Pitt’s 2016 football schedule was released today and is highlighted by the temporary renewal of one of the most-historic matchups in college football. The Panthers will host Penn State on Sept. 10 at Heinz Field. The two teams have not played since 2000, when Pitt won 12-0 at Three Rivers Stadium. This is the first of a four-game series.
“Our 2016 schedule has a great mix of traditional rivalries and compelling new opponents. We’re pleased that we get to play four of our first six games at home before mid-October,” Pitt athletic director Scott Barnes said. “It is really going to be a fun fall at Heinz Field this year.”
The Panthers will also play six more games at Heinz Field next season including ACC games against Virginia Tech on a Thursday night ESPN matchup on Oct. 27. They have won six of the last seven games against the Hokies.
Other conference games include Georgia Tech on Oct. 8, Duke on Nov. 19, and Syracuse on Nov. 26. The Panthers have played the Orange 71 times and the two teams have met every year since 1955.
Pitt will travel to North Carolina on Sept. 24, Virginia on Oct. 15, and Miami on Nov. 5. The Tar Heels won the ACC Coastal Division last season and have won the last three games over the Panthers.
The Panthers also travel to Clemson on Nov. 12, last year’s national championship runner-up. The teams have met only once before, when Pitt won 34-3 in the 1977 Gator Bowl.
Non-conference games besides Penn State include the season home-opener on Sept. 3, and road games at Oklahoma State on Sept. 17 and Marshall on Oct. 1. Both teams had double-digit wins last season. The Panthers have never played the Cowboys on the football field.
Pitt head coach Pat Narduzzi is excited about next year’s schedule.
“As a competitor, you want to be challenged by playing the best. Our 2016 opponents will certainly present us with that opportunity,” Narduzzi said. “Whether you are a Pitt player, coach or fan, you can’t help but be fired up when looking at this schedule. It definitely provides our team with a ton of focus and motivation as we prepare for the upcoming fall.”
The home game against Penn State has spiked ticket sales next year according to Barnes.
“Even prior to today’s schedule announcement, we’ve had tremendous activity in our ticket office in anticipation of the 2016 season,” Barnes said. “Fans are energized by what is happening with Pitt football under Coach Narduzzi’s leadership. We’re very encouraged by the response from not only our current season-ticket holders but also the new interest we’ve received.”
Narduzzi coached the Panthers to an 8-5 record last year in his inaugural season both at Pitt and as a head coach. It was Pitt’s best record since 2010. He hopes to improve on that record next season.
for more information: Pitt web site