For the being first time Pitt and West Virginia have brawled in Morgantown since 2012, Pitt's largely new group on the floor got quite the initiation.
While most the questions around the Riverhounds offseason have centered on who the team will add, the Hounds were sellers in their latest move.
The full-court press has been a calling card of West Virginia's teams during their recent run of success with four straight NCAA berths.
Coming off the first truly disappointing outcome of his Pitt tenure in Monday's 71-70 loss to Niagara, Jeff Capel had to toe a fine line.
Duquesne knew it was in for some running with Marshall coming to town, but the Dukes got it done with an all-hands-on-deck effort.
With a trip to the Sun Bowl booked after reaching the ACC Championship Game, the Pitt rushing game can take a fair bit of credit for making the reservation.
Pitt found itself behind and managed to rally, but no amount of Xs and Os was going to overcome what the Panthers were lacking.
The game itself was a loss, but Pitt football is trying to make the most out of their ACC Championship Game appearance, including on the recruiting trail.
Ten years after playing one of the ugliest bowl games — make that ugliest games, period — in Pitt history there, the Panthers are getting another crack at the Sun Bowl.
From Dennis Briggs to Alex Bookser to Kenny Pickett, Pitt players walked to the interview area with the look of a team that had been beaten.
The Panthers' reconfigured offensive line will have to improve quickly against a defensive line that arguably is the nation's best when Pitt faces No. 2 Clemson.
One team is grizzled title game veterans, the other debutants on the championship stage. But according to the coaches neither Clemson nor Pitt will be overwhelmed.
This year's City Game has the added intrigue of pairing teams from Pitt and Duquesne that appear to be in a similar spot and on the same trajectory.
It's stopping opposing teams, especially ones who can spread the field like the Tigers, that has given Pitt its most trouble over the course of the season.
Bowl season is nearly upon us, and fans from Pitt, Penn State and West Virginia soon will need to make their travel arrangements... but to where?
On the road against a ranked team, Pitt showed just how different this group is than last year's — and maybe many years before that, too.