The Panthers’ challenging slate features eight postseason teams.
PITTSBURGH—Pitt’s 2017 football schedule was unveiled today by the Atlantic Coast Conference. The Panthers’ 12-game slate features eight teams that advanced to the postseason, including four that finished in the Top 25.
Pitt will play seven games at Heinz Field. Under Coach Pat Narduzzi, the Panthers went 6-1 at Heinz last season, matching their best home record since the stadium opened in 2001. The home slate highlights:
- Perennial Big 12 contender Oklahoma State, which finished No. 11 in the final polls after a 10-3 season, makes its first visit to Pittsburgh on Sept. 16.
- A Thursday primetime spotlight will shine on Heinz Field when the Panthers play ACC Coastal Division foe North Carolina on Nov. 9. The game will be nationally televised by either ESPN or ESPN2.
- In a game that could have Coastal championship implications, Pitt will host Miami on Friday, Nov. 24. The Hurricanes finished last season with a No. 20 Associated Press ranking.
- Atlantic Division opponent NC State will visit Pittsburgh (Oct. 14) for the first time in 30 years. The Panthers also host annual Coastal foe Virginia (Oct. 28).
- Pitt will open the 2017 season against Youngstown State (Sept. 2), which advanced to the NCAA Football Championship Subdivision (FCS) title game last season. Additionally, the Panthers will host Rice on Sept. 30.
Pitt will play five road games starting with a Sept. 9 visit to Keystone rival Penn State. The Panthers’ 42-39 triumph last year over the eventual Big Ten champions was hailed as perhaps the most exciting game in the history of the storied series.
The balance of the road schedule includes four ACC games: Sept. 23 at Georgia Tech, Oct. 7 at Syracuse, Oct. 21 at Duke and Nov. 18 at 2016 Coastal champ Virginia Tech.
Narduzzi has directed Pitt to eight regular-season wins in each of his first two years, something the Panthers had not achieved since 2008-09. In his two seasons as Pitt head coach, he owns a 16-10 overall mark and 11-5 record in the ACC, a league widely considered the nation’s best at the conclusion of the 2016 campaign.
“There is always great anticipation from players, coaches and certainly fans when it comes to seeing the new schedule,” Narduzzi said. “With the games finally announced, I can promise you it will be highly visible throughout our practice facility this offseason. We want it to be a constant reminder of the twelve challenges and opportunities we have this fall.”
The Panthers’ complete 2017 football schedule:
Sept. 2 Youngstown State
Bo Pelini’s Penguins advanced to the 2016 FCS title game.
Sept. 9 at Penn State
A 42-39 victor this past season, Pitt will be seeking its third consecutive win over Penn State.
Sept. 16 Oklahoma State
The Panthers dropped a 45-38 shootout in Stillwater in 2016.
Sept. 23 at Georgia Tech*
Pitt has won two consecutive games over the Yellow Jackets on late field goals.
Sept. 30 Rice
Pitt and Rice meet for the first time since 1951.
Oct. 7 at Syracuse*
The Panthers and Orange have played every year since 1955.
Oct. 14 NC State*
This will be the inaugural ACC game between Pitt and NC State and 10th meeting overall.
Oct. 21 at Duke*
The Panthers cruised past the Blue Devils, 56-14, at Heinz in 2016.
Oct. 28 Virginia*
Jordan Whitehead’s 59-yard interception return sparked Pitt’s 45-31 win at UVA last year.
Nov. 9 (Thurs.) North Carolina*
Close games are the rule: the last six games have been decided by an average of 4.2 points.
Nov. 18 at Virginia Tech*
Pitt will look to avenge last year’s 39-36 loss to the eventual Coastal champ.
Nov. 24 (Fri.) Miami*
The Hurricanes closed last season with five consecutive wins to finish in the Top 25.
Times and additional television arrangements will be announced at a later date.