The current 3-game losing streak has taken a lot of air out of the 2020 Pitt football season as negativity is dominating the fan base.
With the perceived talent on the roster, an eight or nine win season seemed realistic. But now most fans are having a hard time finding two wins on the remaining schedule.
Unfortunately for the last 30 years this has been what it’s like following Pitt football.
The other thing that fans have come to expect during times like this is for Pitt to do something completely unexpected.
The line for today’s game has Notre Dame as 10 point favorites which has more than a few people scratching their heads. A friend of mine texted me “Am I missing something? I may bet my house on Notre Dame.”
Pitt has no chance, right? The Fighting Irish are ranked No. 3 in the country, Kenny Pickett won’t play, Pitt’s shaky offensive line is facing a strong Notre Dame defensive line and Pitt has no confidence entering today’s matchup.
Common sense tells anyone that follows football that Notre Dame should comfortably cover the spread but considering the recent history of Pitt, maybe there’s more than meets the eye.
Regardless of the current 3-game losing streak, Pitt isn’t a bad football team. They didn’t lose those games because of a lack of talent, more so because of self-inflicted wounds like penalties, undisciplined play and some questionable coaching.
Even without Pickett, Pitt has enough talent on their roster to be in this game and even win it. The talent on defense alone is capable of having enough of an impact to influence the outcome. Patrick Jones, Rashad Weaver, Keyshon Camp, Cam Bright, Paris Ford and Damar Hamlin are playmakers with the ability to change a game.
The big question is whether the offense will be able to sustain drives and score touchdowns instead of kicking field goals when entering the redzone. Will the offensive line give Joey Yellen enough time to get the ball to playmakers like Jordan Addison, Taysir Mack, DJ Turner and will Mark Whipple open things up a bit instead of being vanilla?
Despite what he says, Pat Narduzzi is very aware of all the negative comments being made about him and his program and has no doubt reminded his players about that throughout the week. During times like this, all coaches love to use the disrespect card as a way to motivate the team. I’d like to think the players realize the importance of this game, the national name they’re facing and don’t need outside factors as motivation.
Today could be a season changing game for Pitt because dropping to 3-4 would cement a disappointing season and run the risk of it turning into a disaster. If they can pull the upset, it could jumpstart them with upcoming games against Florida State, Georgia Tech and Virginia Tech.
Will Pitt surprise everyone and pull the upset against Notre Dame?
I’m not going to bet the house against them and I will be surprised if this isn’t a close game heading to the 4th quarter. I’ve seen enough of Pitt to tell me that regardless of what my head is telling me, the Panthers will make this a game and it could even turn out to be a turning point for their season.