Penn State Football: Through The Headlines, History Favors Nittany Lions
Penn State football sits at 8-0, and will enjoy the comforts of the off week for at least a few days before getting back on the grind this Sunday as the Nittany Lions prepare for a trip to Minneapolis to face fellow 8-0 Minnesota.
The meeting will be historic no matter how the game itself actually plays out, Penn State and Minnesota are meeting the same day as undefeated LSU and Alabama, the only time in AP Poll history that there have been two meetings between 8-0 teams on the same day.
Then there's Penn State's own past, the Nittany Lions are facing an 8-0 team while also 8-0 for just the second time in program history. The 2019 meeting is the first since 1978 when the Nittany Lions beat 8-0 and No. 5 ranked Maryland 27-3. Penn State would move on to go 11-1 on the year.
Overall Penn State has started off a season 8-0 on 11 occasions and has won that ninth game each of the previous 10 times. That number goes up to 12 seasons if you count the undefeated 1912 campaign that was only eight games long.
In fact Penn State has lost more than one game after starting 8-0 just twice over that 10 season span. The nature of a college football season has changed over the years, but the trends are kind to the Nittany Lions once they get into November undefeated.
Here are all of the ninth games of the year after starting 8-0.
And a look at those games through the headlines.
- 1968: Win @Pitt 65-9 (Finished undefeated)
- 1969: Win @Pitt 27-7 (Finished undefeated)
- 1971: Win against NC State 35-5 (Finished 11-1)
- 1973: Win against NC State 35-29 (Finished 12-0)
- 1978: Win against Maryland 27-3 (Finished 11-1)
- 1985: Win @Cincinnati 31-10 (Finished 11-1)
- 1986: Win against Maryland 17-15 (Finished undefeated)
- 1994: Win @Illinois 35-31 (Finished undefeated)
- 1999: Win @Illinois 27-7 (Finished 10-3)
- 2008: Win @Ohio State 13-6 (Finished 11-2)