Pitt's Full 2011 Schedule Announced

Home games on Wednesday and Thursday night, another meeting with West Virginia on the day after Thanksgiving, as well as a new opponent for the regular season finale, highlight Pitt's Big East slate.

Pitt has already announced the dates for its 2011 non-conference opponents, but on Friday afternoon, the Big East announced the schedule for all of its conference games, filling out everyone's 2011 regular season schedules.

Of their 12 games in 2011, eight opponents went on to bowl games in 2010, with five of those eight teams winning their respective bowl game.

In addition to the non-conference slate (Sept 3 vs. Buffalo, Sept. 10 vs. Maine, Sept. 17 at Iowa, Sept. 24 vs. Notre Dame, Oct. 15 vs. Utah), the following games were announced by the Big East today, finalizing Pitt's 2011 football schedule.

"This is a very challenging schedule but also a schedule that will provide us with great opportunity to achieve special things," Pitt head coach Todd Graham said. "From a fan perspective, it is exciting to have eight games at Heinz Field and we're looking forward to a strong home field advantage."

Thursday September 29 vs. South Florida
- It's the second time Pitt and South Florida have met on a Thursday night. The last time was a 2008 matchup in Tampa, with Pitt pulling out a 26-21 win over the Bulls. The Panthers lead the all-time series with South Florida 5-3, and have won the last three meetings. It's also the second year in a row the Panthers have hosted a Thursday night game. South Florida is coming off a Meineke Car Care Bowl win over Clemson.

Saturday October 8 at Rutgers
- Pitt leads its all-time series with Rutgers 21-7. This rivalry seems to build every year with a consistent battle for recruits each year. This year's rivalry intensifies a little more with former Pitt assistants Brian Angelichio, Frank Cignetti and Jeff Hafley all coaching for Rutgers. One-time Pitt commits Gary Nova, Max Issaka and Marquise Wright eventually signed with Rutgers for the 2011 class.

Wednesday October 26 vs. UConn
- A rare Wednesday night game for Pitt, but the second in school history. The last time Pitt hosted a Wednesday night game was October of 2007, when Navy defeated Pitt 48-45 in double-overtime. It's the second year in a row these two teams meet in a nationally-televised game during the week. UConn leads this series 4-3 after pulling out a 30-28 win over the Panthers last year, a game which ultimately swung the Big East BCS bid in UConn's favor.

Saturday November 5 vs. Cincinnati
- Pitt will host Cincinnati following a 10-day layoff after the UConn game, at Heinz Field. Pitt leads the series with the Bearcats 8-2 following a 28-10 win in Cincinnati, Dave Wannstedt's final game as head coach. That win ended a two-game losing streak by Pitt. Cincinnati fell on hard times in 2010, going 4-8 after winning the Big East's BCS birth two years in a row.

Saturday November 12 at Louisville
- Pitt returns to Louisville for just the second Saturday game since the Cardinals joined the Big East in 2004. After winning the first three meetings when joining the conference, the Cardinals have dropped the last three games to Pitt, being outscored 96-20 in the last three games. The upstart Cardinals, under new head coach Charlie Strong, defeated Southern Miss in the Beef O'Brady's Bowl, giving them their first winning season in three years.

Friday November 25 at West Virginia
- For the ninth time over the last 12 meetings, this game will be played during the course of a Thanksgiving weekend. It was also be the seventh time out of the last 15 meetings the two teams have met on the Friday after Thanksgiving. West Virginia embarrassed Pitt 35-10 last year at Heinz Field as a result of four Pitt turnovers. The Mountaineers have won two in a row in this series, after Pitt won the previous two meetings. Neither team has won more than three consecutive games in this series since 1996. An added twist for this year's game is a rematch between Todd Graham and West Virginia offensive coordinator Dana Holgorsen, who coached against each other in 2010 when both coaches held the exact same role at Tulsa and Oklahoma State, respectively. The Mountaineers lost to North Carolina State in the Champs Sports Bowl in 2010. Pitt still leads the all-time series with West Virginia 61-28-3.

Saturday December 3 vs. Syracuse
- Though Syracuse is Pitt's most longstanding rival in the Big East, this is just the second time the two teams have closed out the regular season against each other. Interestingly, the other meeting was also a December 3 meeting, in 1998 (24-7 Syracuse win). Syracuse has shown signs of improvement, which led them to a Pinstripe Bowl win over Kansas State in December. Pitt had an impressive 45-14 win in Syracuse last year to open conference play. Pitt has won the last six meetings in this series, and eight of the last nine meetings. Prior to that, Syracuse had won 16 of the previous 18 meetings. Pitt leads the all-time series 32-30-3.

PITT COMPLETE 2011 SCHEDULE
Saturday September 3 BUFFALO
Saturday September 10 MAINE
Saturday September 17 at Iowa
Saturday September 24 NOTRE DAME
Thursday September 29 USF, 8 pm
Saturday October 8 at Rutgers
Saturday October 15 UTAH
Wednesday October 26 UCONN, 8 pm
Saturday November 5 CINCINNATI
Saturday November 12 at Louisville
Friday November 25 at West Virginia
Saturday Decemer 3 SYRACUSE


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