VT Game Notes

PITT (5-4, 4-1 ACC) vs. VIRGINIA TECH (4-4, 3-2 ACC)

November 10, 2018 • 3:30 p.m., ET

Heinz Field (68,400/Natural Grass) • Pittsburgh, Pa.

ESPNU • Pitt IMG Sports Radio Network

PittsburghPanthers.com • @Pitt_FB

LINK (PDF): Pitt Game Notes (vs. Virginia Tech)


  • Following a pair of pulsating victories, the Panthers enter their final home game of the season looking to stay atop the Coastal Division and earn bowl eligibility with a win over Virginia Tech.
  • Pitt currently leads the Coastal with a 4-1 mark in ACC play. The Panthers are 5-4 overall and need one more victory to be eligible for a bowl invitation.
  • The game is important for sentimental reasons as well. Before Saturday’s kickoff, Pitt will honor 19 senior players who are making their final home appearance at Heinz Field.
  • A win over Virginia Tech would give Pitt its first three-game winning streak since November 2016.
  • Virginia Tech, despite losing its last two games, entertains Coastal title hopes as well. The Hokies currently occupy third place in the division with a 3-2 mark, right behind second-place Virginia (4-2) and the Panthers.
  • The Panthers’ recent surge has been keyed by a powerful rushing attack. Pitt is averaging 230.8 yards per game to rank 20th nationally and third in the ACC. Virginia Tech enters Saturday’s matchup surrendering 177.8 rushing yards per contest.
  • Darrin Hall was the workhorse in Pitt’s 23-13 win at Virginia. Hall, the Walter Camp National Offensive Player of the Week, churned out 229 yards and three TDs against a Cavs defense that was yielding only 113 rush yards per game.
  • With 819 rushing yards this year, Qadree Ollison ranks third among ACC ball carriers. Ollison is striving to become only the sixth player in Pitt history to achieve multiple 1,000-yard rushing seasons.
  • Only a sophomore, Alex Kessman has the most 50-yard field goals in Pitt history with six. Four of those kicks occurred this season, including a game-clinching 53-yarder last week at Virginia.

    This marks the 18th meeting between Pitt and Virginia Tech in a series that dates back to 1993…Virginia Tech leads the overall series, 10-7, and has won each of the past two games…the Hokies defeated Pitt last year, 20-14, in Blacksburg and 39-36 at Heinz Field in 2016…despite the two-game losing streak, the Panthers have still won six of the past nine games in the series…Pitt is 5-4 at home and 2-6 on the road against Virginia Tech…the Panthers are 4-1 all-time against the Hokies at Heinz Field, the lone loss occurring in 2016…Pitt and Virginia Tech meet annually as Coastal Division members and the Hokies lead the ACC series, 3-2…the initial 11 games of the series were played when both schools were members of the Big East…the Panthers lost the initial four meetings before earning their first victory in 1997, a 30-23 decision at Pitt Stadium…five of Pitt’s wins have come against nationally ranked Virginia Tech squads (No. 13 in 2012, No. 5 in 2003, No. 3 in 2002, No. 12/13 in 2001 and No. 19/20 in 1997)…one of the most memorable games occurred in 2003 when a late touchdown by fullback Lousaka Polite lifted Pitt past the Hokies, 31-28, in an ESPN primetime battle of Top 25 teams at Heinz.


Television • ESPNU

Kevin Brown (play-by-play), Andre Ware (analyst)

Pitt Radio • 93.7 The Fan & the Pitt IMG Sports Network

Bill Hillgrove (play-by-play), Pat Bostick (analyst), Larry Richert (reporter)

SiriusXM Satellite Radio

Sirius Channel 108, XM Channel 194, Internet Channel 956

WPTS Radio (Pitt Student Station) • 92.1 FM

Pitt IMG Sports Network Online Audio Options


Pitt Panthers Gameday App

TuneIn (free live and on-demand content)

18 thoughts on “VT Game Notes

    1. I was at that game as a student. Headline got it right, just couldn’t get any worse. What a debacle. I think harris’ second year when we went 2-9


  1. Here’s a sobering thought: against D1 opponents, this will only be the 2nd time this season that Pitt will be favored. The only other time? UNC

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I see this as a game against 2 evenly matched teams, and VT is coming off a poor showing, so they’ll likely have renewed focus and be ready to go. Keep in mind, VT beat Duke pretty bad, at Duke, whereas it looked like Duke was superior to us for about 3 and 1/2 quarters, in our house.

    Let’s hope the breaks keep going our way. We had enough breaks go against early in the season that I’d like to think our run of luck should keep rolling, I hope at least for one more week!


