Pitt schedules Western Michigan for 2021, 2022 football seasons
Pitt has scheduled home-and-away games with Western Michigan of the Mid-American Conference for the 2021 and 2022 seasons.
The teams never have met.
The first game will be played Sept. 18, 2021, at Heinz Field, the week after Pitt visits Neyland Stadium to play Tennessee for the first time since 1983. The road game with the Broncos will be Sept. 17, 2022, at Waldo Stadium in Kalamazoo, Mich., after Pitt opens the season at home against West Virginia and Tennessee.
The 2021 season also will include an ACC cross-over game against Clemson in its first visit to Heinz Field. Clemson has won two of the past three national championships.
Western Michigan has been a middle-of-the-pack MAC team since former coach P.J. Fleck led the Broncos to a 13-1 season in 2016. Fleck left for Minnesota after that season.
In the past two seasons under coach Tim Lester, Western Michigan is 13-12 with losses to Power 5 schools Syracuse (55-42), Michigan (49-3), USC (49-31) and Michigan State (28-14).
The West Virginia game in 2022 will be Pitt’s first against its long-time rival since 2011 and will kick off a four-game series with the Mountaineers through 2025. It will be the 105th game in the Backyard Brawl series.
Into the next decade, Pitt has scheduled a variety of schools that rarely appear on the schedule. They also include:
• Cincinnati (2023-24), a former Big East rival that Pitt hasn’t played since 2012.
• Wisconsin (2025-26), first games since 1967.
• Marshall (2020) in the completion of a home-and-away series that started in 2016 at Heinz Field with the first game between the two schools.
Pitt played one of its most difficult non-conference schedules on record last season, playing Penn State, Central Florida and Notre Dame before coach Pat Narduzzi’s team won the ACC Coastal Division championship for the first time.
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Jerry DiPaola is a Tribune-Review staff writer. You can contact Jerry by email at [email protected] or via Twitter .