Penn State vs. Michigan - Big Ten Football

Penn State's student section goes crazy after the go ahead score against Michigan during second half action of an NCAA football game in State College Pa. Saturday Nov. 13, 2021.

Penn State is getting a new opponent this fall - Northwestern coming to Happy Valley Oct. 1 - as a result of changes to the Big Ten Conference 2022 football schedule announced Wednesday.

The ’22 schedule was originally put together in 2018. It was tweaked Wednesday to correct inequities as a result of changes to the 2020 schedule forced by the COVID-19 pandemic.

The Big Ten played a nine-game, conference-only schedule in 2020, with the season opening in late October.

Without the changes, Illinois would have had to play at Penn State three years in a row. That’s why Northwestern was added Oct. 1, the date when the original schedule called for Ohio State to come to Beaver Stadium. Penn State and Illinois, which upset the Nittany Lions in a nine-overtime game last season, will not play in 2022.

The original schedule called for Penn State to host Michigan State Oct. 29, or week nine, and end the season at Rutgers Nov. 26. With the revisions, Penn State will go to Rutgers Nov. 19 and host Michigan State in the traditional season-ending “rivalry week,’’ spot Nov. 26.

The new schedule is arguably, marginally, easier for Penn State. The Lions were originally scheduled to play at Purdue, at Auburn, at Michigan, plus the Ohio State game, within the season’s first six weeks.

The Ohio State game is now Oct. 29, or week nine. The Michigan game moves from Oct. 8 to Oct. 15, with an open date Oct. 8. Penn State is 3-6 coming off open dates under coach James Franklin.

Oct. 22 had been the open date on the original schedule.

The Big Ten said Wednesday changes to game dates (not weeks) are still possible. One rumored possibility is for Penn State’s season opener at Purdue, now scheduled for Saturday, Sept. 3, to be moved a day or two earlier.

The revised schedule: Sept. 3, at Purdue; Sept. 10, Ohio; Sept. 17, at Auburn; Sept. 24, Central Michigan; Oct. 1, Northwestern; Oct. 8, idle; Oct. 15, at Michigan; Oct. 22, Minnesota; Oct. 29, Ohio State; Nov. 5, at Indiana; Nov. 12, Maryland; Nov. 19, at Rutgers; Nov. 26, Michigan State.

Cain enters transfer portal: Penn State running back Noah Cain has entered the NCAA transfer portal, according to 24/7 Sports and other outlets.

Cain appeared on the path to stardom as a true freshman during the 2019 season. He missed all of the 2020 season with an injury, and struggled in 2021 while sharing work with a crowded RB room.

He has 193 career college carries for 806 yards and 12 rushing touchdowns. Cain, who was a 4-star recruit, has two years of eligibility remaining.

Penn State’s 2022 running backs include sophomores Keyvone Lee and Caziah Holmes, junior Devyn Ford along with two highly-touted freshmen, Nick Singleton and Kaytron Allen.

Singleton, from Governor Mifflin High School, is the Gatorade National High School Player of the Year.

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