Pitt to open 2022 season against West Virginia at Heinz Field


Pamela Smith | Visual Editor

A bag of Pitt footballs at a Pitt football game.

By Dalton Coppola, Assistant Sports Editor

After embarking on its most successful season in 40 years, Pitt football will look to sustain success in 2022. After the ACC released its members’ conference schedules on Monday night, the Panthers now have a roadmap to return to an ACC Championship Game.

Pitt will play each team in the Coastal Division and Louisville from the Atlantic Division. On top of its ACC opponents, Pitt will start its season with four straight out of conference opponents — West Virginia, Tennessee, Western Michigan and Rhode Island.

Pitt will open its season at home with the Backyard Brawl against West Virginia on Sept. 1 — the first time the two rivals will meet since 2011. This game will also be a primetime game played on Thursday night at Heinz Field and air on ESPN. This will be the only game not happening on a Saturday, barring any changes.

Tennessee and Rhode Island will also come to Pittsburgh, while the Panthers will take the road for their game against Western Michigan. The game against the Rhode Island Rams will be the first time Pitt has played Rhode Island. Head coach Pat Narduzzi played linebacker for the Rams from 1987-89.

The Panthers will open ACC play on Oct. 1 against the Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets. Pitt has traveled to Atlanta for the past three seasons, but the Panthers will welcome the Yellow Jackets to Pittsburgh in 2022.

The Panthers will welcome the Virginia Tech Hokies the following week on Oct. 8 and have their bye after this Coastal Division clash. This will be the first time Pitt will face Virginia Tech’s new head coach Brent Pry as leader of the Hokies.

After the bye, Pitt will take the road for two straight weeks to take on the Louisville Cardinals and the North Carolina Tar Heels. The Cardinals are bringing back redshirt senior quarterback Malik Cunningham while the Tar Heels look to replace NFL prospect Sam Howell under center.

Pitt will then welcome Syracuse to Pittsburgh, making this the 68th straight seasons the two teams faced off.

The Panthers will then travel to Virginia to take on the University of Virginia Cavaliers before returning home for their Senior Day festivities against the Duke Blue Devils.

The ACC saved one of Pitt’s biggest games for last — a matchup with the Miami Hurricanes. The Hurricanes hired former Oregon head coach Mario Cristobal as their new head coach this winter. The Hurricanes are among the favorites to win the division this year and, being so late in the season, this game may decide who wins it. This game will be on the road in Miami on Nov. 26.