University Park – The Penn State football team will open the 2006 season with three consecutive national TV appearances that will kick off at 3:30 p.m. ET.
The Nittany Lions open the campaign Saturday, Sept. 2, hosting Akron, the 2005 Mid-American Conference champion. ESPN2 will televise the contest to a national audience at 3:30 p.m. from Beaver Stadium. Penn State leads the series with Akron, 2-0.
On Saturday, Sept. 16, the Lions will host Youngstown State for a 3:30 p.m. contest that will air on ESPNU. The schools will be meeting for the first time.
Penn State\’s Saturday, Sept. 9 contest at Notre Dame was previously announced as a 3:30 p.m. ET kick that will air on NBC.
The announcement of the Akron and Youngstown State kick times brings the total of known kickoff times to four for the upcoming season. Penn State\’s Saturday, Oct. 14 game with Michigan will begin at 8 p.m. and be an ABC split national telecast from Beaver Stadium. The clash will mark the first time the two perennial national powers have met in primetime.
The Nittany Lions have appeared on television 138 of their last 140 games. All of Penn State\’s games during the past two seasons have been televised.
Future Penn State contests may be selected by the networks under the six and 12-day provisions of their contracts with the Big Ten.
Penn State fans are among the nation\’s most loyal and enthusiastic and season ticket sales for the 2006 season are on a record pace. More than 5,000 new season tickets have already been purchased for the upcoming season. SportsIlustrated.com called a Penn State home football weekend, \”The Greatest Show in College Sports\” during the 2005 season.
As of this morning, approximately 16,500 student season tickets have been sold since they went on sale on June 2. Penn State\’s large and loud student section is the nation\’s second largest at just over 20,000. ESPN\’s College Gameday crew has called the Nittany Lions\’ enthusiastic student throng the \”best student section\” in the nation.
Orders are being processed on a first-come, first-served basis and students still desiring to purchase season tickets are encouraged to respond promptly.
Entering his 41st season as head coach, Joe Paterno\’s squad returns 35 lettermen and 11 starters from last year\’s No. 3 ranked squad.
For information on 2006 football tickets, call 800-833-5533 or 814-863-1000.
2006 Nittany Lion Football Schedule
Sept. 2 — Akron, 3:30 p.m. (ESPN2)
Sept. 9 — at Notre Dame, 3:30 p.m. (NBC)
Sept. 16 — Youngstown State, 3:30 p.m. (ESPNU)
Sept. 23 — *at Ohio State, TBA
Sept. 30 — *Northwestern, TBA (All-University Day/Varsity \”S\” Day)
Oct. 7 — *at Minnesota, TBA
Oct. 14 — *Michigan, 8 p.m. (ABC)
Oct. 21 — *Illinois, TBA (Homecoming)
Oct. 28 — *at Purdue, TBA
Nov. 4 — *at Wisconsin, TBA
Nov. 11 — Temple, TBA
Nov. 18 — *Michigan State, TBA
* Big Ten Conference game
Times are Eastern and subject to change