SEPTEMBER 28, 2013 - TBA
HEINZ FIELD - PITTSBURGH, PA
Buy Season Tickets - 2013 Pitt Football
By Pat Bostick
The Last Time
2012-13 Virginia Season Review
The London File
New Names, Faces in 2013
1. Tom O'Brien, Associate Head Coach for Offense/Tight Ends - O'Brien has 38 years of coaching under his belt, most recently serving as the Head Football Coach at North Carolina State.
Looking at the Cavaliers
2. Looking for a spark - After finishing in the middle of the conference in terms of total offense last season, Virginia is looking for a spark in 2013. The Cavaliers return a very capable receiving corps, headlined by wide receiver Darius Jennings (48 rec., 568 yards, 5 TD) and tight end Jake McGee (28 catches, 374 yards, 5 TD). The key to getting the Cavaliers' passing game going this season is quite obvious - quarterback play.
Defense: 4 starters lost, 7 returning (18 lettermen returning)
Keys to Victory
2. Contain Watford - If sophomore David Watford indeed wins Virginia's starting quarterback job, the Cavaliers will certainly aim to utilize his athleticism. Pitt will need to keep him in the pocket, as allowing him to escape and become a run-pass threat would play to this young man's strengths. If the Panthers do "set the edge" and contain Watford, things would seem to be more difficult for the first-year starter.
Check back in two weeks for a preview of Pitt's week 5 Opponent, Virginia Tech.
May 2013 Archives
The countdown to full membership in the Atlantic Coast Conference is down to just over one month away. As July 1 quickly approaches, the move becomes more and more tangible and today was another of those exciting days.
The Pitt women's basketball home and away ACC opponents were announced today with Boston College, Clemson, Florida State, Georgia Tech, Notre Dame, N.C. State, Wake Forest and Syracuse making appearances at the Petersen Events Center.
The Panthers will travel to Clemson, Duke, Maryland, Miami, North Carolina, Syracuse, Virginia and Virginia Tech. Pitt's home and away partners will be Syracuse and Clemson.
Fans will have a chance to meet the leader who will take the Panthers into the ACC this season as new Pitt women's basketball coach Suzie McConnell-Serio will be at the University Club on campus on Thursday, May 30 from 4:30-6:30 p.m. for a meet and greet. Parking is available for $5 in Soldiers and Sailors garage beginning at 4 p.m.
SEPTEMBER 21, 2013 - TBA
WALLACE WADE STADIUM - DURHAM, N.C.
Buy Season Tickets - 2013 Pitt Football
By Pat Bostick
The Last Time
Interesting ACC Note
2012-13 Duke Season Review
2012-13 Record: 6-7 (3-5, 5th in Coastal Division)
For the second consecutive week, the Panthers will be facing an opponent coached by a well-respected college football veteran. David Cutcliffe, entering his sixth season at Duke, has built an impressive resume over the course of his 30-year career. Known for his offensive acumen and his ability to coach the quarterback position, his career stops have included programs like Tennessee, where he was instrumental in the development of NFL star signal-caller Peyton Manning, and Mississippi, where he served as head coach and tutored Peyton's talented younger brother, Eli. Though his primary focus has clearly been the rejuvenation of the Blue Devils' football program - as was evident with their improvements last season - Cutcliffe continues to work with the Manning Brothers to this day. Take a look at this video of Peyton and Eli working out on Duke's campus this April.
Looking at the Blue Devils
2. Run game needs work - Though their passing game helped make up for a lackluster run attack in 2012, Duke surely would like to see their ground game improve in 2013. The Blue Devils averaged a meager 125 yards per game on the ground last year. Duke should be able to improve that number this season, as they return four-of-five starting offensive lineman and their top three rushers from last year. Look for the Blue Devils to divide carries between Jela Duncan (109 att., 553 yards, 4 TD), Josh Snead (99 att., 496 yards, 2 TD) and Juwan Thompson (75 att., 352 yards, 1 TD). Also be wary of reserve quarterback Brandon Connette, a strong runner that scored eight touchdowns last season in situational duties.
Defense: 4 starters lost, 5 returning (2 starters moved from defense to offense)
2. Fresh start for the secondary - After allowing 267 yards per game through the air last season, the Blue Devils are revamping their secondary in preparation for their 2013 campaign. Duke will only return one starter from that unit - first team All-ACC corner Ross Cockrell. In addition to having lost two starting safeties to graduation, Cutcliffe and his staff moved another starter, Brandon Braxton, to wide receiver this spring, leaving three secondary positions open for competition heading into the 2013 season.
