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The Pitt News

The University of Pittsburgh's Daily Student Newspaper

The Pitt News

The University of Pittsburgh's Daily Student Newspaper

The Pitt News

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Chris Matthews poses for a photo at the Global Hub in Posvar Hall.
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’The energy is unmatched’: Students anticipate the 2023 Homecoming football game

Pitt+fans+at+the+football+game+against+Cincinnati+at+Acrisure+Stadium+on+Sept.+9.
Lucas Zheng | Senior Staff Photographer
Pitt fans at the football game against Cincinnati at Acrisure Stadium on Sept. 9.

With just a few days left until the weekend, students, alumni and the campus of Pitt eagerly await the arrival of homecoming festivities. 

Pitt’s first homecoming took place the weekend of Nov. 9-10 in 1928, and 95 years later the Panthers come together to celebrate once again. 

Homecoming is a time for students, alumni and the community to come together to celebrate school spirit and pride. From “I Love Pitt Day” to the 2023 Golden Gavel Society Brunch, to tailgating and the football game, this weekend is packed full of events for the entirety of the Pitt community. 

For senior bioengineering major Maggie Walker, her first homecoming at Pitt in 2020 suffered the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic, leaving a bleak first impression of what Pitt could offer for a homecoming weekend. 

This year she feels it’s finally come full circle, as the excitement and high energy preceding this weekend’s events compare so differently to that first homecoming experience. 

When asked about her feelings about the upcoming weekend, Walker expressed her anticipation for the eventful days to come. 

“I’m super excited,” Walker said. “I love all the festivities that come on campus with homecoming. It’s always a super fun time to be around. My extended family is coming for a little celebratory weekend and we’re all going to the game together.”

There’s no doubt the weekend is filled with the overwhelming feeling of camaraderie and community. Sophomore Andrew Miller, a natural science major, talked about the undeniable school pride and spirit that makes Pitt have a family feel to it.

“It’s not just current Pitt students showing their pride,” Miller said. “It’s prospective students interested in Pitt and alumni coming back to the game and remembering the tradition. It really shows that Pitt pride is built on tradition and it’s easy to unite everyone.”

Miller touched on finding belonging and connection throughout the Pitt community.

“Pitt pride is really a sense of belonging. It’s so unique in the sense that yes, we have around 20,000 people on campus, but it’s not just current students you find connection with. It’s the alumni who guided me in choosing Pitt, and one of the reasons I chose to become a Pathfinder. Everyone has an impact on each other and we’re willing to be a friendly community and share a family sense,” Miller said. 

Sophomore computer science major Brandon Moretti also weighed in on the energy and spirit of the Pitt student body and how it’s grown over the course of his two years.

“The energy of the student section is unmatched,” Moretti said. “Even when the game isn’t going the way we want it to, everyone still shows up and it’s a packed house in the student section. I gotta say, Pitt students have some of the best energy in college sports. The culture around Pitt has grown so much — it’s truly a vibrant student body that expresses its loyalty to the school.”

Moretti also talked about the impact of being a child of two Pitt alumni.

“Pitt’s been a big part of my whole life — to come here as a student and know that this is where my parents were in the ‘90s, it’s really cool to carry on the tradition,” Moretti said. 

The weekend also wouldn’t be complete without the highly anticipated football game. On Saturday, Oct. 14, the Panthers take on Louisville in hopes of a winning outcome after four straight losses to Cincinnati, West Virginia, North Carolina and Virginia Tech.

In light of redshirt senior quarterback Phil Jurkovec’s performance thus far in the season, Penn State transfer redshirt sophomore quarterback Christian Veilleux takes the field this Saturday as a starter in hopes of producing some much needed spark for the Pitt offense, according to head coach Pat Narduzzi.

With some pretty big changes in the lineup, Pitt fans are eager to see the team’s progression with someone new in the pocket. 

Moretti knows that the matchup is a difficult one, but hopes that the Panthers can edge out the Cardinals. 

“It’s going to be a challenging game, ” Moretti said. “Louisville is 6-0, and just came off beating a highly ranked Notre Dame team. I’m hoping we can get our game together and shock Louisville. I think the alumni being there will help to make the student section even more lively and hopefully help to get Pitt a win.” 

Walker hopes for the best outcome for her and her peers and remains optimistic.

“I think with the quarterback switch-up we have a good shot at winning this weekend,” Walker said. “So hopefully it will go in our favor.” 

Miller concluded that win or lose, it will still be a great weekend filled with alumni, students, events and celebration. But for Miller, a win would make everything a little sweeter.

“A Pitt victory and victory lights is never a bad thing to see,” Miller said.

About the Contributor
Camille de Jesus, Staff Writer