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Penn State To Play Syracuse In 2013, 2020-2021

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Penn State Athletics announced today that the Nittany Lions football team will face the Syracuse Orange in a three game series beginning in 2013 at the New Meadowlands Stadium in New Jersey, and continuing with a home-and-home series in 2020 and 2021 beginning in State College.

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Penn State Director of Athletics Tim Curley, Syracuse Director of Athletics Dr. Daryl Gross and CEO of New Meadowlands Stadium Company Mark Lamping announced today that the New Meadowlands Stadium will host the Nittany Lions and Orange on August 31, 2013 in the first of a three-game series.

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The long-time rivals also are working to finalize an agreement to play in 2020 and 2021. Syracuse will play at Beaver Stadium on September 19, 2020 and the Nittany Lions will visit the Orange on September 18, 2021...

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The announcement is sure to upset Pitt fans, still waiting for their turn to renew the dormant traditional rivalry between the Panthers and the Nittany Lions. Penn State swept Syracuse in a home-and-home series in 2008 and 2009, and will now give the Orange, like Pitt a traditional Eastern foe, a second batch of games before considering the Panthers.

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The move also follows a growing trend of Penn State games being transferred from campus sites to swanky pro venues. Penn State will face Indiana in a "road" game at FedEx Field in Landover, Md., this fall instead traveling to Bloomington to face the Hoosiers.

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Should Pitt fans have gripes with this? Possibly, considering how wretched the Syracuse football program has been in recent years, but probably not. Pitt can't offer Penn State a game in a hulking new stadium close to a large alumni base that also happens to be in the biggest media market in the country. They also won't can't promise Penn State fans who might want to buy tickets to a prospective Pitt-Penn State game at Heinz Field that they won't tie season-ticket packages to Penn State tickets, putting Lion fans in the unreasonable position of having to buy a season's worth of games to see only one they really care about.

Photographs by dizfunk used in background montage under Creative Commons. Thank you.