1981 Pittsburgh Panthers football team

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1981 Pittsburgh Panthers football
Pitt Panthers wordmark.svg
Sugar Bowl champion
Sugar Bowl, W 24–20 vs. Georgia
Conference Independent
Ranking
Coaches No. 2
AP No. 4
1981 record 11–1
Head coach Jackie Sherrill (5th year)
Offensive coordinator Joe Moore (1st year)
Offensive scheme Multiple pro-style
Defensive coordinator Foge Fazio (3rd year)
Base defense Multiple front
Home stadium Pitt Stadium
(Capacity: 56,500)
Seasons
← 1980
1982 →
1981 Division I-A independents football records
Conf     Overall
Team W   L   T     W   L   T
#3 Penn State           10 2 0
#4 Pittsburgh           11 1 0
#8 Miami           9 2 0
Southern Miss           9 2 1
#17 West Virginia           9 3 0
Colgate           7 3 0
Virginia Tech           7 4 0
Navy           7 4 1
Cincinnati           6 5 0
Florida State           6 5 0
Holy Cross           6 5 0
Tulane           6 5 0
UNLV           6 6 0
South Carolina           6 6 0
Temple           5 5 0
Boston College           5 6 0
East Carolina           5 6 0
Northeast Louisiana           5 6 0
Louisville           5 6 0
Notre Dame           5 6 0
Rutgers           5 6 0
William & Mary           5 6 0
Syracuse           4 6 1
Richmond           4 7 0
Army           3 7 1
North Texas State           2 9 0
Georgia Tech           1 10 0
Memphis           1 10 0
Rankings from AP Poll

The 1981 Pittsburgh Panthers football team represented the University of Pittsburgh in the 1981 NCAA Division I-A football season. Despite having one loss, the Panthers were selected as national champions by the National Championship Foundation and Montgomery Full Season Championship,[1] although a national championship is not claimed by the school for this year nor are they popularly recognized that season's national champions.

Schedule[edit]

Date Time Opponent# Rank# Site TV Result Attendance
Sat. Sep. 5 1:30 p.m. Illinois No. 8 Pitt StadiumPittsburgh, PA W 26–6   46,022
Sat. Sep. 19 1:30 p.m. Cincinnati No. 7 Pitt Stadium • Pittsburgh, PA (River City Rivalry) W 38–7   40,172
Sat. Oct. 3 7:30 p.m. at South Carolina No. 4 Williams-Brice StadiumColumbia, SC ABC W 42–28   56,495
Sat. Oct. 10 1:00 p.m. at West Virginia No. 4 Mountaineer FieldMorgantown, WV (Backyard Brawl) W 17–0   54,280
Sat. Oct. 17 1:30 p.m. No. 11 Florida State No. 3 Pitt Stadium • Pittsburgh, PA W 42–14   55,112
Sat. Oct. 24 12:00 p.m. Syracusedagger No. 2 Pitt Stadium • Pittsburgh, PA (Rivalry) USA W 23–10   50,330
Sat. Oct. 31 1:00 p.m. at Boston College No. 2 Alumni StadiumChestnut Hill, MA W 29–24   25,500
Sat. Nov. 7 1:00 p.m. at Rutgers No. 1 Giants StadiumEast Rutherford, NJ W 47–3   34,636
Sat. Nov. 14 1:30 p.m. Army No. 1 Pitt Stadium • Pittsburgh, PA W 48–0   53,225
Sat. Nov. 21 1:30 p.m. at Temple No. 1 Veterans StadiumPhiladelphia, PA USA W 35–0   32,570
Sat. Nov. 28 12:00 p.m. No. 11 Penn State No. 1 Pitt Stadium • Pittsburgh, PA (Rivalry) ABC L 14–48   60,260
Fri. Jan. 1 8:00 p.m. vs. No. 2 Georgia No. 10 Louisiana SuperdomeNew Orleans, LA (Sugar Bowl) ABC W 24–20   77,224
*Non-conference game. daggerHomecoming. #Rankings from AP Poll released prior to game. All times are in Eastern Time.

Coaching staff[edit]

1981 Pittsburgh Panthers football staff
Coaching Staff
  • Jackie Sherrill – Head Coach
  • Foge Fazio – Assistant Head Coach/Defensive Coordinator/Linebackers
  • Joe Moore – Offensive Coordinator/Offensive Line
  • Joe Daniels – Quarterbacks
  • Bob Davie – Drop Backs
  • Joe Naunchik – Receivers
  • George Pugh – Tight Ends
  • Andy Urbanic – Running Backs
  • Ray Zingler – Rush Ends
  Support Staff
  • Alex Kramer – Administrative Assistant
  • Kevin Dickey – Recruiting Coordinator
  • Anthony Folino – Part-Time Assistant–Defensive Backs
  • Bob Matey – Part-Time Assistant–Defensive Line
  • Jim Miceli – Part-Time Assistant–Defensive Line
  • Michael Sherman – Part-Time Assistant–Offensive Line
  • Steve Heintzelman – Volunteer Coach
  Strength and Conditioning Staff
  • Buddy Morris – Weight Training Coordinator

Team players drafted into the NFL[edit]

Player Position Round Pick NFL Club
Emil Boures Center 7 182 Pittsburgh Steelers
Sal Sunseri Linebacker 10 267 Pittsburgh Steelers
Sam Clancy Defensive End 11 284 Seattle Seahawks

[2]

Awards and honors[edit]

  • Dan Marino, Fourth in Heisman Trophy voting

References[edit]