The Tribune Democrat, Johnstown, PA

Sports

February 25, 2013

Pitt football to make ACC debut vs. Florida State

PITTSBURGH — Welcome to the Atlantic Coast Conference, Panthers.

The University of Pittsburgh will make its Atlantic Coast Conference debut by hosting defending conference champion Florida State on Labor Day at Heinz Field and then close out its regular season with a home game against Miami.

“Season openers don’t get any bigger than facing the defending ACC champion, Florida State, on national television,” said second-year Pitt coach Paul Chryst, who guided the Panthers to a 6-7 record in his first season.

The Panthers will entertain the Seminoles, coming off a win over Northern Illinois in the Orange Bowl, on Sept. 2 at 8 p.m. on ESPN.

It will be the first meeting between the schools since 1983 when the Panthers defeated Florida State, 17-16, in Pitt Stadium.

There is a history between the two programs.

Pitt lost at Florida State in its 1972 season opener and won there to start the 1974 season. In 1980, Pitt’s lone loss was a 36-22 setback at Florida State.

The Miami game will be on national television Nov. 29 at Heinz Field.

“To start and end our inaugural ACC season at Heinz Field with two of the most storied brands in college football is spectacular,” Pitt athletic director Steve Pederson said in a statement.

Pitt’s other home games in the conference include Virginia (Sept. 28) and North Carolina (Nov. 16).

The Panthers’ road ACC games are Duke (Sept. 21), Virginia Tech (Oct. 12), Georgia Tech (Nov. 2) and Syracuse (Nov. 23).

The non-conference schedule includes a Nov. 9 home date with Notre Dame, which played in the 2013 BCS national championship game. The Panthers will also host New Mexico (Sept. 14) and travel to Navy (Oct. 26).

To accommodate the Florida State opener, Old Dominion replaces Villanova on the schedule. The Panthers will host ODU on Oct. 19. Villanova will now play at Boston College.

Pitt will be in the ACC’s Coastal Division along with Duke, Georgia Tech, Miami, North Carolina, Virginia and Virginia Tech.

The Atlantic Division includes Boston College, Clemson, Florida State, Maryland, North Carolina State, Syracuse and Wake Forest.

Syracuse will serve as the Panthers’ annual primary divisional crossover opponent.

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