The game marked the final regular-season appearance for 21 Pitt seniors, among them major contributors such as William “Tutu” Ferguson, Claude Harriott, Corey Humphries, Dan LaCarte, Andy Lee, Brandon Miree, Lewis Moore, Matt Morgan, Lousaka Polite, Rod Rutherford, John Schall, Shawntae Spencer and Kris Wilson.
Pitt’s seniors were introduced one by one prior to the balance of the Panthers’ squad emerging from the tunnel.
Of course, Saturday marked the final regular-season appearance for the visitor’s, as well. And as it turned out, Miami’s senior class had a number of reasons to celebrate, including a 52-8 record since 1999 entering Saturday night’s game against Pitt; one national championship and three Big East titles while remaining in contention for a fourth heading into the Pitt game; a 32-3 Big East record prior to battling the Panthers; 3-1 in bowl games since 1999 and ranked in the nation’s top 20 every week of their careers, including all but four weeks in the top 10 since 2000.
Plenty of NFL scouts were also on hand, as press box sets were reserved for employees of the Baltimore Ravens, Minnesota Vikings, New York Giants, Buffalo Bills, Washington Redskins, Arizona Cardinals, New Orleans Saints, New York Jets, Jacksonville Jaguars, Indianapolis Colts, Tampa Bay Buccaneers, Cincinnati Bengals and Detroit Lions.
Bills director of football operations Tom Donahoe, who formerly had the same title with the Steelers, was among the scouts on hand.