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Notebook (12-16): Could Pitt replace Hokies in 2025?

Welcome to our daily Nittany Notebook. This post will be updated frequently throughout the day with news, notes and sometimes entertaining info. So be sure to check back often to stay on top of everything that’s going on with Penn State football and athletics, plus other sports of interest in central PA.

Update: 7:40 p.m.

**It never gets old talking about a potential Penn State-Pitt matchup, and the topic came up again Wednesday from Panthers coach Pat Narduzzi in an interview on 93.7 The Fan in Pittsburgh.

Penn State’s series with Virginia Tech was canceled this week, as the Hokies don’t plan on coming to PSU in 2025, since the Nittany Lions didn’t travel there this season.

So, Narduzzi took that bit of news as a chance to talk about a potential PSU-Pitt game to take its place in 2025. Narduzzi had this to say to our sister site Pittsburgh Sports Now:

“I heard their Virginia Tech series got canceled, OK, just the last couple of days I read that somewhere,” Narduzzi said. “I’m like, OK. Pittsburgh, we can work them in.

“I think we need to get it out on Twitter, that hey, that Virginia Tech game got canceled and we can play right here in Heinz Field. Let’s line them up and let’s go.”

The PSN story also pointed this out:

Penn State has just one other non-conference game scheduled for 2025, a home game against Villanova, while Narduzzi may be signing up his squad for a real gauntlet. Pitt has non-conference games scheduled at West Virginia and at Heinz Field against Notre Dame already for the 2025 season.

Penn State would likely have to play host in 2025, so that the Lions can maintain their desire schedule of eight home games, but could play a return game in Pittsburgh in 2028.

Penn State and Pitt concluded their four-game series in 2019, and there doesn’t seem to be a renewal on the horizon. Unless something changes, the teams may not play again until at least 2030.

Narduzzi said he can see the series being resumed “in my lifetime, yes.”

All-conference defensive selections

Defensive ends Jayson Oweh and Shaka Toney were both named first-team all-Big Ten on Wednesday. Toney was honored by both the league’s media and coaches, while Oweh was first team for the coaches and second team for the media.

These PSU defensive players were recognized by the Big Ten, from Penn State’s release:

Shaka Toney

First Team All-Big Ten (Coaches & Media)

Jayson Oweh

First Team All-Big Ten (Coaches), Second Team All-Big Ten (Media)

Jaquan Brisker

Third Team All-Big Ten (Coaches), Honorable Mention All-Big Ten (Media)

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Joey Porter Jr. 

Third Team All-Big Ten (Media), Honorable Mention All-Big Ten (Coaches)

Lamont Wade

Third Team All-Big Ten (Media), Honorable Mention All-Big Ten (Coaches)

Tariq Castro-Fields

Honorable Mention All-Big Ten (Coaches & Media)

PJ Mustipher

Honorable Mention All-Big Ten (Coaches & Media)

Antonio Shelton

Honorable Mention All-Big Ten (Coaches & Media)

Brandon Smith

Honorable Mention All-Big Ten (Coaches & Media)

Former PSU QB finds transfer home

Michael Johnson Jr. announced on Twitter that he is transferring to Florida Atlantic.

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Cory Giger is a 15-year veteran of the Penn State beat and a journalist with 28 years of experience. He has won more than 100 state and national journalism awards during his career, plus he's a voter for the Heisman Trophy in football and Wooden Award in basketball.

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