It’s been 14 years since Penn State had a losing football season, but fans are clearly missing the dominant 1980s, when the Nittany Lions won two national championships. The Nittany Lions last won the Big Ten title in 2016 and got an invite to the Rose Bowl, but last year’s 9-4 season has taken some of luster off the team, and has depressed demand on the secondary market.
The Nittany Lions lost in the Citrus Bowl to Kentucky last season, and there’s little reason to think that 2019 will be a breakout season, making it a great opportunity for fans. There might be a competition at quarterback, between starter Tommy Stevens and Sean Clifford. Stevens will be a fifth-year senior, but he had shoulder surgery in the offseason. On top of that, multiple defensive starters have declared for the NFL draft, set for April 25-27.
Penn State will play seven home games, but only three will cost fans $154 or more, including the biggest game of the season, the October 19 matchup with Big 10 rival Michigan, which is trending at $363 on the secondary market and has a get-in price of $201.
Below is a look at all of Penn State’s home games.
August 31 vs. Idaho
- Average asking price: $88
- Get-in price: $25
Tied with the September 7 game against Buffalo as the cheapest in terms of average asking price, these teams have never played before. Five months before the game, Idaho starts at an even bigger disadvantage — two players, including defender Christian Elliss, won’t be playing after getting suspended following an arrest for theft. The game marks the third consecutive season that Penn State will open against a Sun Belt team.
September 7 vs. Buffalo
- Average asking price: $83
- Get-in price: $25
One of the two cheapest games of the season, there is little history between Penn State and Buffalo — the teams have played three times, and Penn State has won the last two, including a 27-14 defeat of Buffalo on September 12, 2015. The teams first played on November 29, 1900, and Buffalo won that game, 10-0. It was then 107 years before they played again.
September 14 vs. Pittsburgh
- Average asking price: $259
- Get-in price: $128
This in-state rivalry is the second priciest game of the season at State College, and this year’s game marks the 100th meeting. Penn State has not played any other team as often as it has played Pitt, and holds a 52-43-4 all-time series advantage. Branded the “Keystone Classic” in 2016, Penn State has won the last two, including a 51-6 victory at Pitt on September 8, 2018.
October 5 vs. Purdue
- Average asking price: $154
- Get-in price: $60
The first Big Ten game of the season, Penn State and Purdue are familiar opponents since they began playing somewhat regularly in 1995. Following a two-game series in 1951-52, the teams took a 43-year hiatus before playing that 1995 meeting, which Penn State won. The Nittany Lions hold a commanding all-time series advantage, 14-3-1, and have won the last eight consecutive, including the last meeting on October 29, 2016.
October 19 vs. Michigan
- Average asking price: $363
- Get-in price: $201
The priciest game of the season by far, Penn State and Michigan have played 22 times, and Michigan has dominated the series of late, winning four of the last five, including last year’s meeting on November 3. In that game, the Wolverines won, 42-7, payback for the Nittany Lions’ 42-13 victory in 2017. The teams first met in 1993, when Penn State joined the Big Ten.
November 16 vs. Indiana
- Average asking price: $99
- Get-in price: $30
Despite playing 22 times since 1993 when Indiana joined the Big Ten, not much of a rivalry has developed between these teams. Penn State dominates the rivalry, and has won 21 times. Indiana’s only victory was on October 5, 2013, when it won, 44-24, at Bloomington.
November 30 vs. Rutgers
- Average asking price: $87
- Get-in price: $18
The third cheapest game of the season, this game marks the final Big Ten home game of the season at State College. The teams have played 29 times, including a stretch of 14 years between 1982-95, during which Rutgers won only once. Since the Scarlett Knights joined the Big Ten in 2014, Penn State has won five consecutive games. The get-in price for this game is the cheapest of the season.