Jan 11, 2013; Syracuse, NY, USA; Syracuse Orange head coach Scott Shafer speaks with the media during a press conference at the Iocolano-Petty Football Wing. Mandatory Credit: Rich Barnes-USA TODAY Sports

Counting Down Penn State Football's Top 2013 Games-#6 Syracuse

Personally, I’m very excited for this game for several reasons. First, it’s at MetLife Stadium, which is a convenient 30 minutes from my house and the home of my favorite NFL team (the New York Giants). This is also the first neutral site Penn State football game that I will be attending. Both schools have tons of alumni in the area and both fan bases should be out and about in the Meadowlands in full force.

This will be Syracuse’s first game as a member of the ACC and it will also revive a long-time rivalry that has been on a four-year hiatus. Penn State’s all-time record against Syracuse is 42-23-5. The last meeting between the two schools was on Sept. 12, 2009, where Penn State won 28-7. Obviously both football programs have been through some big changes since that last meeting.

Scott Shafer is entering his first season as Syracuse’s head coach after spending the previous four seasons as the Orange’s defensive coordinator. He inherits a team that went 8-5 in 2012 and beat West Virginia in the Pinstripe Bowl. Syracuse returns five starters on offense and six on defense. Penn State certainly has an advantage in terms of talent and it will be interesting to see what kind of a feel Shafer has for his team in week one. For the Nittany Lions, the obvious thing to watch in this game will be how the new quarterback, whether it’s Tyler Ferguson or Christian Hackenberg, fares in his first collegiate start.

The 2013 football season at MetLife Stadium starts with Penn State-Syracuse on August 31, 2013 and it ends with Super Bowl XLVIII on Feb. 2, 2014. Even though this probably won’t be the most exciting or entertaining game on Penn State’s schedule, the experience of the game being at MetLife will certainly be a fun one.

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