Keys to Victory
2. Keep Crowder in check - Pitt's secondary will be strong in 2013, with corner's K'Waun Williams and Lafayette Pitts returning as well as safety Jason Hendricks. But they will have their hands full with Duke's Jamison Crowder. The 5'9", 175 pound speedster averaged 14 yards per catch last season. The Blue Devils may very well line him up in the slot, in an effort to gain matchup advantages. Pitt must be aware of his whereabouts and have a plan to contain him, as he has big play potential whenever he touches the rock.
Check back next week for a preview of Pitt's week 4 Opponent, Virginia.
The Chicago Bears have announced that they will retire Pro Football Hall of Fame tight end and former team head coach Mike Ditka's No. 89. The number will officially be retired during halftime of the Bears game versus the Dallas Cowboys on Dec. 9's "Monday Night Football" matchup.
"Mike Ditka embodies the spirit of everything the Bears are about," chairman George H. McCaskey said. "He's an icon. The last time we won the championship Mike Ditka was our coach and the last time we won before that Mike Ditka was a player. The organization knew it was the right thing to do. - NFL.com
|"Pitt offensive coordinator and tight ends coach Joe Rudolph is entering his second season with the Panthers and he has six returning starters to work with. It's a young group that's facing a lot of questions, but Rudolph addressed some of those concerns and his quarterback competition in a spring interview." - Heather Dinich of ESPN.com|
"In April, members of the Pitt team took part in a trip to Haiti to visit impoverished communities. The impact that the trip had on the players may have been greater than the impact they had on the community." - 93.7 THE FAN
By Pat Bostick
2012-13 New Mexico Season Review
The Davie File
Taking a look at the Lobos
2. Run game will remain the strength - New Mexico ranked fifth in the nation last year in rushing offense, amassing 3,917 yards on 688 carries and averaging a whopping 301.3 yards per game. Despite their efforts to improve their passing game this spring and summer, all signs point to a continued emphasis on the ground attack for the Lobos in 2013. Probable starting quarterback Cole Gautsche was the team's second leading rusher last season, picking up 760 yards on 109 carries and scoring seven touchdowns as a reserve. New Mexico's leading rusher, running back Kasey Carrier, returns as well. Carrier gained 1,469 yards on 255 carries, scoring 15 touchdowns last season. In front of Gautsche and Carrier will be an offensive line that features four returning starters from last year.
Keys to Victory
2. Balance on offense - Throughout the course of these previews, one common theme will remain - Pitt must strive to maintain balance offensively. The run game will be the foundation and the Panthers' reshuffled offensive line looks much improved heading into 2013. Getting Isaac Bennett and company touches will open up the passing game for Pitt to hit some home runs down the field. With the Lobos having lost four lettermen on the defensive line and four at the linebacker spot, it would seem to me that Pitt has the upper hand heading into this battle. But you still have to play the game.
3. Same intensity - Sometimes bye weeks come at good times, others not. But, nevertheless, they are what you make of them. The Panthers will be coming off a launch pad week one with a huge game against Florida State (hopefully a win!), so utilizing the off week following that contest and coming into their second game of the season with the same intensity will be vital. The lesson here? Treat every opponent and each game the same.
Check back next week for a preview of Pitt's week 3 Opponent, Duke.
Post-Gazette: ACC meetings close with no significant actions
Post-Gazette: Good vibes abound, but ACC decisions scarce
Post-Gazette: Swofford wraps up ACC meetings
Tribune-Review: Men's basketball tournament still could be played at MSG
Post-Gazette: Chryst "energized" by ACC meetings
Tribune-Review: Dixon won't change Pitt's style in ACC
By R.J. Sepich
While some Pitt student-athletes spend the summer offseason months running up and down the hills of Oakland in preparation for their respective upcoming seasons, 16 Panthers recently found themselves hiking a much steeper terrain in an unfamiliar setting.
As part of a trip initiated by the Coalition for Christian Outreach (CCO), nine female and seven male Pitt student-athletes climbed four miles up a mountain in Haiti, providing food and clothes to many of the poverty-stricken natives.
One moment on the mountain even brought Devin Street to tears.
"As we were walking up the mountain with food and clothes, we would see people in need of them," said Street, a wide receiver on the football team. "We came across a little girl and her mother. The little girl had a raggedy shirt on--it didn't fit her and was all dirty. She had no pants and no shoes. And I had a pair of nice gold sandals meant for a girl with jewels on them in my bag. We gave her the shoes and they fit her perfectly; they were meant for her.
"I broke down on the mountain thinking about people that have to live like that," Street added.
Soon after spring semester finals finished up in late April, the group traveled to Cap Haitien, Haiti and stayed and helped at the EBAC orphanage, which houses and educates about 90 Haitian children. The student-athletes also spent time at the IDADEE orphanage that is run by five adults who grew up at EBAC.
