This isn’t new news, because it was reported on three years ago, but it is something that may have slipped through the cracks for a lot of Penn State fans.
Back in 2018, the Nittany Lions and Nevada agreed to a game in September of 2020, with PSU to pay the Wolf Pack $1.45 million to come to Beaver Stadium. That is a huge amount of money for a buy game, and believed to be tied for the most most Penn State has ever agreed to pay a visiting team. PSU also reportedly paid Idaho the same $1.45 million in 2019, a stunning amount for an FCS school.
The 2020 game against Nevada never happened, of course, and not just because Penn State didn’t play any non-conference games due to COVID.
Actually, in 2019, Nevada scheduled a trip to Arkansas for that same September date in 2020. The Wolf Pack were going to get even MORE money from the Razorbacks — a sum of $1.5 million, so the PSU game was postponed, and the Lions instead were to open 2020 against Kent State (which didn’t happen).
Arkansas’ payout to Nevada was to be the second-highest figure that school has agreed to receive for a buy game, just shy of the $1.6 million the Wolf Pack will get for a trip to USC in 2023. Unfortunately, the game was never played, because the SEC delayed the start of its season.
Anyway, Penn State released its future schedules last week with new opponents Marshall, San Jose State and Kent State. Those future schedules showed that the visit by Nevada will now take place on Aug. 30, 2025.
It is unclear if the same contract will still apply to that visit, giving Nevada its $1.45 million windfall. Penn State doesn’t release figures for football payouts, but one can probably assume the amount is still the same, or at least very similar.
That is a huge amount of money for Penn State to pay a visiting team, and the Lions simply cannot afford — literally or metaphorically — to lose that game in four years.
For some history: Penn State paid Appalachian State $1.2 million for a buy game in 2018, and that nearly turned disastrous as App State played well and nearly came away with a victory before falling in OT, 45-38.