Monday, April 7, 2014
Michigan-Penn State a prime-time matchup
By Brian Bennett
So you want more prime-time games in the Big Ten? How does Penn State vs. Michigan in the Big House sound?
The Wolverines, of course, have hosted two night games in Michigan Stadium. Those games, against Notre Dame in 2011 and 2013, turned into events and created an electric atmosphere.
No. 3 under the lights will be a conference game against Penn State on Oct. 11. The Notre Dame rivalry is great and all, but this will be two titanic Big Ten programs squaring off in an East Division showdown. It's a worthy addition to the short history of night games at the Big House.
"The night game atmosphere created by our fans has been electric and we expect that same type of energy for our first-ever conference night game against Penn State,” Michigan coach Brady Hoke said in a statement. “Our players really enjoy playing in prime time at Michigan Stadium.”
The Notre Dame-Michigan night games were enhanced by exciting shootouts on the field. We can hope for the same this year between the Nittany Lions and Wolverines, who played a 43-40, four-overtime thriller in Beaver Stadium last year. Because Ohio State-Michigan will likely never be in prime time and Michigan athletic director Dave Brandon doesn't want to play Michigan State at night, this is about the best in-conference matchup you could wish for under the lights at the Big House.
Expect more league prime-time games to be announced soon. This one already has us salivating.