Pitt Football 2007: The schedule

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Sept. 1, Eastern Michigan, 6 p.m.: This will be the Panthers' sixth opener against a MAC opponent since 1999, and it means they likely will start on the right foot. Pitt has won the previous five such games by an average score of 31-7.

Sept. 8, Grambling, noon: Rod Broadway is in his first season as Grambling's coach and has an all-SWAC quarterback in Brandon Landers. What matters more, though, is that the main attraction will be the Grambling band.

Sept. 15, at Michigan State, noon: The good news for Pitt's defense is that former Spartans quarterback Drew Stanton has taken his act to the NFL. The bad news is that the Panthers have won once against Big Ten opponents in their past nine tries.

Sept. 22, vs. Connecticut, 7 p.m.: This is the Big East Conference opener and a must-win for the Panthers if they hope to get to a bowl game. The Huskies have won two of their three games against the Panthers.

Sept. 29, at Virginia, TBA: The Panthers opened last season by beating the Cavaliers at Heinz Field, 38-13, but they will find this game to be more challenging because Virginia did not discover star quarterback Jameel Sewell until the fourth game. Sewell started the last nine and was named a freshman All-American.

Oct. 10, Navy, 8 p.m.: This is the first meeting between these teams since 1989 and the last of the Panthers non-conference games. It's on a Wednesday night.

Oct. 20, Cincinnati, TBA: Dave Wannstedt is 2-0 against the Bearcats, but his defense will have their hands full. First-year Cincinnati coach Brian Kelly uses a pass-happy, five-wide receiver/no-huddle offense.

Oct. 27, at Louisville, TBA: Pitt's rebuilt defense will be put to the test by the Cardinals, who have scorched the Panthers for 90 points and 966 total yards in the past two meetings.

Nov. 3, Syracuse, TBA: Third-year Syracuse coach Greg Robinson could be on the hot seat if the Orange fall to the bottom of the Big East as expected. Pitt could need a win to have a shot at seven victories.

Nov. 17, at Rutgers, TBA: The Panthers had a chance to win the past two meetings in the fourth quarter but fell short. Heisman Trophy candidate Ray Rice ran for 225 yards against Pitt last year.

Nov. 24, South Florida, TBA: This is the Panthers' seventh home game and a win here might get them to seven -- a total they have not reached in the Wannstedt era -- and clinch a bowl bid. South Florida quarterback Matt Grothe is a dark horse for Big East player of the year.

Dec. 1, at West Virginia, TBA: Tailback Steve Slaton rushed for 215 yards, scored two touchdowns and added 130 yards receiving in the Backyard Brawl last season, but he was only the second-most productive Mountaineer. Pat White rushed for 220 yards, threw for 204 more and accounted for four touchdowns in 45-27 win at Heinz Field.



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