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Pitt schedules two-game football series with Utah

Pitt has agreed to a two-game football series starting in 2010 with Utah, which has ranked among the nation's best programs the past six seasons.

The Panthers will play at Utah Sept. 11, 2010 at Rice-Eccles Stadium in Salt Lake City in the first-ever regular-season meeting between the schools. The Utes will visit Heinz Field Oct. 15, 2011.

Pitt and Utah's only meeting came in the 2005 Fiesta Bowl, when the undefeated Utes beat the Panthers, 35-7.

Utah finished the 2008 season 13-0 and ranked No. 2 in the final Associated Press poll after beating Alabama, 31-17, in the Sugar Bowl. Utah plays in the Mountain West Conference, which is not a member of the BCS coalition. Utah has an impressive 59-16 record over the past six seasons.

"Pitt-Utah is one of those rarely played intersectional matchups that should be very appealing for our fans and national television," Pitt athletic director Steve Pederson said in a statement released by the university. "Utah has been one of college football's biggest winners over the past several years, giving us a challenging and compelling opponent."

Utah fills a void left when former Pitt athletic director Jeff Long allowed Clemson out of its two-game series with the Panthers, who now have one open date remaining on their 2010 schedule.

The Panthers will open at home in 2010 against New Hampshire on Sept. 4, then visit Utah Sept. 11, play host to Miami Sept. 25 and at Notre Dame Oct. 9. In 2011, Pitt will visit Iowa and play host to Buffalo, Maine, Utah and Notre Dame in a schedule that features eight games at Heinz Field.

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