Mark Giubilato, a fullback on the football team, was also touched by his interactions with a young Haitian boy with dirty clothes during the trek up the mountain. He said the boy led the group up the mountain, holding his hand the entire way.
"When we got to the church [at the top of the mountain], I took out a pair of sweatpants from my bag--Pitt football sweatpants--because I saw what he was wearing and I gave them to him," Giubilato said. "He was so grateful and wouldn't let go of my hand. And down there, that's how you show that you genuinely care about somebody else."
Although the hike up the mountain certainly stood out as one of the more memorable moments of the voyage, CCO member Mark Steffey, the chief organizer of the trip, said that the group spent most of its time helping the orphans at the EBAC school.
"The school work was a big part of it," Steffey said. "Just sitting with the kids and doing homework took a bulk of the days. And when we visited IDADEE for two days, our function was to hold babies. Just being with the kids, giving them that attention and playing games with them is what is important."
Beyond the experiences of the mountain and the orphanages, women's soccer midfielder Katie Lippert, a health and physical activity major, got to meet a Haitian doctor named Pastor Cebien (Alexis) who runs a medical clinic near the EBAC orphanage.
"A lot of the kids love him and look up to him--they all want to be doctors because of him," Lippert said of Pastor Cebien. "Some of us studying in the health field had the opportunity to go see his clinic for a few hours one day, and that was an awesome experience. To see how he treated his patients was an experience I don't think we'd get to have here."
Like Lippert and some other Panthers, Giubilato also went on a similar CCO trip to Haiti last year. He said that seeing how the experiences of the trip to Haiti changed his fellow student-athletes making their first trip to the Caribbean country really stood out to him.
"This year, since there were a few of us who had already been there before, I got to see Devin [Street], Mike Caprara, Joe Trebitz and people from other sports who were going for their first time and how much they changed throughout the week and how the trip affected them," Giubilato said. "Everybody did an awesome job and loved it."
Caprara, a linebacker on the football team, and gymnast Tiara Chadran both made their first trips to Haiti with the CCO and the Pitt team of student-athletes. They both agreed with Giubilato's statement.
"Being out of our comfort zone brought the whole group together," Caprara said. "We became so much closer -- everybody from every different sport. And I just thought that was amazing. You could see each one of us growing."
"There's not one person on the trip who I don't feel comfortable with. And I'm confident these friendships will last," Chadran added. "It's awesome."
With limited electricity and inconsistent running water at EBAC, the student-athletes also spent time playing soccer and basketball with the children. They distributed 20 soccer balls, 23 soccer jerseys, 20 t-shirts and 23 pairs of soccer socks that were donated by recently graduated Pitt football linebacker Joe Trebitz's former high school classmate Jozy Altidore, who plays soccer professionally in the Netherlands, represents the USA men's national soccer and is of Haitian descent.
And when it came time to head back to Pitt, everyone left with much lighter luggage after donating most of their own clothes and shoes to the Haitians.
Street was overcome by his emotions once again when giving his clothes to two native boys.
"I noticed these two boys who everyday they would trade t-shirts--they only had two shirts. They switched shorts too, just so they wouldn't have to wear the same thing each day," Street said. "And at the end of the week, I gave them all of my stuff. I gave them seven shirts, five pairs of pants and three pairs of shoes. Seeing Reginald, the older one, smile so much--that was just another breaking point for me."
"We got to see a different side of everyone," Lippert said. "I never got to see a football player cry, but to see who they really were on the inside was really cool."
Lippert believes that the group of 16 Pitt student-athletes was certainly changed for the better by the trip.
"As a group we affected Haiti," she said. "But Haiti affected us even more."
Complete list of the student-athletes who made the trip to Haiti:
Danielle Benner (women's soccer)
Mike Caprara (football)
Tiara Chadran (gymnastics)
Hillary Doucette (cross country)
Mark Giubilato (football)
Bri Hogan (gymnastics)
Katie Lippert (women's soccer)
Ryan McKenzie (men's soccer)
Alyssa Meier (women's soccer)
Dan Prete (men's soccer)
Morgan Sharick (women's soccer)
Alec Sheaffer (swimming and diving)
Devin Street (football)
Joe Trebitz (football)
Leigh Waltz (swimming and diving)
Tyler Wilps (wrestling)
Kelly Cooke (CCO)
Mark Steffey (CCO)
GAME 1: THURSDAY, MAY 16, 6 P.M.
PITT: RHP Ethan Mildren (9-2, 2.17 ERA)
UL: RHP Chad Green (8-2, 1.73)
GAME 2: FRIDAY, MAY 17, 6 P.M.
