The History of the Pitt-Penn State Rivalry

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Happy Pitt Hate Week!

For any first-year students who do not know what this week entails, allow VALLEY to explain. Pitt Hate Week is the entire week preceding the annual football game of the Penn State Nittany Lions vs. the University of Pittsburgh Panthers. This year’s game, scheduled for Saturday, September 14at noon, will mark the 100th matchup between the two teams.

Photo posted by @allpsusports on Instagram.

The teams first played each other back in 1893 when Pitt was still the Western University of Pennsylvania. Penn State won the first game 32-0. Throughout the next 107 years both the Nittany Lions and the Panthers had their own experiences with winning streaks. Pitt’s longest streak was 14 consecutive games between 1922 and 1938 while Penn State has come out victorious 10 times between 1966 and 1975. In 2000, there was some upset that led to a 16 year gap in the rivalry. Out of the 96 games played at the time, only 23 had taken place at Beaver Stadium.

During this holy week, all of Happy Valley unites to defeat a common enemy both on and off the field. Students from many of Penn State’s branch campus make the trip to State College to support their team. Throughout the week, students often hang clever, yet offensive jokes about the University of Pittsburgh in their dorm and apartment windows. Our most well-known and practiced insult would have to be, “Eat Sh*t, Pitt.”

Photo posted by @psubarstool on Instagram.

And yet the brothers of the Delta Kappa Epsilon fraternity, DKE, got a little more imaginative this year. Though the idea is not original, their sign that reads “What do Pitt and Penn State students have in common? They both applied to Penn State” is one of the least inappropriate signs featured on and around campus. Each year students come up with new ways and sayings to insult Pitt.

The rivalry has only grown stronger over the years Penn State has won 52 games, Pitt has won 43 games and 4 tie games in the mix. However, with Penn State joining the Big Ten Conference and Pitt the Big East Conference in the early 1990s, this rivalry has become more of a tradition than an actual feud but as many of us know, Penn Staters love a good tradition.


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