The Pinstripe Bowl features a Pittsburgh team that would love to pick up its ninth win — one more than in 2015 — in Pat Narduzzi’s second season running the show.
On the other hand, Northwestern came close against Big Ten heavyweights Ohio State and Wisconsin and would enjoy leaving the Bronx with a win to finish the season above .500.
Here’s what you need to know about today’s Pinstripe Bowl.
Pittsburgh vs. Northwestern, Pinstripe Bowl game time, details
Time 2 p.m. ET
Date: Wednesday, Dec. 28
Location: Yankee Stadium, Bronx, N.Y.
Weather: Mostly sunny, high 42
The line: Pittsburgh by 5
What channel is Pittsburgh-Northwestern in the Pinstripe Bowl on?
ESPN is televising the game.
How can I watch Pittsburgh-Northwestern online in the Pinstripe Bowl?
You can stream the game at WatchESPN.
How can I listen to Pittsburgh-Northwestern on the radio in the Pinstripe Bowl?
You can follow the game on ESPN radio.
Who is calling the Pinstripe Bowl for ESPN?
Ryan Ruocco is handling play-by-play with Mike Golic and Mike Golic Jr. as analysts and Paul Carcaterra as sideline reporter.
Pinstripe Bowl: Pittsburgh-Northwestern keys to the game
Pittsburgh began the season 2-0, including a win over a Penn State team that just missed making the College Football Playoff. Then, the Panthers finished the regular season with three consecutive wins, including one against Clemson, which made the playoff. So this Pittsburgh team (8-4) has big-game potential. It certainly can score. Pitt averaged 58.3 points per game in those final three outings and finished 11th in the nation with 42.3 points per game. The Panthers want to make it a shootout — they won their final game 76-61 against Syracuse and scored 41 points in the second half.
Which Wildcats show up?
At 6-6, Northwestern has been what you might expect — a little all over the place. The Wildcats scared Ohio State (another playoff team) in a 24-20 loss in Columbus, Ohio. They beat Iowa and Michigan State in back-to-back games. But Northwestern also lost to FCS Illinois State. QB Clayton Thorson (2,968 yards, 21 TDs), RB Justin Jackson (1,300 yards, 12 TDs) and WR Austin Carr (1,196 yards, 12 TDs) have proven to be a solid 1-2-3 punch.
Who do you stop?
Pitt hits you from a lot of angles. Nathan Peterman completed 59.7 percent of his passes for 2,602 yards, 26 TDs and just 6 interceptions. James Conner — he has a wonderful story — ran for 1,060 yards and 16 TDs. Quadree Henderson had three kickoff returns and a punt return for touchdowns this season.