A brief history of Syracuse-Penn State rivalry

first_imgCORRECTION: In a previous version of this article, the events that occurred in 1991 were misstated. Syracuse was independent before it joined the Big East upon the conference’s formation in 1991. Penn State was also independent before it joined the Big Ten upon the conference’s formation in 1993. The Daily Orange regrets this error.For almost 20 years, their rivalry lay dormant. From 1991 until 2008, Syracuse and Penn State did not play each other.It resumed with that 2008 meeting, when the Nittany Lions throttled the Orange, then beat SU soundly again the next year. Now, for the first time since 2009, the rivalry kickstarts again with a meeting at MetLife Stadium in East Rutherford, N.J., on Saturday. The Daily Orange took a look back at some of the defining moments of one of Syracuse’s oldest rivalries.Penn State leads the all-time series 42-23-5.1922: Syracuse and Penn State tie 0-0 in their first-ever meeting at the Polo Grounds in New York. The Nittany Lions had won 29 straight games, but the Orangemen’s defense provided several goal line stands in the first half. An injury to PSU fullback Mike Palm also slowed the Nittany Lions’ offense in the second half, but the underdog Orangemen were unable to punch in any of their scoring chances.AdvertisementThis is placeholder text1950: Syracuse beats Penn State 27-7 at Archbold Stadium, snapping the Nittany Lions’ eight-game winning streak. The Orangemen crowd the line of scrimmage to take away the run game, and ultimately return three interceptions for touchdowns as first-year Penn State head coach Rip Engle’s Wing-T offense sputters out in Syracuse.1953: Penn State defensive back Lenny Moore intercepts a pass to seal a 20-14 Nittany Lions victory. After he is shoved out of bounds into the SU bench, an Orangemen player jumps on Moore, sparking a brawl. Fans leap down from the stands and enter the fray as the fighting goes on for several minutes. When the field is finally cleared and play continues, Penn State takes a knee to end the game.1950-1970: Penn State wins 11 of 21 games as the rivalry heats up. “I think they were the No. 1 rival that Syracuse had,” Robert Drummond, Syracuse running back from 1985-88 said. “Syracuse-Penn State always made for a great game, always made for national television.”1973: Syracuse head coach Ben Schwartzwalder retires and Penn State wins 16 straight meetings from 1971-1986. Scheduling issues and the beginnings of conference realignment damage the rivalry.1987: Penn State’s streak is snapped as the Orangemen thrash the Nittany Lions 48-21 in the Carrier Dome. Syracuse wins again in 1988, but loses the following two matchups before the series is suspended in 1991. “It was even more impressive for us because the year before they won the national championship,” Drummond said. “There was no way we were going to lose that game.”1991: Formerly independent Syracuse joins the Big East when the conference is formed in 1991. Two years later, formerly independent Penn State joins the Big Ten when it forms in 1993. This puts the rivalry on hold for what would be 17 years.2008: Penn State creams the Orange 55-13, and again, 28-7 the next year as the two-year, home-and-home series does not go well for Syracuse.2013: The rivalry is reborn again. Syracuse will take on Penn State on Saturday at 3:30 p.m. at MetLife Stadium in East Rutherford, N.J. “I think they have a very good shot,” Drummond said. “It’s always great going into the game being the underdog. Coach Shafer’s going to have those guys ready to fly high.”—compiled by Stephen Bailey and Trevor Hass, asst. sports editors Comments Facebook Twitter Google+ Published on August 28, 2013 at 1:01 amlast_img

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