The Panthers will face Northwestern of the Big Ten Conference.
PITTSBURGH—Pitt officially accepted an invitation this afternoon to face Northwestern in the 2016 New Era Pinstripe Bowl, played at iconic Yankee Stadium in New York City on December 28.
This will be the Panthers’ 33rd all-time postseason appearance and first in the New Era Pinstripe Bowl, which will be nationally televised by ESPN and kick off at 2 p.m.
On the strength of a three-game winning streak, the Panthers enter the postseason with an 8-4 record and boasting Top 25 rankings in the Associated Press poll (No. 22) and College Football Playoff ratings (No. 23). Pitt figured heavily in the final College Football Playoff rankings, giving No. 2 Clemson its only loss (43-42) and essentially keeping No. 5 Penn State out of the field by defeating the Nittany Lions, 42-39.
“Congratulations to our student-athletes and coaches for finishing an exciting regular season on a fantastic high note and earning a Tier One bowl bid,” Pitt athletic director Scott Barnes said. “I want to thank the New Era Pinstripe Bowl for their strong interest in selecting Pitt as the ACC representative. Our fans love New York City and I know they are excited to rally around our team. We fully anticipate that Panther Nation will continue the great travel momentum established last year. I can’t wait to see everyone in New York City.”
“On behalf of our football program, I would like to thank the New Era Pinstripe Bowl for the opportunity to play in this year’s game,” Pitt head coach Pat Narduzzi said. “We are thrilled about the opportunity to play a bowl game in a world-class city and prestigious venue. I’ve heard so many tremendous things about the first-class treatment provided by the Yankees. We are looking forward to the experience and especially the challenge of facing Pat Fitzgerald’s Northwestern team, a coach and program I respect tremendously.”
This will be the seventh all-time meeting between Pitt and Northwestern, but the first in a postseason game. The schools last played during the 1973 season, a 21-14 Pitt victory in Evanston. The overall series is tied at three wins apiece.
The Wildcats finished with a 6-6 regular-season record, including wins over bowl-bound teams Iowa (38-31) and Indiana (24-14).
Pitt has played twice before at Yankee Stadium. The Panthers went 1-1 in those games, defeating Army (7-6) on Nov. 17, 1962, while losing to Syracuse (3-0) on Oct. 20, 1923. www.pittsburghpanthers.com