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Report: Pitt Finalizes 2021 Football Schedule with Home Opener vs. UMass

Report: Pitt Finalizes 2021 Football Schedule with Home Opener vs. UMass

Pitt will host UMass in a non-conference football game in 2021, according to a report by FBSchedules.com.

The game is currently scheduled for Sept. 4, 2021 at Heinz Field and will be Pitt’s home and season opener. The Panthers will also visit Tennessee on Sept. 11 and host Western Michigan on Sept. 19 and New Hampshire on Sept. 25.

In conference play, Pitt will host Clemson, Miami, North Carolina and Virginia and visit Duke, Georgia Tech, Syracuse and Virginia Tech. The dates for those games have not yet been revealed.

Pitt has one open non-conference date in 2022 and 2023, most likely for an FCS opponent. The Panthers have at least one game scheduled every season through 2028.

UMass has been one of a handful of FBS independents since leaving the MAC in 2015. The Minutemen have not had a lot of success since rising to the FBS level in 2012. Their best season in that time span has been a pair of 4-8 marks in 2017 and 2018.

Current Pitt offensive coordinator Mark Whipple was the head coach at UMass from 1998 to 2003 and again from 2016 to 2018. He won an FCS National Championship there in 1998.

The meeting will be the first between the teams.

From 2015, Pitt’s first year under head coach Pat Narduzzi, until 2018 the Panthers played two Power Five teams in non-conference play each season. This season, Pitt had just one on the schedule — last week’s loss to Penn State — though the Panthers also host the No. 15 team in the country in Group of Five UCF this Saturday.

But starting in 2019, Pitt will have just one Power Five team on the non-conference schedule for the next three years, as the Panthers will host Notre Dame in 2020 and visit Tennessee in 2021.

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We need to schedule more teams like this to bolster our record like all other schools. We kill ourselves with difficult schedules and others with their cupcake schedules get ranked. Have one difficult out of conference game per year.

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