Penn State’s 2021 season may have ended just a couple of weeks ago, but the 2022 season will be here before you know it. And Penn State’s schedule, even after some modifications from the Big Ten, figures to be an interesting one for James Franklin and his program. Among the highlight of the schedule will be a rare trip down to SEC country for the second game in a home-and-home series with the Auburn Tigers.
The stakes for Penn State’s 2022 clash with Auburn may not amount to much in the grand scheme of things considering the kinds of seasons both programs just experienced in 2021, but a chance to go on the road into a new venue is always something to be excited about. And after the way last season’s meeting went in Happy Valley, fans of both programs may be looking forward to another fun contest that entertains the masses into the fourth quarter.
Despite the final records for both teams in 2021, Zach Barnett of Football Scoop listed Penn State’s road trip to Auburn among his top 12 non-conference games to look forward to in 2022. Here’s what Barnett had to say about the matchup via Football Scoop;
Last year’s date in Happy Valley had the look and feel of a massive, inter-sectional non-conference game — GameDay! ABC prime time! — and it ended up being… a game of 6-7 and 7-6 teams. Still, the return visit marks Penn State’s first trip to an SEC stadium since 2010 and Auburn’s first home game ever against a Big Ten school.
Penn State is no stranger to visits to the state of Alabama, of course. Penn State has played Alabama a handful of times over the course of college football history, including their most recent trip in 2010, which was noted by Barnett. But a trip to Auburn is indeed rare. As noted, the Tigers have never hosted a Big Ten team, so Penn State is making some history on SEC turf.
Penn State won a back-and-forth matchup with Auburn on Sept. 18, 2021 by a score of 28-20. t the time, the game felt like a major step toward a potential playoff push for the Nittany Lions. Of course, as the weeks went on, we all realized this may have been a glimmer of false hope as Auburn had their struggles the rest of the year, as did Penn State. Regardless, their meeting at Auburn in 2022 figures to be a fun one between two solid programs looking to make an early statement once again.
And Penn State will have to be wary of the revenge factor. And at least this time, Big Ten officials should be on hand to ensure Penn State doesn’t get robbed of a third down.
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