UTL III - 2014 vs penn state (official)

Submitted by Wolverine Devotee on April 7th, 2014 at 12:04 PM

Per @umichfootball.

From MGoBlue release-

The University of Michigan Athletic Department in conjunction with Penn State University, television partner ESPN and the Big Ten Conference have announced that the Oct. 11 football game at Michigan Stadium will be televised in primetime. The conference game will be played at 7 p.m. EDT, and televised nationally on either ESPN or ESPN2.

This will be the third night game in the history of Michigan Stadium and the first against a Big Ten Conference opponent. The previous two primetime contests came against Notre Dame in 2011 and 2013, both victories for the Wolverines.

ESPN also televised Michigan's first two home night games, generating large audiences for both. ESPN averaged 8,653,000 viewers (a 5.3 HH US rating) for the 2013 telecast and 7,541,000 viewers (a 4.5 HH US rating) for the 2011 matchup.

"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," said Brady Hoke, the J. Ira and Nicki Harris Family Head Football Coach. "Our players really enjoy playing in primetime at Michigan Stadium."

This is the second night game that has been announced for the 2014 season. Michigan will play the final game in the long-standing series with Notre Dame on Sept. 6 in primetime. The game between the two winningest programs in college football will kickoff at 7:30 p.m. EDT from Notre Dame Stadium in South Bend, Ind.

Additional primetime games can be designated during the early selection process by the networks



April 7th, 2014 at 12:09 PM ^

My only night game experience was last year at PSU.  Now we'll have Appy St. AND Penn St. highlights to look forward to next year.


April 7th, 2014 at 12:11 PM ^

that this may not be popular, but I hope they don't try to make this like the Wrestlemania 3 level event that the ND games have been.  It is what it is - a night game against a team that we should have beat last year and should beat soundly this year.  No t-shirts or Marshall Matthers necessary.

Wolverine Devotee

April 7th, 2014 at 12:14 PM ^

The fact they're continuing with the Under The Lights lineage is telling me they will.

And why not? Why not make this the biggest event of the home slate this year? It clearly already was but now it's amplified.

Snow Sucks

April 7th, 2014 at 1:30 PM ^

I'm with LordGrantham. It doesn't matter who the opponent is. Night games should only be reserved for "special occasions." Night games are great to see on TV and the atmosphere is so much better. Our home field advantage at night is so much better than earlier games, which is evidenced by the ND games. They should play more night games for that very reason. I know we are not used to night games in Michigan Stadium, but they don't need to be considered events when they happen. The first one against ND, sure, that was a big deal because it was our first night game in the stadium, but come on. Night games occur all the time with other teams and they treat them like any other game.


April 7th, 2014 at 3:04 PM ^

they were not regarded to be mediocre at the time, and neither were we.  They were the defending national runner-ups and we were ranked in the Top 10.  It could at least pretend to be a big game, even if people pretty much kind of figured it was pretense at the time. 

But this game, I mean come on?  Somebody said as long as it is not Indiana...... well, it pretty much might as well be.  I am not really sure there is a meaningful difference between IU and PSU right now.  I am not saying don't have the game at night, I am saying that there is no need to book like Arethra Franklin for the National Anthem or for a JLO appearance at half time or on the big screen.

The powers that be have shown a certain tone deafness from time to time the last couple of years.  This "UTL" looks a little shaky to me.

Snow Sucks

April 7th, 2014 at 12:26 PM ^

After watching the last two seasons of M football and all of the games we should have won, I'm not expecting to beat anyone soundly anymore, at least not until Hoke & Co. gets this program back to elite status.

Perkis-Size Me

April 7th, 2014 at 12:50 PM ^

Did you watch this team last year? What makes you so confident as to say Michigan should "beat soundly" any team on its schedule right now? We were within inches of back-to-back upsets against the worst teams in football last year.

Until Hoke proves he's capable of doing a multitude of things, i.e. beating a quality road opponent and developing players, I'd hold off on this "should beat soundly" routine.


April 7th, 2014 at 12:12 PM ^

So we are confirmed for night games at ND and at home against PSU. Any other likely candidates on the schedule for night games?

The only ones I can come up with are at Rutgers and at Sparty. For Rutgers, we would have to be considered a huge draw, given the # of Michigan alum in the NY area. Also, that game falls on the Jewish holiday of Yom Kippor, which ends at sundown, so a late game might make sense given the large number of Jewish alums of both schools in the area.



April 7th, 2014 at 12:42 PM ^

If we and sparty are both ranked going into the game, I very seriously doubt that they schedule it for noon.  Look at Sparty's home schedule - we are their only home game with enough juice to warrant a night game matchup (OSU in in November, and there is a B10 preference against night games in November).  So, I think that game likely ends up at night.

As for Rutgers, I wasn't proposing that they would decide based upon religion - more about $$ - I guess there are so many Michigan alum in NYC area that the game will sell out regardless, so my point is probably moot, but my thought was that given the large Jewish Northeastern alum base of both schools, they would try to make it a late game to try to increase ticket demand.  You are probably right that it will not be taken into account though. 


April 7th, 2014 at 1:31 PM ^

its the biggest home game of the season against a traditional college football power, its not a "rivalry" but it is a big name matchup no matter how good the teams actually are. 


April 7th, 2014 at 3:22 PM ^

I have no problem with this as a night game. I'm just saying there's only so far you can go to brand this as something other than just a "night game" before you stretch credulity.

Penn State isn't a "big time B1G team" these days, and they're on the fringe of what you'd even consider a rival. Nothing about this game is particularly noteworthy other than the time on the clock when the kick the ball.


April 7th, 2014 at 5:56 PM ^

our biggest rival that night. Does that count? (jk)

I'm with BiSB. If we went 5-5 against them in a series of epic battles, they would rise to the rival status. IIRC, they came into the B1G and had difficulty beating Michigan. We won some close ones, but we also won a large majority. 1997 we went into their house with both of us ranked in the top 5 - we owned them. Doesn't make for much of a rivalry. But, we might near to top of their list!


April 7th, 2014 at 3:07 PM ^

Michigan will likely be unranked and the game won't be on ESPN. If those two things hold true, it will minimize the coverage. No way ESPN is going to spend all week talking about unranked teams that are not on their network.

This may actually be the worst outcome, we play the horror again and we are urrelevant.


April 7th, 2014 at 3:38 PM ^

Has it been announced that it won't be on ESPN?  Because if the networks haven't been announced yet, I would expect them to pick it up, given how crappy the rest of the conference slate will probably be that day.  Without checking, I'm guessing that it's maybe one good matchup and then a bunch of shitty B1G vs. MAC games.  Sadly, UM vs Appy State might be the most compelling B1G game of the day.


April 7th, 2014 at 12:24 PM ^

Night games at PSU always look awesome under the lights.  This game will be good too, especially since there's more meaning given the east/west divisions.  One question is if we can make a concerted effort to get a true maize-out or not.  I know people don't have maize coats, but do people have white coats?  PSU's crowd looks initimidating on TV and we need to try to match that someway, somehow.