Must-attend sporting events for new students

By Brian Sherry, Staff Writer

New students on campus may feel overwhelmed by the number of sporting events Pitt has to offer. Keeping track of important games and events can be difficult. But fear not — The Pitt News has compiled a list of must-watch sporting events for the fall semester. Only the football and volleyball teams have released their 2022 schedules, so here are a few can’t-miss events from those two programs. 

Football vs. West Virginia — Sept. 1 at 7p.m.

This game requires little introduction. The 127-year rivalry returns after an 11-year hiatus, making for a must-watch event. This will also be the football program’s first game of the season and the first test for the new-look offense. After losing numerous star players and coordinator Mark Whipple, the reconstructed Panther offense will look to shine under the bright lights of Heinz Field. 

The atmosphere will be electric for this game — with West Virginia likely well-represented in the stands, as Morgantown lies just 77 miles from Pittsburgh — hence the “Backyard Brawl” nickname associated with the contest. New and returning students alike can’t miss this historic matchup. 

Volleyball vs. Louisville — Oct. 23 at 1p.m.

Pitt volleyball comes into their 2022 campaign following a historic season last year. The Panthers fell just short of a national championship, losing to Nebraska in the tournament semi-final. The program will face their first test at home on Oct. 23 against Louisville. The Cardinals also came close to a national title last season, losing to the eventual champion Wisconsin in the semifinals. 

The Cardinals also won the ACC championship last season over Pitt, who finished in second place. This game will likely decide the ACC championship this season, making for an intense match up at the Fitzgerald Field House. 

Football vs. Tennessee — Sept. 10 at 3:30 p.m.

Panther football will immediately follow up their rivalry game against West Virginia with another major test against Tennessee. The Panthers narrowly edged out a road victory against the Volunteers in an energetic shootout last season, but Tennessee has made vast improvements since last season, ranking No. 24 in the nation in ESPN’s way-too-early poll

This game also has historic roots — coined the “Johnny Majors Classic” in memory of the College Hall of Fame Coach who led Pitt to a national title in 1976 before leaving to coach the Volunteers. It will also be the first time an SEC opponent has played against the Panthers at Heinz Field. 

Volleyball vs. Ohio State — Sept. 18 at 1 p.m.

Pitt volleyball will face a tough non-conference opponent in Ohio State. The Buckeyes finished No. 11 in the nation last season and third in the highly competitive Big Ten. Ohio State fell to Georgia Tech in the third round of the tournament, ending their strong tournament run. 

This game will also be the final non-conference test before the Panthers jump into ACC play. Ohio State stands as the most competitive team on Pitt’s non-conference schedule, making this a must-win for the Panthers. 

Football vs. Virginia Tech — Oct. 8, time TBD

Many of the football program’s difficult ACC contests are road games, but Virginia Tech stands as the most competitive ACC team the Panthers will face at Heinz Field. The Hokies notoriously wield a stellar defense, and this year will be no different. Virginia Tech will have a better returning defense than any of Pitt’s ACC opponents, ranking fifth in the conference in total defense last season. With their potent defense, Virginia Tech could stymie the new-look Panther offense. 

This game could also play a factor in the ACC Coastal race. Virginia Tech typically proves to be a perennial competitor in the ACC Coastal. But with the rise of Pitt’s football dominance last season, the Panthers may prove too much to handle for the Hokies. 

Football vs. Syracuse — Nov. 5, time TBD

Many Pitt fans may not know that Pitt has an established rivalry with Syracuse. This will be the 77th meeting between the two sides, with Pitt leading the series with 42 wins. Pitt fans shouldn’t sweat this rivalry game too much, as the Panthers trounced the Orange last season by 17 points. Still, the game will provide the Panthers a much-needed visit to Heinz Field in the midst of a difficult ACC road schedule.