Is Penn State going to Ireland? The Nittany Lions football team is mulling a decision to play one game in the Emerald Isle, head coach Bill O’Brien said.
“We are definitely looking into playing in Ireland, no question about it. ... That's something that's definitely in the works,” O’Brien said at a high school banquet on Saturday night, the Harrisburg Patriot-News reported.
The idea of Penn State going to Ireland to play a game is in the preliminary stages.
"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,” O’Brien said.
Such a trip would mark the first time Penn State has played in Ireland, but it wouldn’t be the first NCAA college football game in the Emerald Isle. Notre Dame and Navy squared off against each other in Ireland last year.
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In his first year as head coach of the Nittany Lions after replacing Joe Paterno, O’Brien led Penn State to an impressive 8-4 record. Many college football analysts didn’t expect the school to post a winning record following devastating sanctions levied against the team due to the Jerry Sandusky child sex abuse scandal.
Part of the punishment for Sandusky’s behavior included a four-year bowl ban for Penn State.
While new recruits can’t look forward to a bowl game until they are upperclassmen and Penn State veterans will never see a bowl game, a trip to Ireland could be a way to reward players, Fan Nation reported.
The possibility of Penn State going to Ireland was met with optimism among Twitter users.
“Penn state planning a football game in Ireland? Where do I get my ticket,” wrote Dan Spencer.
“Penn State playing football in Ireland? That'd sure be interesting,” said Penn State student Michael Fort.