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Vukovcan: The 2018 Season Isn’t Over for Pitt



Despite the disappointment of what took place in Chapel Hill on Saturday, the Pitt season hasn’t ended and they have a lot of games to still play.

Judging from comments and tweets since Saturday’s loss, many Pitt are pissed at what they’re seeing and want the season to end.

Hey, I get it, you’re frustrated and just want a winning football program to follow and cheer for. Considering what you’ve had to watch and go through over the last 25 years, you have every right to feel that way.

While you might be able to write off this season already, the Pitt football program can’t and trust me, they won’t.

As they do every after every game–win or lose–the coaches showed up for work early Sunday morning, watched the tape to see what went wrong and put together a plan to beat Central Florida.

No one associated with the program is going to quit; nor should they.

Why? Opportunity and talent.

Because they have plenty of opportunities remaining on the schedule to earn a marque win that could change the outlook of the season.

Do you think the overall mood will change if Pitt is able to go on the road and upset #13 UCF?

Am I predicting it’s going to happen? I’m out of the prediction business but considering the upsets they’ve pulled over the last couple of seasons it wouldn’t shock me.

But the Panthers are 14.5 point underdogs. It won’t be easy–nor will their next five games.

Pitt’s next five opponents, Central Florida, Syracuse, Notre Dame, Duke and Virginia have a combined record of 18-1.

After what we’ve watched this year, does that schedule look daunting? Of course it does. But if you’re a glass half full person, it can also be looked at as an opportunity.

Over the remaining eight games, Pitt has an opportunity to beat plenty of quality teams, which can turn all the current doom and gloom into optimism and excitement.

This has to be the message coming from Pat Narduzzi, who’s facing the biggest adversity of his head coaching career.

The other reason that this season is far from being over is that despite what many think, I still believe this team has talent to win some meaningful games.

I’m not trying to double down on my previous prediction–maybe I’m just stubborn–but I still believe this Pitt team is more talented than what we’ve seen so far.

The quarterback and defense, two positions that I thought would be the strengths of the team, haven’t come close to living up to their potential.

Let’s keep in mind, despite all the extremely high expectations that were placed upon him, Kenny Pickett is a sophomore that’s made a total of five college starts.

I still firmly believe he’s a talented player that’s going to be a great college quarterback but he’s extremely young and inexperienced.

As far as the defense goes, they can’t use inexperience as an excuse. They will need to get better quickly or Pitt won’t have a chance to upset anyone.

The fortunes of this season rest upon how well the defense performs.

Is that drastic? Yes, but it’s true.

Whether it’s scheme, personnel or whatever, this unit has way more talent than we’ve seen.

If Pitt’s defense is able to contain and slow down this high-powered Central Florida offense, that will be an encouraging sign for the remainder of the season.

Teams with talent that are getting criticized, facing adversity and seemingly in a must-win situation usually respond with their best effort of the season.

Let’s find out on Saturday if Pitt is one of those teams.

Sandy Schall, Coldwell Banker
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