Since the Frank Beamer era, Pitt has been a familiar opponent of the Hokies. Beginning this season, the Virginia Tech–Pittsburgh series will continue on a permanent basis as conference and division foes. Second-year head coach Paul Chryst and The Panthers will look to improve on an up-and-down 2012 campaign that included 6 wins, a bowl appearance, near upset of Notre Dame, inexplicable loss to Youngstown State, and dominating win against Virginia Tech.
In his first season, Chryst inherited a capable quarterback, Tino Sunseri, and talented backfield, Ray Graham and freshman sensation Rushel Shell. None of the three will return in 2013. Sunseri and Graham were seniors, and Shell had California dreams (transfered to UCLA) after friction with the coaching staff.
Shell's decision — based partially on coaches' criticisms of Shell — reached a critical stage March 22 when he was hurt and pulled himself from practice