Connect with us
PSN is sponsored by Beaver County Auto

Opinion

Vukovcan: Pitt Looks like the Real Thing After UMass Demolition

Published

on

Optimism surrounded this Pitt football team to start the season and nothing happened at Heinz Field yesterday to change those opinions.

In fact, they might have increased and the early season Panther bandwagon no doubt picked up some passengers.

I’m not one of those new members because, if you’ve been paying attention to what I’ve written and tweeted over the last couple of months, you know that I’ve been bullish on this Pitt team and I’m even more so following the demolition of UMass.

Hey, I realize that wasn’t a good football team that Pitt beat but that shouldn’t take way from the impressive tape that Pat Narduzzi’s team put out for the rest of the country to see.

Regardless of the opponent, it was pretty easy to see that this Pitt 2021 team is different from other years because it’s fast, deep, very explosive on both sides of the ball and finally have a quarterback that looks the part of a star. That’s not something that this fan base has been able to say for quite some time.

It’s taken longer than it should have but the Pitt fan base has finally embraced and are all in on Kenny Pickett. During pregame introductions, no player received a louder cheer from the crowd than Pickett.

Those cheers only continued throughout the game as Pickett was the best player on football field. While his stats weren’t mind blowing (27-37, 272 yards, 2 touchdown, 0 interceptions and 39 rushing yards), he was plenty good enough and had a presence about him. There was a sense that every time Pitt was on offense that Pickett was going to lead them to the end zone.

Not sure when the last time I felt this way but I have as much faith in this Pitt offense getting the job done as I do in the defense. In the past, fans hoped and prayed that the offense could score 21-24 points in a game but that’s not the expectation this year. This Pickett led team has the talent to regularly and easily put up 30+ every game and if that happens with this defense, it could be a special season.

Hey I realize that it’s just one game and they’ll be facing a heck of a lot better teams throughout the season but this Pitt team has talent and a lot of it, especially from the sophomore and freshman classes.

Thanks to a super job recruiting, this Pitt program is DEEP.

In past seasons, Pickett was lucky to have two or three legitimate players that were dangerous playmakers but that’s not the case this year. On any given Saturday, Jordan Addison, Jaylon Barden, Lucas Krull, Jared Wayne, Taysir Mack, Shocky Jacques-Louis, Melquise Stovall are fully capable of having big games.

With this passing attack being legitimate and with the ability to make plays down the field instead of everything being short, that’s only going to benefit the running game. While I’m not crazy about not having a workhorse lead back yet, it was only the first game and I’m sure Narduzzi will settle on a couple of players instead of using six players like yesterday.

Depth isn’t reserved to the offense as the same can be said for Randy Bates unit. This group of linebackers is as talented as Narduzzi has fielded since taking over at Pitt. To no ones surprise , the defensive line will be above average with future stars just waiting in the wings to get on the field to make an impact.

While it’s important to be good defensively, to win big in today’s college football you must be able to lift up the scoreboard.

For the first time in many years, Pitt can do both and for that reason it will be a fun season and one in which fans will get off Narduzzi’s back because a 9+ win year is coming.

Sandy Schall, Coldwell Banker
Continue Reading
Advertisement
15 Comments
Subscribe
Notify of
guest
15 Comments
Oldest
Newest Most Voted
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments
Clark Martineau
Clark Martineau
19 days ago

I’m a big fan of Pitt, but let’s take it slow. Our team still has things to learn both on offense and defense. We will face a team on a different level next week. If we have four fumbles, missed defensive assignments, and special teams’ miscues, we will be in deep trouble.
So, get to work Panthers! What happens next Saturday depends on your preparation.
As always, Hail to Pitt!

kevin
kevin
19 days ago

I agree this Pitt team is very deep compared to other years. However, they can NOT make stupid penalties on drives like they always do, it kills the drive! Also we can’t leave our DBs on islands so much. It ALWAYS gives up a cheap TD or two per game. The safeties need to help out more or have more in the game and less LBs. I am optimistic about what could happen, but I was last year too. H2P!!!

