On Wednesday, Pitt announced start times for its first two football games of the 2019 season.
Pitt will host Virginia on the ACC Network at 7:30 p.m. on August 31 to kick off the season. They’ll then face Ohio on September 7 on the ACC Network at 11:00 a.m.
That opener against Virginia is a great way to start the year. Now, I typically like easing my way into the conference schedule. I always think it’s important to get a few non-conference games in first and something like that really benefited a team like Pitt last year as it took them a while to get going. But the counter, I suppose, is that Virginia will be just as ‘raw’ as Pitt going in. Plus, if you’re going to start with a conference game, playing a winnable one at night, at home (after you’ve stuffed your face with barbecue all day, no less) isn’t all bad.
It’s also worth pointing out that Pitt hasn’t had a season opener with any kind of juice since 2013 when they first joined the ACC and hosted Florida State in the opener. Playing a quality opponent with the aforementioned conditions should draw a really strong crowd and Pitt will be able to generate some buzz there. Virginia isn’t a top-ranked Florida State team but they also aren’t Delaware, Villanova, or Youngstown State.
The next weekend’s game, I imagine, will be a little harder for some to attend with a start time of 11:00 a.m. And you thought the noon start time was bad.
Personally, I don’t mind the earlier noon games. But 11 is a little early even for my tastes and those trying to travel to the game are going to hate it even more. Oh, and if Pitt can’t win its opener against Virginia, enthusiasm for that Ohio game will be even lower.