Who Will Pitt Play In Its Lone Non-Conference Game?

AD Heather Lyke provides insight into revised football schedule

Matt Koll
July 30, 2020 - 11:02 am

PITTSBURGH (93.7 The Fan)- The ACC announced a re-working of its 2020 football schedule on Wednesday, one that does away with the standard 12-game season. Instead, it features a "plus one" model in which each conference team will play 10 games within the conference with one non-conference opponent added. 

In the ACC's case, they've added another school, Notre Dame, for the football season and the Panthers have kept that game on their schedule. So with Notre Dame considered an ACC school at least for this season, there still leaves a spot for that one game outside of the conference. Who will Pitt play?

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Related: Pitt To Play A Revised 11-Game Football Schedule

Director of athletics Heather Lyke joined The Fan Morning Show Thursday to talk about that and shed some light on the schedule changes in 2020. Lyke was asked by the morning show's Jim Colony when the decision would be made on an opponent and whether West Virginia would be considered. 

"Of course. Their athletic director Shane Lyons and I are awfully good friends and we would love it to be that game. But, the reality is, we have contracts with non-conference schools already in place and those agreements we will need to manage and honor if we can," said Lyke. "So we will most likely honor one of those current standing agreements."

Those agreements would be with Miami (Ohio), Marshall and Richmond, all games that were lopped off the 2020 schedule. It seems like Miami is the early front runner, as Lyke mentioned them in an answer to a question about bye games. 

"I do think that the group of five schools will figure out a way to keep their bye games and that's what we will most likely be doing as well with Miami, being it's regional. 

The biggest question is making sure that those schools can meet the medical guidelines. We have to ensure that they are committed to our medical guidelines and if they are, then we would be able and willing to play them. I certainly think the group of five schools are focused on that because that's going to be an expectation and they certainly want the competition." 

Pitt had Duke, North Carolina and Virginia dropped from their conference schedule in the restructure. But, Boston College, NC State, Louisville and Clemson were added. Apparently, Lyke and Pitt had very little to do with that decision. 

"We're aware but we're not really involved. We don't make those decisions. We had hoped probably for more Coastal opponents but this is the schedule that we were dealt. We're going to be thankful to be able to get the games in. 

Frankly, it is some of the best competition in the ACC and I think that speaks highly of who Pitt is and what our program looks like. We'll be ready to go. We've got a tougher road schedule but we'll be excited and I know coach Narduzzi and our staff will have them ready to go." 

You can hear the entire conversation with Pitt athletic director Heather Lyke on The Fan Morning Show, below.              

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