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ACC unveils Pitt’s new 2020 football schedule

The team will keep Miami (Ohio) as its lone non-conference opponent

Pittsburgh v Penn State Photo by Scott Taetsch/Getty Images

The Pitt football team’s 2020 schedule was released in its entirety on the ACC Network on Thursday morning, and in addition to revealing Miami (Ohio) as the team’s lone non-conference opponent, the completed schedule clarified when Pitt would play the 10 ACC teams that were announced as the team’s conference opposition on July 29.

Notably, Pitt will begin the season with four home games against Miami (Ohio), Syracuse, Louisville and NC State before hitting the road to take on Boston College. The big question mark heading into the reveal was who Pitt’s out-of-conference opponent would be, and while the RedHawks remained a possibility, there was speculation that Pitt could attempt to schedule West Virginia, as both schools had Sept. 19 open. However, the Big 12 announced its teams would play one non-conference game at home, much like the ACC, taking that option off the table for the proximal rivals.

Pitt’s schedule takes a turn after the game at Boston College, as the Panthers will head to Miami to face the Hurricanes before returning home to play Notre Dame. The Panthers have losing records against both teams, as they are 11-27-1 all-time against the Hurricanes and 21-49-1 against the Fighting Irish. In terms of recent history, Pitt faced Miami eight times in the last decade and lost six times. The team also played Notre Dame six times in the 2010s and lost five of those games.

The Panthers are mercifully granted a bye week on Oct. 31 after what should be a brutal two-week stretch, but on the other side of the bye will be an equally well-rested Florida State team that will await the Steel City team in Tallahassee. One surprising note is that the Panthers actually hold a 5-4 all-time record against the Seminoles, but that is due to the fact that eight of those nine games were played at the pinnacle of Pitt’s greatness, between 1971 and 1983. The only game played since Pitt joined the ACC was a 41-13 loss in 2013 in which Jameis Winston threw for 356 yards and four touchdowns.

The final three-game stretch of Pitt’s season includes matchups at Georgia Tech, against Virginia Tech at home and at Clemson. The obvious headliner of that trio is the trip to Death Valley, which will be Pitt’s first since the Panthers upset the Tigers 43-42 in 2016. With that said, the teams have clashed once since then in the 2018 ACC Championship Game. In that matchup, which took place in Charlotte, Clemson once again scored 42 points, but a sluggish Pitt offense led by Kenny Pickett and former Panthers offensive coordinator Shawn Watson could only muster 10.

Now, with the schedules of all the ACC teams out in the open, what remains to be seen is if college football will indeed be played at all in the fall, as teams like Rutgers have struggled with COVID-19 outbreaks and athletes in the Pac-12 and Big Ten have united to publicly demand that their health and safety be prioritized amid the ongoing pandemic.