Pitt will play Eastern Michigan in the 2019 Quick Lane Bowl in Detroit, Michigan on Dec. 26, 2019.
The game will be played at Ford Field, the home of the NFL’s Detroit Lions, and kickoff is scheduled for 8 p.m. on the night after Christmas.
The 7-5 Panthers fell into the third tier of ACC bowl selection by losing their final two regular-season games. Three teams that finished 6-6 were picked ahead of the Panthers in the bowl selection order.
Coastal champions Virginia will play in the Orange Bowl as the conference’s automatic qualifier after 13-0 Clemson was selected for the College Football Playoff. Notre Dame took the place of an ACC school in the first-choice Camping World Bowl.
Louisville (7-5) will play in the Music City Bowl, Virginia Tech (8-4) will play in the Belk Bowl, Florida State (6-6) in the Sun Bowl and Wake Forest (8-4) in the Pinstripe Bowl.
Of the Tier III selections, the Military Bowl chose North Carolina (6-6) and the Independence Bowl took Miami (6-6) before Pitt was chosen for the Quick Lane Bowl.
Pitt has never appeared in the Quick Lane Bowl, which has been played annually since 2014, but the game is the spiritual successor to the Little Caesars Pizza Bowl, which was played from 1997-13 at Pontiac Silverdome and then Ford Field.
Pitt played in the final Little Caesars Pizza Bowl in 2013, beating Bowling Green, 30-27. That was Pitt’s last bowl victory, as the Panthers lost the 2014 Armed Forces Bowl, 2015 Military Bowl, 2016 Pinstripe Bowl and 2018 Sun Bowl and were not bowl eligible in 2017.
The Big Ten Conference was contracted to supply the ACC’s opponent for this year’s Quick Lane Bowl, but did not have enough bowl-eligible teams. The bowl has a secondary arrangement with the Mid-American Conference, which had a surplus of bowl-eligible teams this season.
Eastern Michigan finished the season 6-6 and 3-5 in MAC play. The Eagles scored a major upset of Illinois on Sept. 14. They also had non-conference victories over Coastal Carolina and Central Connecticut State and also lost at Kentucky.
In MAC play, the Eagles lost at Central Michigan and Toledo and to Ball State, Buffalo and Kent State at home. They defeated Akron, Northern Illinois and Western Michigan and finished in last place in the MAC’s West Division.
Pitt and EMU have faced each other just twice, with the Panthers winning both contests. Pitt won 27-3 at Heinz Field in 2007 and 66-30 at Pitt Stadium in 1995.
Eastern Michigan is located in Ypsilanti, Michigan, with is about 40 miles to the east of Detroit. Pitt athletic director Heather Lyke was the athletic director at Eastern Michigan from 2013-17.