Connect with us


Ludwig: Pitt’s 2023 Schedule Provides Exciting Opportunity



Pitt football head coach Pat Narduzzi

It feels like just yesterday that Pitt’s 2022 schedule was released. Where has the time gone?

Somehow, 2022 is already old news. A 9-4 season, capped by a ranked win in the Sun Bowl, was a great follow-up to an ACC title, and yet it’s just a page in the storybooks now. The world of college football waits for no one.

The 2023 season is still, like, seven months away. Pitt hasn’t even kicked off spring practices yet but having a physical schedule to look at makes everything feel so much more real. We know when and where Pitt is playing next season. Well, almost when.

It’s a schedule that, admittedly, is tougher than last seasons. The non-conference schedule is unforgiving. I mean, who in their right mind willingly schedules Wofford?

Pitt travels to Morgantown for the Backyard Brawl. And to South Bend to face off against Notre Dame at the end of October. And this season’s “Group of Five” opponent is Big 12 newcomer Cincinnati. It’s not exactly easy, but it’s also a really good test.

What is the full schedule? Let’s take a look at the 2023 schedule as a whole:

2023 Pitt Schedule

Week 1: Saturday, Sept. 2 – Wofford at Acrisure Stadium

Week 2: Saturday, Sept. 9 – Cincinnati at Acrisure Stadium

Week 3: Saturday, Sept. 16 — West Virginia at Milan Puskar Stadium

Week 4: Saturday, Sept. 23 – North Carolina at Acrisure Stadium

Week 5: Saturday, Sept. 30 — Virginia Tech at Lane Stadium

Week 6: Saturday, Oct. 7 – Bye Week

Week 7: Saturday, Oct. 14 – Louisville at Acrisure Stadium

Week 8: Saturday, Oct. 21 – Wake Forest at Truist Stadium

Week 9: Saturday, Oct. 28 – Notre Dame at Notre Dame Stadium

Week 10: Saturday, Nov. 4 – Florida State at Acrisure Stadium

Week 11: Saturday, Nov. 11 – Syracuse at Yankee Stadium

Week 12: Thursday, Nov. 16 – Boston College at Acrisure Stadium

Week 13: Saturday, Nov. 25 – Duke at Wallace Wade Stadium

So, let’s recap first. That’s four home games, two away games and a bye week before the bulk of ACC play. It will be key to resume play with a good record.

West Virginia and Virginia Tech on the road are tough — it’s always tough to play in Morgantown, and Lane Stadium is no joke — but it could certainly be worse. It’s not exactly grueling travel to reach either school.

Cincinnati is a Power Five program now, so that’s another big win up for grabs early in the season. These Bearcats aren’t exactly the playoff contenders they were two seasons ago either.

It looks like Drake Maye and North Carolina will be Pitt’s toughest test before the bye week, but unlike last season, it will take place at Acrisure Stadium. I think a 4-1 stretch before the bye week is certainly doable.

The big storyline from the 2023 season though doesn’t arrive until October. Pitt’s October struggles were on full display in 2022, and the 2023 schedule will be tougher.

But with Notre Dame and Florida State on the schedule, it’s an opportunity to score a couple of signature wins and garner the national respect that the aforementioned schools receive on an annual basis — regardless of whether or not that respect is deserved.

Pitt comes off the bye week with a home game against Louisville, as the Cardinals work in a new quarterback under new head coach Jeff Brohm, and then hits the road to play a Sam Hartman-less Wake Forest squad down in Winston-Salem.

After Pitt leaves Winston-Salem, that’s when the fun begins.

On the road at Notre Dame and then right back home to host Florida State. Pitt has some familiarity Hartman, who is now at Notre Dame. Just think back to Hartman’s career-worst performance against Pitt in the 2021 ACC championship.

Notre Dame will still, likely, be good. Florida State will have a lot of hype, with some national writers already projecting the Seminoles as a top five team entering the 2023 season. And Pitt will have a crack at both.

I know there’s some dialogue about scheduling easier opponents going forward, but isn’t this what it’s all about? Pitt gets to face off against some of the top (preseason) teams in the country, continue one of the biggest rivalries in college football and play some meaningful football across the season.

Where is the fun in scheduling Youngstown State and Duquesne?

So, after the gauntlet of Wake Forest, Notre Dame and Florida State, Pitt will head to New York — Yankee Stadium in the Bronx, to be specific — for a matchup against Syracuse. Senior Night comes on a Thursday night against Boston College, and the rivalry week opponent is a solid Duke squad in Durham.

That’s the 2023 schedule. It’s a fun one. I can see eight or nine wins, personally.

It may be a bit too early to speculate on individual wins right now, let’s see how the spring unfolds first, but it’s a schedule that gives Pitt a chance to make some noise. West Virginia, Cincinnati and Notre Dame are a nice non-conference schedule, and Florida State, North Carolina and Duke aren’t a bad in-conference slate either.

I, for one, am eagerly awaiting the 2023 season. Pitt has some things to figure out, what team doesn’t as spring practices near, but it’s a team coming off its best two-season stretch in 40 years.

Not one but two — quality — quarterbacks have transferred into the system, along with a couple of former WPIAL stars at positions of need and a potential starting wide receiver. There are young players bursting at the seams at basically every position, too.

I wouldn’t rule out another addition or two in the spring transfer portal window either.

Spring practices will kick off in about a month, the spring game is on April 15 and the transfer portal opens back up on May 1. There’s a lot of work to be done even before the summer starts. But the 2023 season is approaching faster and faster.

You gotta win, and you gotta win against everyone, so now’s the chance.

Sandy Schall, Coldwell Banker
1 Comment
Notify of
1 Comment
Newest Most Voted
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments
Let’s believe
Let’s believe
1 year ago

I’m not worried about the tough games. Pitt is always up for those games. It’s the let down games against teams they should beat such as GA Tech last year. With this schedule, Pitt can’t afford to lose to anyone they shouldn’t. The transfers they brought in will make a huge impact. Having to play UNC after Cincinnati and West Virginia is tough but it’s at home. Nice to have Louisville and Florida State at home. I can see 9-3 with an upset in there.

Get PSN in your inbox!

Enter your email and get all of our posts delivered straight to your inbox.

Like Pittsburgh Sports Now on Facebook!
Send this to a friend