Penn State may play a future football game in Ireland

By Kevin Kelley -
Penn State
Penn State may play a future game in Ireland. Evan Habeeb-USA TODAY Sports

After receiving a four-year postseason ban last year, the Penn State Nittany Lions began looking at ways to upgrade their future football schedules. A series with UCF was recently announced, and now Penn State is looking at playing a future game in Ireland.

Head coach Bill O’Brien confirmed the possible overseas trip Saturday night at a high school football banquet at the Hershey Lodge in Hershey, Pennsylvania.

“We are definitely looking into playing in Ireland, no question about it,” O’Brien said.

“We’re working on an opponent and we’re working with the Big Ten on that. So that’s something that’s definitely in the works.”

The game would likely be labeled the Emerald Isle Classic and played at Dublin’s new Aviva Stadium.

In the inaugural Emerald Isle Classic in 1988, Boston College defeated Army 38-24. A year later, Pittsburgh beat Rutgers 46-29. Both of those contests were played at Lansdowne Road (replaced by Aviva Stadium in 2010).

Notre Dame and Navy played in the Emerald Isle Classic in 1996 and most recently in 2012. The Fighting Irish won both games 54-27 and 50-10, respectively.

Penn State’s possible appearance in the game could occur as early as 2014 based on their future football schedules. The Nittany Lions have three games scheduled that season, all at home (Temple, Akron, and UMass).

However, Penn State’s recent series announcement with UCF states that they will travel to Orlando in either 2014 or 2015. So they may not have an opening in 2014 depending on the placement of that trip.

In 2015, PSU currently has a trip to Temple and a visit from Buffalo. The 2016 schedule lacks one non-conference game, while 2017 through 2021 lack three games each.

Another roadblock to consider will be if, or when, the Big Ten decides to move to a nine-game conference football schedule. That will drop Penn State’s non-conference slate down to three games each season.

Comments (12)

Could it be a recruiting violation with the possible promise to make an oversea trip to europe, if a high school signs a nation letter of intent with Penn State, hoping to visit a major european city, like Dublin?

The prospect of a trip to Dublin, could be inticing enough to influence a recruit to sign. Dangerous making a statement like that to High Schoolers it seems to me.

Why dangerous and why would it be a recruiting violation?

The prospect of starting or playing a certain position or being part of a certain alumni network or of being prepared to play in the NFL (or visiting Hawaii or some other state) may be enticing enough for a recruit to sign, yet coaches are allowed to make such pitches.

Why would this be different?

wow if they play ireland i will finally will go out of country . i am the true no1 fan of penn state

Penn State vs. USC in Dublin… Sure it’ll probably never happen but it should! A quality game between rival conferences. After all, if we’re going to continue to export these games and broaden the fan base then lets give them a real game instead of that boring beat down ND gave Navy last season. A high calibur match up would increase TV dollars too.

Penn State comments and jokes regarding the Sandusky scandal and the Catholic Church of Ireland redacted due to possible outcry?

PSU seems like an odd candidate to go overseas. On the surface I get, but Penn State is so associated with rural America and the northeast.