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Penn State football 2023 schedule falling in Lions’ favor

With four more kickoff times announced, the 2023 schedule is becoming more favorable for Penn State football.

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Penn State Football, 2023 schedule
Brady Quinn, left, and Matt Leinart speak during the Fox Sports Big Noon Kickoff NCAA football pregame show, Saturday, Oct. 9, 2021, at the Pentacrest in Iowa City, Iowa. 211009 Big Noon 023 Jpg

On Wednesday, Penn State football announced the kickoff times for four more games on the 2023 schedule. The announcement, which included three home matchups and one road contest, now brings the number of known start times for the 2023 season to seven games. More importantly, with the details of many of its biggest matchups finalized, the 2023 schedule appears to be shaping up nicely for the Nittany Lions. 

Four more start times added to the 2023 schedule

Wednesday afternoon, Penn State announced the kickoff times for its matchups against Delaware, Illinois, and UMass. It also confirmed that the Michigan game will be featured on Fox’s Big Noon Kickoff, which has been widely reported for the last week.

The Nittany Lions now know the start times for seven of their 12 regular season games. These matchups, as well as known network designations, are as follows:

  • September 2 vs. West Virginia – 7:30 p.m. on NBC
  • September 9 vs. Delaware – noon on Peacock (streaming only)
  • September 16 at Illinois – noon on FOX (Big Noon Kickoff)
  • September 23 vs. Iowa – 7:30 p.m. on CBS
  • October 14 vs. UMass – 3:30 p.m. (Network TBD)
  • November 11 vs. Michigan – noon on FOX (Big Noon Kickoff)
  • November 24 vs. Michigan State (Ford Field) – 7:30 p.m. on NBC

Penn State football is catching breaks on the road

While there are already some interesting quirks, it’s hard for me to view the 2023 schedule as anything but favorable for Penn State. First, I gravitate to the known start times for two potential stumbling blocks. The Nittany Lions will be on upset alert when they travel to Illinois in Week 3, regardless of the kickoff time. For some, the potential for a sleepy late-morning kick in the central time zone may enhance those fears. But I’d think James Franklin and the Nittany Lions would much rather walk into their first road test of the season early in the day rather than under the lights in Champaign.

Penn State also catches a break by facing Michigan State at a neutral site venue instead of East Lansing in late November, where Nittany Lions fans have experienced more than a few weather-related fiascos. Additionally, Penn State’s toughest road test – Ohio State – will likely be featured on Big Noon Kickoff as well. All told, the Nittany Lions are dodging more than a few bullets on the road this year.

The Penn State home schedule features multiple marquee events

Penn State also has a favorable home schedule. Two of its premiere matchups, West Virginia and Iowa (the White Out game), will occur under the Beaver Stadium lights. Beyond the on-field advantage this creates, two late-night spectacles should benefit the Penn State brand and help on the recruiting trail.

Getting the reigning Big Ten champions at noon is clearly a positive for Michigan. But Penn State’s last two home Big Noon matchups have been ruckus environments. I would expect the same if the Nittany Lions have one or no losses coming into the game. And ultimately, it’s a sacrifice that I think Penn State fans should be willing to make for the favorable road schedule.

Check your subscriptions

Of course, there’s always some negative to latch on to. Penn State’s September 9 matchup against Delaware will not be aired on TV. Instead, it will be shown exclusively on NBC’s streaming platform, Peacock. This news was met with some murmurs yesterday. The groans may become more pronounced closer to the contest when fans realize they must purchase an additional subscription to view the game. But given the Big Ten’s new media rights deal, this scenario will likely become the norm for some of Penn State’s lower-billed opponents in the years to come.



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Matt is a Co-owner and Editor in Chief of Basic Blues Nation. Launched in 2022, Basic Blues Nation is one of the fastest-growing websites covering all Penn State athletics, with over 3.5 million readers in 2023. Matt is also a credentialed member of the Penn State football beat, and is a member of the Football Writers Association of America.

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