A determination on which network will nationally televise the Michigan and Ohio State clashes may not be made until six days before the contest. Additional Nittany Lion kick times will be announced later this spring.

BTN is available to more than 90 million homes through agreements with more than 300 cable, satellite and telco providers in all 50 states and approximately 20 countries. Armstrong Cable, Blue Ridge Cable and Adams Cable, though, do not carry BTN in Pennsylvania and the Medina and Youngstown, Ohio, areas. More than 35,000 Penn State alumni live in the communities served by the three cable providers in Pennsylvania and the Medina and Youngstown areas, in addition to thousands more Penn State and Big Ten fans and current Penn State students.

Every Penn State football game has been televised the past 10 seasons and 240 of the last 242 contests overall have been on TV. All Penn State football and men’s and women’s basketball games air on the Penn State Sports Network and www.GoPSUsports.com.

The Nittany Lions concluded spring practice on April 12, with an estimated 72,000 fans attending the Blue-White Game, the nation’s second-largest spring football crowd thus far in 2014.

Franklin, nine other head coaches and nine assistant football coaches, will be participating in the 17-stop Penn State Coaches Caravan, starting May 1 at the Pegula Ice Arena on the University Park campus and ending May 22 at Penn State Erie. Franklin is scheduled to appear at all 17 events. For all the Coaches Caravan event dates and locations, and coaches attending, visit http://alumni.psu.edu/events/coachescaravan.

Nearly 3,000 new season tickets have been sold for the 2014 campaign, including approximately 300 at the Blue-White Game. There again was no increase in season tickets prices for Penn State football for the upcoming season. New season tickets are available by calling 800-NITTANY, weekdays from 8 a.m.-5 p.m.

Penn State announced two new football ticket initiatives in January.

-- The Recent Graduate program gives Penn State graduates who earned an undergraduate degree from 2010-14 at any campus the opportunity to purchase up to two season tickets for $300 per ticket for the seven-game home schedule this fall. The cost includes a $50 donation to the Nittany Lion Club and is a savings of 35 percent from the regular $460 season ticket price ($360 + $100 NLC donation).

More than 400 Recent Graduate program season tickets have been sold, with approximately 2,500 seats remaining available. The seats are located in the North Upper Deck, in Sections NAU-NLU. Interested recent graduates can call 800-NITTANY, weekdays from 8 a.m.-5 p.m.

-- Penn State will be implementing a variable pricing structure for its single game public football tickets during the 2014 season. Single game tickets will go on sale to the general public in July, with tickets being available for as low as $40 for some games. For a full list of prices by section for the 2014 football season, fans can log onto http://www.gopsusports.com/sports/m-footbl/spec-rel/011414aab.html.

Penn State returns 41 letterwinners and 15 starters (seven offense, seven defense, one specialist) and will play a trio of 2013 Top 10 teams this fall. The Nittany Lions will host Rose Bowl Champion Michigan State (Nov. 29), Ohio State (Oct. 25, 8 p.m.), Northwestern (Sept. 27-Homecoming) and Maryland (Nov. 1) during its 2014 Big Ten home schedule. Penn State will host Akron (Sept. 6), UMass (Sept. 20) and Temple (Nov. 15) during its non-conference schedule.

Penn State Football is on Twitter (@PennStateFball) and Facebook (www.facebook.com/PSUFball).

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Last Updated April 23, 2014