One of Pitt’s non-conference opponents for the 2020-21 season was revealed on Wednesday, as Alan Saunders of Pittsburgh Sports Now reported that the team will host Drexel at the Petersen Events Center in the coming months. The date of the matchup is believed to be Dec. 15, but that has not been confirmed.
Pitt’s matchup with Drexel is the program’s second non-conference game to be revealed in the last week, as a Nov. 25 contest with Morgan State was announced last Friday. Both announcements followed Pitt’s cancelation of the 2020 City Game, and neither of the newly scheduled games does much to disabuse fans of the notion that Pitt is looking for weaker teams to pick off prior to the new year.
Drexel, a member of the Colonial Athletic Association, went 14-19 last season under Zach Spiker and has not posted a winning record since 2014, when the team Bruiser Flint coached the team. Morgan State, a member of the MEAC, went 15-16 last season and has not had a winning campaign since 2013. For comparison, Duquesne, a member of the stronger Atlantic 10, went 21-9 last season and has not posted a losing record since 2017.
The matchup between Pitt and Drexel will be the first of its kind, as the two teams have never met despite the fact that Drexel is situated relatively nearby in Philadelphia. In fact, Drexel is the only active Division I team in Pennsylvania that Pitt has yet to face, and Pitt has played at least one in-state opponent in every season it has been active since 1905.
Pitt has traditionally performed well against other teams from Pennsylvania, as it holds a 293-187 record against in-state opponents that are currently active at the Division I level. The team also has a winning record against 29 of the 33 in-state opponents it has faced, and the only active Division I team from Pennsylvania to hold Pitt to a losing record is Penn State, which has a 76-72 advantage in a rivalry series that dates back to 1906.
The Panthers have enjoyed a similar level of success against Colonial opponents, as they have played to an 11-6 all-time record against the conference. Pitt’s last win over a Colonial program came on Dec. 22, 2017, when the team narrowly defeated Towson 63-59 in its non-conference finale. Towson would post an 18-14 record that season, and the win would be Pitt’s last before a 0-19 skid that marked the last stand of Kevin Stallings as a DI coach.