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WVU, Penn State nearing home-and-home football series

By From staff reports

CHARLESTON, W.Va. - West Virginia University is but a few pen strokes away from bringing back another football rivalry.

The Penn State Nittany Lions and the Mountaineers are completing an agreement to play a two-year home-and-home series, a person familiar with the negotiations told the Charleston Daily Mail Thursday.

The game would open the season both years, though the exact dates are not yet decided.

If officials ink a deal, it will set into motion the first meeting between the two teams since October 24, 1992.

WVU and Penn State have met 59 times since 1904, and played every year from 1947 through 1992. Unfortunately for Mountaineer fans, the series has been overwhelmingly tipped in the Nittany Lions' favor.

WVU has won just nine of those contests, with two other games ending in draws, and Penn State coming out on top 48 times.

In fact, Penn State held a 25-game streak in the series, winning every game played between 1959 and 1983 - beating former quarterback and current WVU Athletic Director Oliver Luck three times in the process.

One of WVU's most significant victories came in 1988, as quarterback Major Harris helped lead the team to a 51-30 win in Morgantown - the most points ever scored against a Joe Paterno-coached team.

The 1988 win helped the Mountaineers on their way to their first-ever national championship game appearance later that season.

The series, if renewed, will be convenient for the Mountaineers -- now logging extensive frequent flyer miles in the Big 12 Conference - as Milan Puskar and Beaver stadiums are separated by a relatively short 181-mile drive.

It is also the second rivalry Luck has helped revive this year.

Earlier this month, WVU and Virginia Tech agreed to a similar series with a game in Morgantown in 2021 and a game in Blacksburg, Va., in 2022. WVU and Penn State will have to work with those two dates in mind.

WVU and Virginia Tech last played in 2005 after playing every season beginning in 1972. The Mountaineers lead the series 28-22-1, but the Hokies currently possess the series' coveted Black Diamond Trophy.

In announcing that series, Luck said he was responding to legions of fans who expressed strong sentiments about renewing the former rivalry.

"This game is great for college football," Luck said. "We all know that the two schools have extraordinary fan bases, and both schools will be counting down the days until the Hokies and the Mountaineers meet again."

The same will likely be said of the Penn State rivalry, should the deal come to fruition.


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