- Pitt hosts Rice in the first meeting between the two schools in nearly seven decades. The Panthers and Owls last played during the 1950 and 1951 seasons.
- Pitt is looking to snap a three-game losing streak, the longest of Pat Narduzzi’s head coaching tenure and the Panthers’ first since 2014. Boding well for Pitt’s future: the Panthers’ starting 22 at Georgia Tech featured only five seniors, including just one on defense.
- Pitt is fielding one of its youngest defenses in recent memory. The starting lineup at Georgia Tech was comprised of three redshirt freshmen, two sophomores, five juniors and one senior (cornerback Avonte Maddox). Of those 11 players, eight are first-year starters.
- On offense, sophomore quarterback Ben DiNucci is coming off his first career start. DiNucci completed 12 of 19 for 110 yards and a TD vs. Georgia Tech.
- Junior all-purpose threat Quadree Henderson has six career return touchdowns following his 80-yard punt return score at Georgia Tech. The NCAA record for career kick return touchdowns is eight.
- Quadree Henderson ranks sixth in the country in combined kick return yards (391). During his All-America 2016 season, Henderson led the nation in that category with 1,166.
- Senior punter Ryan Winslow is having an all-star caliber season. Winslow is averaging a career-best 47.3 yards per punt to lead the ACC and rank fourth nationally. His 50.1 average on seven punts at Georgia Tech marked a personal best.
- Since 2013, the Panthers’ inaugural ACC season, Pitt is undefeated against Conference USA. Over the past four seasons, Pitt has defeated current C-USA members Marshall, FIU and Old Dominion.
This is the third all-time meeting between Pitt and Rice…the only two prior meetings were played in 1950-51…the Owls won both of those matchups: 14-7 in Pittsburgh during the 1950 season and 21-13 at Rice in 1951…since joining the Atlantic Coast Conference for the 2013 season, Pitt is undefeated against members of Conference USA…the Panthers defeated C-USA foe Marshall, 43-27, at Heinz Field last year…during the 2014 season, Pitt traveled to FIU and beat the Golden Panthers, 42-25…in 2013, Pitt’s inaugural ACC season, the Panthers defeated Old Dominion, 35-24, at Heinz…Old Dominion was actually an independent that year but would join C-USA for the 2014 season…Pitt is 8-3 overall against current C-USA members (0-2 vs. Rice, 2-1 vs. Southern Mississippi, 2-0 vs. FIU, 2-0 vs. UAB, 1-0 vs. Marshall and 1-0 vs. Old Dominion).