Nittany Lions' 2005 Football Schedule Features Trip to Alabama & Two New Opponents
STATE COLLEGE, Pa., October 17, 2002 - Old rival Alabama and a pair of new foes, the University of South Florida and Central Michigan, are set as Penn State's non-conference football opponents for the 2005 season, Tim Curley, Director of Athletics, announced today.
The Nittany Lions will visit Alabama for the first time since 1990, which was the last contest in a 10-game series between the national powers. Penn State will visit the Crimson Tide on Sept, 10, 2005. The series will resume on Sept. 18, 2004, when Alabama visits Beaver Stadium for the first time since 1989. The Crimson Tide hold an 8-5 series lead over the Lions.
Penn State will open the 2005 slate by hosting the University of South Florida on Sept. 3, 2005 in the first meeting between the schools. The Bulls are in their second season as a Division I-A program and will begin play in Conference USA in 2003. USF was a I-AA program from 1997-99 and a I-A transitional team in 2000. USF Athletic Director Lee Roy Selmon, the former Oklahoma All-American, has been the primary force in the creation and quick success of the Bulls' program. Last year, USF won at Pittsburgh, 35-26. This season, USF is 4-2, including a 16-13 win over Southern Miss last Saturday and a 31-14 loss at No. 2 Oklahoma on Sept. 28. USF will be Penn State's 148th different opponent in program history.
Following their trip to Alabama, the Nittany Lions will host Central Michigan on Sept. 17, 2005 in the first meeting between the schools. The Chippewas will become the Lions' 149th opponent and the 11th different foe from the Mid-American Conference. Penn State has a 14-2 mark against current MAC members. Central Michigan is 3-3 this season, including a 39-29 loss at Indiana and a 45-35 loss last week to unbeaten Bowling Green.
The Nittany Lions open the 2005 Big Ten slate by visiting Northwestern on Sept. 24. Minnesota (Oct. 1), Ohio State (Oct. 8), Purdue (Oct. 29) and Wisconsin (Nov. 5) will visit Happy Valley, while Penn State will travel to conference foes Northwestern, Michigan, Illinois and Michigan State.
The Lions will not meet Indiana and Iowa during the 2005-06 seasons under the Big Ten's two-year rotation of opponents. Penn State has an open date on Nov. 12, 2005.
Coach Joe Paterno's squad will play several of the nation's premier programs during the non-conference portion of the schedule the remainder of this decade. Among the Nittany Lions' non-conference opponents this decade are: Miami, Fla. (2001), Southern Miss (2001), Virginia (2001-02), Nebraska (2002-03), Boston College (2003-04), Alabama (2004-05), Notre Dame (2006-07) and Syracuse (2008-09).
Penn State's 2005 football schedule: