Pittsburgh football schedule: 3 toughest for Panthers

With two of the top offensive players in the country in running back James Conner and wide receiver Tyler Boyd, Pittsburgh will look to improve its position within the Coastal Division this season after finishing fourth behind Georgia Tech, Duke and North Carolina in 2014. The Panthers open up the year with three winnable non-conference games, but if they want to surpass their win total from a year ago, they’ll have to battle through a difficult road after the month of September.

Pitt will face no shortage of challenges on its 2015 schedule. On that slate, three games stick out as the most difficult.

3. at Georgia Tech, Oct. 17

One easy way to lose a football game in the first quarter is to cough up five lost fumbles, and the Panthers found that out the hard way in last year’s meeting with Georgia Tech. Before that game, Pitt was actually a half-game ahead of the Yellow Jackets in the Coastal standings. After the 56-28 blowout, however, Paul Johnson’s team cruised to a division title while Pittsburgh dropped three of its last five matchups.