Pitt (0-2, 0-1 Big East) vs. Virginia Tech (2-0, 1-0 ACC)
Sept. 15, 2012 • Noon, ET • ESPNU
Heinz Field (65,050/Grass) • Pittsburgh, Pa.
Pitt Game Notes Link: Virginia Tech Game
Pitt-Virginia Tech Storylines
• Following a 34-10 loss at Cincinnati to open Big East play, Pitt continues its non-league schedule with a home date against Virginia Tech of the Atlantic Coast Conference. The Hokies are ranked among the nation’s Top 15 teams following a 2-0 start. The Panthers are looking to avoid their first 0-3 start since 2005.
• Playing Virginia Tech provides Pitt with both a nostalgic look back as well as a preview of the near future. The Panthers and Hokies played annually from 1993-2003 as members of the Big East. Virginia Tech joined the ACC for the 2004 season, ending a burgeoning rivalry that had become one of the Big East’s most intense and exciting.
• That rivalry will again be renewed on an annual basis when Pitt joins the Atlantic Coast Conference in 2013. The Panthers and Hokies will play each other every year as members of the ACC’s Coastal Division.
• Pitt’s last meeting with Virginia Tech (2003) ranks among the most exciting games ever played at Heinz Field – college or pro. In a game that featured six lead changes, the Panthers defeated No. 5 Virginia Tech, 31-28, as Lousaka Polite’s two-yard TD plunge with 47 seconds left provided the winning margin.
• Three of the past four Pitt-Virginia Tech games have been decided by seven points or less. The lone exception came in 2001 when the Panthers routed the nationally ranked Hokies, 38-7, at Heinz Field.
• Frank Beamer has built Virginia Tech into one of the nation’s most consistent winners. The Hokies have won at least eight games in each of the past 14 seasons, the longest active streak in major college football. (Boise State is next with 13, followed by LSU and Oklahoma with 12.)
Previewing ACC Play for Pitt
Saturday’s non-conference encounter between Pitt and Virginia Tech is a preview of Atlantic Coast Conference play in 2013. The Panthers and Hokies will annually face each other as members of the ACC’s Coastal Division.
The current composition of the Atlantic and Coastal divisions will remain the same next season with the exception of Syracuse joining the Atlantic and Pitt joining the Coastal. The current primary crossover partners will remain consistent with Syracuse and Pitt becoming primary crossover partners with each other.
Beginning in 2013, the ACC will play a nine-game conference schedule. The format will consist of each team playing all six in its division each year, plus its primary crossover partner each year and two rotating opponents from the opposite division. This six-year cycle allows each team to play each divisional opponent and its primary crossover partner six times (three home and three away), while also playing each rotating crossover opponent two times (one home and one away).
ATLANTIC COAST CONFERENCE FOOTBALL IN 2013
North Carolina State
* first-year members in 2013 and annual primary crossover opponents
Pitt-Virginia Tech Series in Brief
Series Began: 1993
Series Overall: Virginia Tech leads 7-4
At Pittsburgh: Series tied 3-3
At Virginia Tech: Virginia Tech leads 4-1
At Neutral Sites: DNA
Last Meeting: 2003 (Pitt 31, Virginia Tech 28)
Longest Pitt Win Streak: 3 games (2001-03)
Longest Virginia Tech Win Streak: 4 games (1993-96)
Largest Pitt Margin of Victory: 31 points (38-7, 2001)
Largest Virginia Tech Margin of Victory: 42 points 63-21 (1993)
Pitt-Virginia Tech Series Notes
This marks the 12th meeting between Pitt and Virginia Tech in a series that dates back to 1993...the prior 11 encounters each occurred when both schools were members of the Big East...the Hokies lead the all-time series, 7-4, but the Panthers have won the last three games (2001-03 seasons)...the last time the two teams met (Nov. 8, 2003), Pitt triumphed, 31-28, with a late touchdown at Heinz Field in a battle of Top 25 teams...in 2002, the visiting Panthers knocked off the previously unbeaten Hokies, 28-21, with freshman receiver Larry Fitzgerald catching three touchdowns...in 2001, Pitt defeated Virginia Tech, 38-7, at Heinz Field...the last Pitt loss in the series occurred in 2000 when host Virginia Tech kicked a field goal with 16 seconds left for a 37-34 win...the Panthers lost the first four games of the series before earning their first victory in 1997, a 30-23 decision at Pitt Stadium....each of Pitt’s four series victories have come against nationally ranked Virginia Tech squads (No. 5 in 2003, No. 3 in 2002, No. 12/13 in 2001 and No. 19/20 in 1997)...three of the last four meetings have been decided by seven points or less.
Pitt-Virginia Tech Broadcast Information
Television • ESPNU
Tom Hart, play-by-play
John Congemi (former Pitt QB, 1982-86), analyst
Pitt Radio • Sportsradio 93.7 The Fan & the Pitt IMG Sports Network
Bill Hillgrove, play-by-play
Pat Bostick, analyst
Gregg Giannotti, reporter
Internet Audio • Panthers All-Access
SiriusXM Satellite Radio
Sirius Channel 85, XM Channel 85
Charlie Partridge Rejoins Pitt as Defensive Line Coach
Pitt Places Six on All-ACC Academic Football Team
Conner Named Maxwell Football Club's Brookshier Spirit Award Recipient
Pitt Duo Among New England's Super Bowl Champions
Pitt Great Larry Fitzgerald Named NFL Man of the Year
Pat Narduzzi Names Shawn Watson Offensive Coordinator at Pitt