For our PSN Die-Hards, we go beyond the box score with play tracking, analysis, depth charts and participation from each Pitt football game.
Last year, when Pitt visited UCF at Spectrum Stadium, I had just settled into my seat in the press box when the Pitt defense trotted out for their first possession of the game.
When I saw what they were doing, I nearly fell out of my chair.
Holy shit, it’s a nickel defense.
— Alan Saunders (@ASaunders_PGH) September 29, 2018
Pitt played most of the game against UCF last year in a 4-2-5 Nickel defense in order to try to keep up with the speed that the Knights were able to put on the field with frequent four-receiver sets and a track star at running back in Adrian Killins.
Needless to say, it didn’t really work.
The Knights scored 45 points, and more distressingly for Pitt head coach Pat Narduzzi, gashed the Panthers on the ground to the tune of 240 rushing yards and 140 receiving yards for Killins. That’s 380 yards out of the backfield.
This year, in the lead up to the game, I asked defensive coordinator Randy Bates if there was anything he was going to do differently this time around.