Penn State-Pittsburgh is a rivalry, right?
Well, it depends who you ask. We know that Nittany Lions coach James Franklin thinks that the most important game of the season is whichever game is next. That kind of throws the whole “rivalry” thing out of the question.
Maybe Franklin has an influence on his players’ thoughts. After all, he is the coach.
Saquon Barkley, who starred at Penn State from 2015-17, was asked about the Penn State-Pitt rivalry on Thursday.
Pitt fans won’t like what he had to say:
Asked about #NYGvsDAL rivalry, @Saquon pointed out that rivalries are kinda new to him given that Penn State really didn't have a true rival. "Pitt tried," he said, "but I think we saw last week how that (went)."
— Kimberly Jones (@KimJonesSports) September 13, 2018
Ouch. Pitt tried, according to Barkley. But, the Panthers never apparently made an impression.
Although it must be said that in 2016, Penn State lost to Pitt 42-39. In Barkley’s first year at Penn State — in 2015 — the two teams didn’t play each other.
Then in 2017, the Nittany Lions handed it to the Panthers, winning 33-14. Week 2 of the 2018 season was even worse, resulting in a 51-6 blowout.
Sorry Pitt, but Barkley doesn’t think you’re a rival of Penn State’s either.