Predicting Penn State Football’s 2020 Kickoff Times
There won’t be any fans in attendance at Penn State football games this year, but it’s a safe bet folks will manage to plan out some in-home tailgates throughout this strange season.
With that in mind, Penn Staters will need to know when games will kickoff so they can maximize the fun on their college football Saturdays. Kickoff times have yet to be announced for any of the Nittany Lions’ games, but we took it upon ourselves to predict when each of Penn State’s contests will begin.
October 24 @ Indiana: Noon
This game clearly has the feeling of a “noon kickoff.” While these squads had a surprisingly tight game last fall, its Bloomington location doesn’t give it a whole lot of interest.
I expect Penn State to take care of business against the Hoosiers, and it’s likely that plenty of other folks aren’t preparing for an extremely close game either. The Big Ten has some other exciting week one matchups in Michigan vs. Minnesota and Ohio State vs. Nebraska, so don’t expect this game to get prime scheduling.
October 31 vs. Ohio State: Prime Time, Baby
An empty Beaver Stadium will be sad, to say the least, but there’s no question this highly anticipated contest will get a prime-time kickoff slot.
Barring any week one disasters, the Buckeyes and Nittany Lions will both be top-10 teams, so this will likely be the biggest game of the weekend (‘sup, Kirk Herbstreit and Chris Fowler?). While Penn State hasn’t beaten the Buckeyes since 2016, there always seems to be a few legendary moments when these teams meet.
Did we mention this matchup is set for Halloween? Since there won’t be any fans in attendance, I expect both coaching staffs to put together some awesome costumes for the fans at home.
November 7 vs. Maryland: 3:30 p.m.
Remember when these squads played a Friday night game last season and Maryland cancelled classes? And then, well, this happened:
After the Nittany Lions’ takeover in Maryland during a 59-0 rout last fall, I don’t think anyone will make the mistake of giving this game a prime time spot in the near future. However, there isn’t a whole lot of enticing Big Ten game set for week three, so this talented Penn State team may as well earn an afternoon slot.
November 14 @ Nebraska: 3:30 p.m.
Nebraska is still not a great football team, but this game certainly deserves an afternoon slot.
These two squads haven’t played since 2017 in a Penn State win, but the Cornhuskers won four consecutive matchups before that. Aside from that, there’s plenty of history between these two teams that both fanbases will have some passion for.
The Cornhuskers and the Nittany Lions had some legendary battles before either of them were in the Big Ten back in the 1970s and 80s, which will give plenty of reason for some older college football fans to watch this one. Penn State also hasn’t played in Lincoln in 2012, so who knows what could happen?
November 21 vs. Iowa: Noon
After a couple afternoon kickoff times for the Nittany Lions, they’ll get another dreaded noon start against the Hawkeyes in week five.
While I expect this to be a pretty close game, it certainly won’t be a very pretty one. Gritty Big Ten football doesn’t necessarily scream afternoon or prime-time kickoff, so get ready for an early Saturday morning against Iowa. Oh, and the weather will probably suck, too.
November 28 @ Michigan: Prime Time
This is likely going to set up for an important, late-season conference matchup. Fans around the nation are going to want to watch this one at the Big House, so expect a prime-time kickoff.
An empty Michigan Stadium will obviously be weird, but I’d be shocked if this one isn’t played under the lights in front of a nationwide audience.
December 5 @ Rutgers: Noon
There’s no getting around the fact that these late-season games against the Scarlet Knights are always boring.
Rutgers sucks and the Nittany Lions will be gassed after a grueling Big Ten schedule and a trip to the Big House, so this one is kicking off at noon. This game won’t be entertaining and it’s safe to say you can chalk it up as a Penn State win, so maybe get some Christmas shopping done on Saturday morning.
December 12 vs. Michigan State: 3:30 p.m.
The regular-season finale, a recent history of close games, and the Land-Grant Trophy. What more needs to be said?
Other than last season, Michigan State has managed to trip up the Nittany Lions in past years, so I expect an afternoon kickoff for this game. Along with that history, this matchup will also likely have plenty of importance in the Eastern division’s seeding for the Big Ten’s Championship Week.
Finally, these squads will get a chance to battle for the most coveted trophy in all of college football. Not many people are going to want to miss it.
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