Penn State vs. West Virginia one of the best 2023 season openers


Longtime Penn State fans are looking forward to seeing one of Penn State's old regional rivalries finally renewed for the first time since before Penn State joined the Big Ten. Penn State will reunite with West Virginia on the football field for the first since 1992, Penn State's final season as an independent football program, when the two schools meet in Beaver Stadium to kick off the 2023 season. The enthusiasm for the short-term revival of the series is one of the highlights of college football's Week 1 schedule for a variety of reasons, and Penn State being a team receiving plenty of hype for the 2023 season already is just a part of that logic.

247Sports published a list of the top 10 season openers to look forward to in the 2023 season, and Penn State's home game with West Virginia was squarely in the middle of the list. The matchup between the Nittany Lions and Mountaineers ranks no. 5 on the list from 247Sports and is the highest game on the list involving a Big Ten team (thanks to Ohio State and Notre Dame's matchup in South Bend not taking place until later in September).

"A team that didn't reach the College Football Playoff last season that should be a contender to make their first appearance in 2023 is Penn State," 247Sports writes. "Longtime quarterback Sean Clifford has moved on and graduated and former five-star quarterback Drew Allar should be handed the keys to the offense. Penn State got a boost when star offensive tackle Olu Fashanu announced he would be returning for one more season. West Virginia is looking to bounce back from a disappointing 5-7 season."

It's true, West Virginia did not have a great season in 2022, but the Mountaineers still figure to be a good opening test for Penn State as Drew Allar is broken in as the team's new starting quarterback. And throw in a dash of regional pride, considering many of these players involved in the game at one point had to make a decision between the two schools, and there should be some good energy attached to the game.

Plus, it's just going to be awesome to see these two programs and fanbases together again. A lot of time has passed since the last meeting between these two programs, but stories of the festive and friendly tailgating scenes from years past will hopefully carry over to today's environment.

Penn State and West Virginia have a two-game home-and-home series planned that begins in State College in 2023. Penn State will make the long-awaited return to Morgantown to open the 2024 season.


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