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The Storied Penn State-West Virginia Rivalry

A three-hour car ride, a state border, and less than 180 miles are all that separate the once-storied football rivalry between Penn State and West Virginia.

One of the oldest Penn State rivalries will be renewed on Saturday when the Nittany Lions face West Virginia as part of a home-and-home series in 2023 and 2024. The series will feature its 60th rendition on Saturday when these programs kick off their 2023 college football season. It marks the third-largest number of meetings for a Penn State opponent, trailing only Pitt (100) and Syracuse (71).

In almost 120 years of matchups between the two programs, the Nittany Lions hold an all-time record of 48-9-2 against the Mountaineers.

From 1904 to 1909, the two sides faced off five times. Each game was played in State College and Penn State found itself victorious after each matchup. During this span, the Nittany Lions didn’t surrender a point to the Mountaineers and outscored them 102-0.

It wasn’t until these two squads tied in 1923 at Yankee Stadium that West Virginia began to see some success against the blue and white. The next two times the teams faced off, in 1925 and 1931, the Mountaineers shut out the Nittany Lions and captured their first wins of the rivalry.

The Nittany Lions dominated the rivalry from the end of the 1940s through the end of the 1980s. They won 28 straight games from 1947 to 1983, the longest win streak in series history. The two programs met every season from 1947 to 1992, helping the rivalry grow with familiarity.

This came to a halt following the 1992 season when Penn State and West Virginia joined the Big Ten and Big East conferences, respectively.

It has been 31 years since Penn State has last faced West Virginia on the gridiron. The last time they competed, former Penn State quarterback Kerry Collins threw for 249 yards and two touchdowns with former running back Richie Anderson adding 133 yards on the ground and three scores of his own en route to a 40-26 victory in Morgantown.

Now, with two matchups coming in two years between the programs, new players have a chance to make their mark on a once-great rivalry. From Drew Allar and Nick Singleton to West Virginia’s Garrett Greene and CJ Donaldson, Penn State and West Virginia will bring back a battle that’s been missing from college football for more than three decades.

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About the Author

Brady Miller

Brady is a senior public relations major who originates from the cornfields of Schuylkill County, PA. He spends most of his time watching the Philadelphia Phillies blow leads and the New England Patriots struggle to score points. When not watching sports, Brady is most likely "studying" or with his friends. Follow him on Twitter @_bMiLL_32 to see mostly retweets of whatever is going through Marlon Humphrey's head, or you can email him at [email protected].

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