The COVID-19 pandemic cast a major cloud on whether college football would be played in 2020 and although we’re not sure how or if the entire season will played, we do know that Pitt will open the season this afternoon at Heinz Field against Austin Peay.
Despite losing defensive tackle Jaylen Twyman and cornerback Damarri Mathis for the season, Pitt will field their most talented team since Pat Narduzzi took over as head coach.
What makes this team different from other Pitt teams over the past few seasons?
The answer to that is not only depth but talented depth, playmakers on offense and an abundance of freshman that are capable of contributing.
The Panthers have an embarrassment of riches at the defensive side fo the ball and there most talented group of wide receivers in many years.
A big plus for Pitt this season, unlike in years past, the defense won’t have as much pressure this season because the panther offense should be able to light up the score board.
The offense struggled in 2019 because of inconsistent play from the running backs, the offensive line, and frankly from a lack of play maker. With the additions of Jordan Addison, Lucas Krull, Jaylon Barden, Ayden Henningham, Israel Abanikanda along with the return of Jared Wayne and Shocky Jacques Louis, this Pitt offense has the real potential to be explosive. Explosive and Pitt offense aren’t two words that we’ve used in the same sentence in quite some time.
With all that being said Kenny Pickett will finally quiet his critics and will be the MVP of the Pitt offense. As it is with most successful football teams, the key to a successful season is for consistent play from Dave Borbely’s unit upfront.
Last season, four of the five offensive lineman were starting lineman for the first time in their college careers. Those growing pains should have helped them and allow them to have success in 2020.
Now the big question is, with all this talent, how many wins will that transfer to?
I’m looking for Pitt to get off to a great start and to start off the 2020 season with a record of 5-0.
After that, the schedule gets very difficult but I believe Pitt will be able to keep their heads above the water. In my eyes, the Panthers two most difficult games will be at Miami and at Clemson.
Following their game in Death Valley, I look for Pitt’s final record to be 8-3. And they’ll finish in the top four of the ACC.