2015-16 Football Previews – (ACC) – Pitt
It’s tough to think teams completely erase the memories from the previous season. However, Pittsburgh returning players and coaches have to licking their chops to get back on the field.
NCAA Football Gambling Lines
ACC 2015-2016 College Football Preview – Pitt Panthers
Head Coach: Pat Narduzzi
2014 Record: 6-7
Dukes Odds to ACC: 30/1
The last time Pittsburgh played, they saw Houston score 23 straight points in the 4th quarter, recover 2 onside kicks, en route to a 35-34 loss in their bowl game.
The Panthers return their main starting core in the backfield which could spell a giant success for this coming season.
Pittsburgh endured quite the mid-season debacle in 2014, as it dropped 6 of 7 after starting 3-0. It’ll welcome in a new head coach in Pat Narduzzi, who walks into a tough situation.
After playing well below what fans and boosters expected in 2014, Narduzzi has to work with what he’s got and go with the “win now” mentality.
Returning Core: Pittsburgh welcomes back their entire offensive core that led them to 31.8 points a game.
At QB, Jr. