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Feb. 25, 2013

PITTSBURGH--Pitt will usher in its Atlantic Coast Conference era with the program's biggest season opener in years. The Panthers will host defending ACC and Orange Bowl champion Florida State for a Labor Day primetime opener at Heinz Field, it was revealed today by the league office.

The Panthers and Seminoles will clash on Sept. 2 at 8 p.m., in front of a national ESPN television audience. It will be the first meeting between the two schools since 1983 when the Panthers defeated Florida State, 17-16, in Pitt Stadium.

The opener is one of four ACC games at Heinz Field this season. Pitt will additionally host Virginia (Sept. 28), North Carolina (Nov. 16) and, in a nationally televised game the day after Thanksgiving, Miami (Nov. 29).

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

Pitt previously announced its non-conference schedule, highlighted by a Nov. 9 home date with historic rival Notre Dame, which advanced to the 2013 BCS National Championship Game following an undefeated regular season. 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 to round out the non-ACC slate. (Villanova, Pitt's original season-opening opponent, will now play at Boston College.)

"When our ACC opponents were initially revealed in January, we knew our schedule would be our most dynamic in years," Pitt athletic director Steve Pederson said. "But to start and end our inaugural ACC season at Heinz Field with two of the most storied brands in college football is spectacular. Every game in this league, home and away, will provide our fans with a lot of excitement and anticipation."

"We're really excited to see our entire Atlantic Coast Conference schedule for 2013," second-year Pitt head coach Paul Chryst said. "Each and every week will present us with a significant challenge and opportunity. And season openers don't get any bigger than facing the defending ACC champion, Florida State, on national television."

Season-ticket packages are currently on sale for as low as $115 and can be purchased online (, by phone (800/643-PITT) or in person at the Petersen Events Center ticket office. All Pitt and UPMC employees are eligible for a 20% discount on tickets.

Additionally, current season-ticket holders who renew online by April 3 will receive a $10 discount on the handling fee.

The Panthers' complete 2013 football schedule:

Sept. 2 (Mon.)
Florida State* (ESPN)
8 p.m.
John Congemi threw for 202 yards and the decisive TD in Pitt's 17-16 win in 1983, the Panthers' third consecutive victory over Bobby Bowden's Seminoles and the last time the two schools met in football.

Sept. 14
New Mexico
The Lobos are coached by Coraopolis native and former Pitt assistant Bob Davie.

Sept. 21
at Duke*
Matt Cavanaugh became the first Pitt player to throw for five TDs when he led the Panthers to a 44-31 victory over Duke during the 1976 national championship season, the last time Pitt visited Durham.

Sept. 28
Pitt and UVA split the last two meetings with the host Cavs winning 44-14 in 2007 and the Panthers claiming a 38-13 decision at Heinz Field in 2006.

Oct. 12
at Virginia Tech*
Pitt has won four consecutive games in the series, including 35-17 over the No. 13 Hokies in 2012.

Oct. 19
Old Dominion
The high-scoring Monarchs averaged more than 45 points per game during an 11-2 season that ended in the NCAA Division I playoffs.

Oct. 26
at Navy (CBS Sports Network)
Navy's triple option churned out nearly 280 rushing yards per game last season as the Midshipmen made their ninth bowl appearance in the past 10 years.

Nov. 2
at Georgia Tech*
This will be the Panthers' first visit to Atlanta since a 42-14 victory over the Yellow Jackets in the second game of Pitt's 1976 national title campaign.

Nov. 9
Notre Dame
Average margin of the past five Pitt-Notre Dame games has been 4.0 points. The Irish survived the Panthers in three OTs last year, 29-26.

Nov. 16
North Carolina*
Pitt slipped past North Carolina, 19-17, on a late field goal in the 2009 Meineke Car Care Bowl, the last time the Panthers and Tar Heels met.

Nov. 23
at Syracuse*
The longtime rivals have played every year since 1955 and will continue to meet as annual crossover opponents.

Nov. 29 (Fri.)
Miami* (ABC, ESPN or ESPN2)
The Panthers haven't knocked off Miami since 1997 and will look to snap a seven-game series skid.

Dec. 7
Dr. Pepper ACC Championship Game
The ACC title game will be played at Bank of America Stadium in Charlotte, N.C.

*ACC game

2013 ACC Divisional Alignment

Coastal Division
Georgia Tech
North Carolina
Virginia Tech

Atlantic Division
Boston College
Florida State Maryland
North Carolina State
Syracuse (annual Pitt primary divisional crossover opponent)
Wake Forest


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