PITT: RHP Matt Wotherspoon (9-1, 3.05 ERA)
UL: RHP Jeff Thompson (9-1, 1.94)
GAME 3: SATURDAY, MAY 18, 12 p.m.
PITT: RHP Rhys Aldenhoven (8-0, 2.12 ERA)
UL:RHP Dace Kime (5-1, 3.06)
Tribune-Review: Pitt coach Chryst holds players to high standards on, off field
Tribune-Review: Pitt awards Desmond Brown's loyalty with a scholarship
Post-Gazette: Moving league tournament from N.C. roots is unlikely
Post-Gazette: Day two at Amelia Island
Post-Gazette: Stability is the name of the game as ACC AD's gather
Post-Gazette: Notes from the first day of ACC meetings
Tribune-Review: ACC explores own TV network
Tribune-Review: FSU fans eager to visit Pitt for Labor Day
The Panthers will be back in action on Friday, May 10, at 6 p.m. when they kick off their final home series in the Big East against Villanova at Cost Field.
ESPN and the Atlantic Coast Conference jointly announced on Wednesday afternoon that Pitt will host Penn State as part of the 15th annual 2013 Big Ten/ACC Basketball Challenge presented by DICK'S Sporting Goods.
The last time Pitt and Penn State met in basketball was on December 10, 2005, a 91-54 Panthers victory at the Petersen Events Center. Check out some of the great photos as well as postgame coverage from the last game.
Andrew Taglianetti and Jarred Holley are both currently taking part in the Steelers minicamp as undrafted free agent invitees. Taglianetti visited with 93-7 The FAN's Starkey, Miller, and Mueller recently to talk about his experiences and his attempt to make an NFL roster in the city where he grew up. Click here to listen
David Teel of the Daily Press in Hampton Roads, Virginia does outstanding work covering the ACC. Here are links to his two latest stories about the conference. First, another look at how the ACC grant of rights agreement came about, and in the second Teel discusses ACC divisions, revenue sharing, and other issues with ACC Commissioner John Swofford.
1. Teel Time: Swofford met with Virginia Board to discuss ACC's grant of rights: Story
2. Teel Time: Swofford discusses ACC divisions, revenue sharing, bowl tie-ins, basketball venues: Story
Also, ESPN's Heather Dinich and Andrea Adelson put a wrap on ACC football for the spring in their notebook. Some interesting information about our future conference opponents, and teams that we'll see at Heinz Field next fall. ACC Spring Wrap
As we told you last week, 16 Pitt student-athletes traveled to Haiti to serve at an orphanage. They returned to the United States this past weekend, and after a week relaxing at home, will be back on Pitt's campus next week for the start of summer classes. We'll catch up with them when they do and bring you more details about their amazing experience. They were able to send back some photos throughout their trip, and the following is the second gallery we've been able to post. Enjoy, and Hail to Pitt!
Pitt fans have much to be excited about as the Panthers prepare for July 1 and their official entry to the Atlantic Coast Conference. The good news continued today as the ACC announced their 2013 Football Bowl Schedule. All told, the conference will have eight guaranteed bowl games and one conditional game that could involve an ACC team. Even better news for Pitt fans, every game will be played between December 27 and January 3, wrapping up with the Discover Orange Bowl at 8 p.m. There are a lot of great bowl games and great road trips on the list, so click the link to check out the official release.
By Pat Bostick:
The Panthers and Seminoles have sparred eight times in their history, each of which took place during the 1970s and early 1980s. Pitt has had the upper hand in the matchup, winning five of those eight contests.
The Last Time
2012-13 FSU Season Review
Notable Team Stats:
Reload, Reload, Reload
The biggest hit was taken by the Seminoles' defense, as they must replace seven starters and reload a defense which finished second in the Nation overall.
OFFENSIVE OUTLOOK - More focus on the run game in 2013
Players to Watch:
DEFENSIVE OUTLOOK - Experienced secondary will lead new look defense
Players to Watch:
Looking ahead to Labor Day
1. Manage your emotions - Heinz Field is going to be on fire. It's going to be loud and exciting. It is vital to maintain focus and composure on the biggest of stages. There will be ups and downs, Pitt has to stay steady.
Check back in next week for a preview of the Panthers' week two opponent, New Mexico
- Pitt Football vs. Virginia Preview
- WR recruit finishing high school career in fast lane -- Tribune-Review
- Fans Invited to Meet and Greet McConnell-Serio
- ACC's Best Home Schedule -- ESPN.com
- Pitt Football vs. Duke Preview
- Chicago Bears to retire Mike Ditka's No. 89
- Q&A with Pitt OC Joe Rudolph: ESPN.com
- Haiti Trip Impacts Pitt Football Players - 93.7 FM The Fan
- Pitt Football vs. New Mexico Preview
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