No. 13 Penn State will take on intrastate rival Pittsburgh for the 100th time at Beaver Stadium Saturday afternoon in front of a national TV audience. It’s the final game of a four-game series that began in 2016, and there are legitimate fears that the historic, 126-year rivalry won’t continue after this weekend.

Unfortunately for Pitt fans, a Penn State legend will be in the booth calling the game for ABC.

Analyst Todd Blackledge, a former Penn State quarterback who started for the Nittany Lions from 1981 to 1983, ended up with a rare pairing alongside play-by-play announcer Chris Fowler. Blackledge not only led Penn State to a national championship in 1982, he was also under center when the Nittany Lions overcame a 14-0 deficit in 1981 against No. 1 Pitt to upset the Panthers, 48-14. The opposing quarterback for Pitt? Hall of Famer Dan Marino. (Fun fact: Blackledge was selected No. 7 overall in the 1983 NFL Draft by the Kansas City Chiefs, 20 spots before the Miami Dolphins drafted Marino)

Blackledge lamented what appears to be the end of a historic rivalry to my colleague Joe Juliano.

“I’ve heard the arguments and I know the arguments and I understand the economics, but I still think it’s a game that, in its heyday, was as good as any rivalry game out there and I just think games like that are unique,” Blackledge said.

Penn State football coach Joe Paterno pulls the arm of his quarterback Todd Blackledge urging him to hurry and finish signing autographs at the conclusion of their practice session in New Orleans, Dec. 28, 1982.
ASSOCIATED PRESS
Penn State football coach Joe Paterno pulls the arm of his quarterback Todd Blackledge urging him to hurry and finish signing autographs at the conclusion of their practice session in New Orleans, Dec. 28, 1982.

Blackledge calling the historic game is a quirk of scheduling luck. Normally, Fowler works games opposite former Monday Night Football announcer Sean McDonough. But McDonough, a Syracuse graduate, was given the school’s top alumni award Friday night and will instead be in the booth at the Carrier Dome when the Orange take on No. 1 Clemson Saturday night.

Here’s everything you need to know to watch and stream Penn State’s game:

Pittsburgh Panthers (1-1) at No. 13 Penn State Nittany Lions (2-0)

When: Saturday, Sept. 14

Where: Beaver Stadium, University Park

Time: Noon kickoff

TV: ABC (Chris Fowler, Todd Blackledge, Holly Rowe)

Radio: 1210 WPHT via the Penn State Sports Network (Steve Jones, Jack Ham)

Streaming: ABC app, ESPN app (require cable authentication), fuboTV, Playstation Vue, Hulu with Live TV, DirecTV Now, YouTube TV, Sling TV (all require a subscription)

Streaming Note: BTN2GO has been discontinued, and the game is not available on BTN+

Media coverage

Joe Juliano and Tyler King will be covering all the action live on Twitter. Notes and observations about the game will be at inquirer.com/college-sports.

ESPN’s College GameDay will air from 9 a.m. to noon, and expect at least some discussion about the Penn State-Pitt rivalry from hosts Rece Davis, Kirk Herbstreit, Desmond Howard, and Lee Corso. The match-up is also the network’s ESPN College Football 150 showcase game (celebrating 150 years of college football), meaning fans of both schools will be treated to a decent amount of historical footage throughout the game.

Other Saturday college football games worth watching

  • Maryland at Temple: noon, CBS Sports Network (Rich Waltz, Aaron Murray, John Schriffen)
  • New Mexico at No. 7 Notre Dame: 2:30 p.m., NBC (Mike Tirico, Doug Flutie, Kathryn Tappen)
  • No. 2 Alabama at South Carolina: 3:30 p.m., CBS (Brad Nessler, Gary Danielson, Jamie Erdahl)
  • No. 1 Clemson at Syracuse: 7:30 p.m., ABC (Sean McDonough. Kirk Herbstreit, Maria Taylor)
  • No. 5 Oklahoma at UCLA, 8 p.m., FOX (Joe Davis, Brock Huard, Bruce Feldman)

Penn State football 2019 schedule

  • Aug. 31: Penn State 79, Idaho 7
  • Sept. 7: Penn State 45, Buffalo 13
  • Pittsburgh at Penn State: Saturday, Sept. 14, noon (ABC)
  • Penn State at Maryland, Friday, Sept. 27, 8 p.m. (FS1)
  • Purdue at Penn State: Saturday, Oct. 5, noon (ABC, ESPN, or ESPN2)
  • Penn State at Iowa: Saturday, Oct. 12, TBA
  • Michigan at Penn State: Saturday, Oct. 19, TBA
  • Penn State at Michigan State: Saturday, Oct. 26, TBA
  • Penn State at Minnesota: Saturday, Nov. 9, TBA
  • Indiana at Penn State, Saturday, Nov. 16, TBA
  • Penn State at Ohio State, Saturday, Nov. 23, TBA
  • Rutgers at Penn State, Saturday, Nov. 30, TBA