  3. I also see that VT is 1-3 at home, but 3-1 on the road. And their one road loss is to Old Dominion, where there was probably a large number of VT fans. Pitt better come prepared.


  4. I’ve had an uneasy feeling going into every game this year. I think SOP has taken over my body. Somehow, we are figuring out a way to win, despite having no passing game and a very inconsistent defense. I just hope that the fan base recognizes the importance of this game, and comes out to support the team. Heinz does have the potential to be a great venue when people show up and get loud. I’ll hit the road Friday and look forward to seeing Fran, Joe and the boys at the POV tailgate.


  5. I was curious to see how Pitt and VT match up and looked at the rankings of each team’s units. Here are some thoughts.

    When Pitt has the ball…

    Pitt is ranked 19th nationally in rushing
    VT is ranked 60th against the run

    Pitt is ranked 125th nationally in passing
    VT is ranked 54th against the pass

    When VT has the ball…

    Pitt is ranked 76th against the run
    VT is ranked 89th running the ball
    ADVANTAGE: Slight edge to Pitt

    Pitt is ranked 88th in pass defense
    VT is ranked 61st in passing
    ADVANTAGE: Slight edge to VT

    Special teams…

    Pitt has had very good performances from its special teams units as of late
    VT’s “Beamer Ball” is not what it used to be under the old regim.
    ADVANTAGE: Slight edge to Pitt

    Other thoughts…

    VT runs a base 4-3 and morphs into a 4-2-5 when playing against spread and pass happy offenses. Will be interesting to see if Pitt has more success with the jet sweeps this weekend. Bud Foster will have his hands full, but he’s very capable.

    VT lost one of its starting CBs last week to a broken arm and depth is an issue for the Hokies.

    Hokies have the edge at QB, even if Ryan Willis is not a top 25 QB.

    If Pitt can run the ball the way they want, minimize penalties and avoid turnovers I like our chances. If VT can keep it close throughout the game, it’s a toss-up. My two cents.

    Liked by 3 people

  6. “D-coordinator Robb Smith fired by Minnesota after big loss to Illinois”

    Wow the Golden Gophers haven’t been relevant since the early 1960’s. Are we to assume they
    are actually serious about football. In scandanavian minnesota and crazy Minneapolis.

    I don’t think so !


  7. Jay..greeeeaaaat artricle..I am so fired up I could run through a brick wall( if our OL started a hole in it)…you nailed it “something’s happening here, what it is ain’t exactly clear.” I am coming home-one game at a time. These kids are busting tail and deserve to have our butts in seats…get there and cheer them on…tickets are dirt cheap on stubhub…Ike and me will be holding court in club sections 201 and 211 ..cost a whopping $60 for a 50 yard line club seat-that’s crazy..DO YOUR PART FANS and BE THERE !!!

    H2P and WUPsum….

    Liked by 2 people

    1. I watached the UVA game the other night on DVR. Its clear two players were running around with a WUP flag after the game ended. Perhaps the WUP flag will become PItt’s version of the VT lunchbox?

      Liked by 1 person

  8. If I could at any way break away from my 7 month pregnant wife and 18 month old I would cash in all my frequent flyer miles and come to this game from Atlanta. It’s that big of a deal. Heck I may just mortgage my kitchen passed for the next six months and do it anyway.

    Either way, I want to be there to support this team and the 19 seniors that have busted their asses for 4-5 years (and believe me, college football is a job). Are they perfect? No. Does the adminstration always give us what we want and what the program needs? No? Does the coaching staff even know what it’s doing half the time? Who knows? But we are on the cusp on the first acc coastal division championship in Pitt football history, and while we might just Same Old Pitt it away, these 19 rag-tag, three-star seniors, have an opportunity to deliver us a division championship. And that in and of itself warrants our support. Hail To Pitt

    Liked by 4 people

    1. Well I must be in the right career because I talked my wife into giving me that kitchen pass. Yep flying up into 35 degree weather to watch us fall flat on our faces, er i mean support the team…haha.

      All that being said, I’m hoping I can get some help from you fellow POV’ers!

      Tailgate / Pregame Drinking. If you have a tailgate and are looking for an extra Pitt fan to add to the fun let me know where you will be.
      Seats. Haven’t bought a ticket yet and would much prefer to sit next to some honest to goodness Pitt fans. If you have sets let me know what section and row and i’ll see if i can locate nearby.
      Optional – Planning to crash at the Red Roof Inn by the airport, but if anybody has a couch or a guest room I will gladly accept your hospitality 🙂

      Hail 2 Pitt and Lock the Gates!!! (haha sorry Reed I know you hate that)


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