Notre Dame, Michigan highlight Penn State's 2006 football schedule

July 10, 2003

University Park, Pa. -- Penn State will renew its rivalry with Notre Dame and host Michigan for the first time in five years during the 2006 football season.

The 2006 slate also includes non-conference home games with Akron (Sept. 2) and Louisiana Tech (Sept. 16), as well as eight Big Ten Conference contests.

Two of nation's most successful programs, Penn State and Notre Dame will be meeting for the first time since 1992. The Nittany Lions travel to South Bend on Sept. 9, 2006 and the Fighting Irish will play in Beaver Stadium on Sept. 8, 2007.

The Nittany Lions and Fighting Irish have an even 8-8-1 series record, with Notre Dame capturing a 17-16 win in South Bend in 1992, the teams' last meeting. The two schools rank among the top five nationally in all-time victories: Notre Dame is second with 791 wins and Penn State is tied for fifth with 753 wins.

The schools first met on the gridiron in 1913, with the Irish winning in 1913, 1926 and 1928, as well as a 20-9 decision in the 1976 Gator Bowl to take a 4-0-1 series lead. In 1981, the Lions and Irish began a 12-game series and Penn State captured eight of the 12 contests to even the series. Eight clashes were decided by 11 points or less -- with six by five points or fewer -- from 1981-92, including each side winning a one-point game.

Among the more memorable wins for Penn State during the series was a 24-19 victory at Notre Dame Stadium in 1986 en route to a 12-0 season and the program's second national championship. In 1990, freshman kicker Craig Fayak connected on a 34-yard field goal to give the Nittany Lions a 24-21 win over the top-ranked Irish in South Bend.

Penn State and Akron will be meeting for the third time in the 2006 opener. The Lions won in 1999 and the teams will square off in Beaver Stadium on Sept. 4 to open the 2004 schedule.

The Nittany Lions and Louisiana Tech will meet for the third time when the Bulldogs visit Happy Valley on Sept. 16, 2006. Penn State won the previous meetings in 2000 and 2002.

Michigan will make its first appearance in Beaver Stadium in five years on Oct. 14, 2006. The Wolverines last played in State College on Oct. 6, 2001. After UM's 27-24 overtime win in Ann Arbor last fall, the Wolverines rotated off Penn State's schedule for the 2003-04 seasons. The teams will renew their rivalry Oct. 15, 2005 at UM.

Penn State will open the 2006 Big Ten slate at Ohio State on Sept. 23. The Lions also will visit Minnesota (Oct. 7), Purdue (Oct. 28) and Wisconsin (Nov. 4) in conference play.

In addition to Michigan, the Lions will host Big Ten foes Northwestern (Sept. 30), Illinois (Oct. 21) and Michigan State (Nov. 18) in the season ending clash for the Land Grant Trophy.

The Lions will not meet Indiana and Iowa during the 2005-06 seasons under the Big Ten's two-year rotation of opponents. Penn State has an open date on Nov. 11, 2006.

Coach Joe Paterno's squad is playing several of the nation's premier programs during the non-conference portion of the schedule this decade. Among the Nittany Lions' non-conference opponents this decade: Miami, Fla. (2001), Southern Mississippi (2001), Virginia (2001-02), Nebraska (2002-03), Boston College (2003-04), Notre Dame (2006-07) and Syracuse (2008-09). Penn State and Alabama are scheduled to meet in 2013-14 in a series that the Crimson Tide requested be postponed from the 2004-05 seasons.

2006 Penn State football schedule

Sept. 2: Akron
Sept. 9: at Notre Dame
Sept. 16: Louisiana Tech
Sept. 23: at Ohio State
Sept. 30: Northwestern
Oct. 7: at Minnesota
Oct. 14: Michigan
Oct. 21: Illinois
Oct. 28: at Purdue
Nov. 4: at Wisconsin
Nov. 18: Michigan State

(Media Contacts)

Last Updated March 19, 2009