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January 11, 2013

ACC announces pairings for 2013

Pitt will host some of the ACC's marquee programs this fall, as the conference released its 2013 home-and-away pairings Friday morning.

Pitt's home conference schedule will bring Florida State, Miami (Fla.), North Carolina, and Virginia to Heinz Field. The Panthers will travel to face Georgia Tech, Virginia Tech, Duke, and Syracuse. No dates have been set for the eight conference games yet.

Those eight games join Pitt's four-game non-conference schedule, which consists of home games against Villanova (Aug. 31), New Mexico (Sept. 14), and Notre Dame (Nov. 9), as well as a road game at Navy (Oct. 26).

With Notre Dame and Florida State on the home schedule for 2013, Pitt will host two teams expected to be in the preseason top ten. The last time Pitt hosted two teams that finished in the top ten the previous year - as Notre Dame and Florida State did this season - was 2001, when Miami and Virginia Tech came to Heinz Field.

Pitt's schedule also has the Panthers facing both teams that participated in the 2012 ACC Championship Game (Florida State beat Georgia Tech 21-15).

The 2013 schedule features seven home games, which should happen annually with the ACC's balanced eight-game conference schedule. This fall will be a significant upgrade over Pitt's 2012 home schedule, which saw the Panthers host Youngstown State, Gardner-Webb, Virginia Tech, Louisville, Temple, and Rutgers.

Pitt accepted an invitation to join the ACC in September 2011, and the Panthers will officially make that move this summer. Pitt was placed into the conference's Coastal Division with Virginia, Virginia Tech, Miami, Georgia Tech, North Carolina, and Duke. The Panthers will face each of those six teams every year along with Syracuse - Pitt's annual crossover opponent - and one other Atlantic Division team.

Pitt is 5-3 all-time against Florida State, with the last game taking place on Oct. 8, 1983 (a 17-16 Pitt victory). The Panthers are 5-2 all-time against Georgia Tech, who they last faced on Sept. 18, 1976 (Pitt won that game 42-14). Pitt hasn't faced Duke since 1976 and the Panthers hold a 9-8 series record against the Blue Devils. Pitt is 3-4 vs. North Carolina after beating the Tar Heels 19-17 in the 2009 Meineke Car Care Bowl. The Panthers have been on the losing end more often than not against Miami (Fla.) with a 9-22-1 overall record, including a 31-3 loss at Heinz Field in 2010. After years together in the Big East, Pitt holds a 34-31-3 record against Syracuse. Pitt improved to 5-7 all-time against Virginia Tech when the Panthers beat the Hokies at Heinz Field this season. And the Panthers are 3-2 all-time against Virginia, having last faced the Cavaliers in 2007.

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