The 100th meeting between No. 13 Penn State and Pittsburgh marks the final game in the current four-game series that began in 2016. Panthers coach Pat Narduzzi would like to see the rivalry continue but didn’t sound optimistic Monday.

“It’s another game for us, but it’s a big game because it’s a rivalry game, in-state,” Narduzzi said at his weekly news conference. “I’m going to emphasize this to our kids, you might be the last team to ever get to play this game.

“It might be. I don’t know if it’ll be played [again]. I’m either going to be in a coffin or retired probably, so I don’t know which one it’ll be.”

When the rivalry resumed in 2016, the two teams hadn’t played since 2000, with 16 years being the longest hiatus in the series since the first game in 1893. A game was contested every year between 1935 and 1992.

Pitt athletic director Heather Lyke had proposed that the series resume in 2026, but her Penn State counterpart, vice president of athletics Sandy Barbour, has suggested the next opening on the Nittany Lions’ schedule would be 2030.

Prefacing his statement with “nobody cares what I think,” Narduzzi said, “Of course, we all want to play this game.”

“We’re going to jump on the bus on Friday, it’s close enough to get on a bus,” he said. “We don’t have to go wait at an airport, don’t have to go through customs. We don’t have to do anything, we don’t have to empty our pockets. We jump on a bus and we go. So we certainly want to play that game.”

The Panthers are 1-1 entering Saturday’s game at Beaver Stadium following a 20-10 home win last weekend over Ohio. They trail the series, 52-43-4, and are 1-2 in the first three games of this four-game stretch after losing, 51-6, last year at Heinz Field. Pitt has not won in Happy Valley since 1988, going 0-5.

Narduzzi indicated that it’ll be a difficult test on Saturday as well.

“Penn State is the same football team they were, it’s just different guys wearing different numbers,” he said. “Maybe they’re bigger, maybe they’re faster, I don’t know. But to me, it’s a culture they’ve built over there offensively and defensively, what they do, and special teams.”

He praised Nittany Lions quarterback Sean Clifford and wide receiver KJ Hamler. Hamler is from Pontiac, Mich., and went to a summer camp at Michigan State while in high school when Narduzzi was the Spartans’ defensive coordinator.

“The Hamler kid, I remember sitting in the tower at Michigan State watching that guy run around as a sophomore going, ‘Holy cow, that guy is a football player.’ He’s impressive. We’ll have to know where he is all the time. They move him around quite a bit.

“So they’re explosive on offense. They’re explosive on defense. Obviously very talented, and we’ll have our hands full Saturday.”