Paul mcgrath
Paul mcgrath
19 days ago

I do think this is narduzzis best team and Lucas krull looks like a star at a position Pitt usually has a division 2 type talent at, but it still comes back to the offensive line and their ability to provide holes for the running backs. I was hoping to see them dominate and push back the umass d-line each and every running play, but unfortunately that wasn’t the case. As excited as I want to get I’m going to keep it to a minimum until I see this offensive line show they can be good. 11-2 is possible if… Read more »

Let's Believe
Let's Believe
19 days ago

I was excited last year when they beat Austin Peay 55-0 and started out 3-0. This team still has to go out and prove it. I agree with a lot of the things you are saying and I do believe this team has the potential to get to 10 wins and challenge for the Coastal. However, let’s keep them hungry with something to prove and not pump their heads full of telling them how good they are. That leads to players worrying about their top 25 ranking in week 4. There were still too many penalties and they need to… Read more »

Patrick
Patrick
19 days ago

Let’s not get ahead of ourselves, it is Pitt after all. Every year I think alright this is going to be a good year. After so many years of disappointment I am cautious. After all it was UMass.

Rich J
Rich J
19 days ago

You will not win throwing the ball on every down in the ACC, and our O-line is weak again this year as usual. This line has been trash since Paul Chryst and his recruits left.

section 122
section 122
18 days ago
Reply to  Rich J

Truth right here on assessment of Borbley’s lines.

Jeff
Jeff
15 days ago
Reply to  section 122

Imagine being Rich and section 122 and wanting to go back to Chryst and the days of Jaryd Jones Smith, Jester Weah and Rori Blair as some of the top talent on your roster. Give me a break. 😂😂😂

No disrespect intended but get a clue!

James from Florida
James from Florida
18 days ago
Reply to  Rich J

They didn’t, they threw 45 times and ran the ball 41 times, pretty much a balanced attack.

Jeff
Jeff
15 days ago
Reply to  Rich J

I don’t recall Paul Chryst bringing in any Branson Taylor or Ryan Baer type talent on the offensive line. Not even mentioning Goncalves and a few others. I’m not attempting to trash Chryst but this team is way deeper under Narduzzi in all aspects and it’s not even close. It’s true fans shouldn’t get ahead of themselves but this current Pitt roster is deeper and more talented than past rosters without question.

James from Florida
James from Florida
18 days ago

They took a nice step forward with winning in a very convincing manner, let’s see how much they improve regarding some of their mistakes they made in game one moving into game two.

Tennessee is implementing a new offensive system and should be very vulnerable to the Panthers defense.

If the offense can perform and not shoot them self in the foot with careless turnovers and penalties this should be a good test with Pitt coming out on top.

Pitt opens as a -2 to -2.5 underdog, looks like you should take the Panthers and the points.

section 122
section 122
18 days ago

pump the breaks and get back to me if they are 5-0 going into VT game

Smljf
Smljf
18 days ago

Might be the first time I’ve ever said this – Pickett didnt miss a throw. It’s the best I have ever seen him – the kid has a shot to play on Sundays if he keeps this up.

Pat Adonizio
Pat Adonizio
18 days ago

A bit over zealous, remember Umass is one of the least talented team in D1. We really won’t face a talented team til Vatech…Tenn venue is the real opponent this week, tho the talent will be an uptic from Umass. Let’s face it, the ACC was weak last few yrs and the 3 top teams lost their openers. 9 wins is expected with the sched and 11 wouldn’t surprise. I think we can be a top 15 team when it’s all said and done. Btw, Nardi showed no respect for Umass referring to it as a scrimmage.

Craig
Craig
18 days ago

I hope for 9 wins but Pitt always loses a game they are supposed to win, so I think 8 is more realistic. Pickett threw the ball well but he panics when there is any sign of pressure and scrambles out of the pocket. This will hurt the passing game and could show up when they are in a close game, but it didn’t make a difference against umass.

Duquesne BB

Get PSN in your inbox!

Enter your email and get all of our posts delivered straight to your inbox.

 
Like Pittsburgh Sports Now on Facebook!
Send this to a friend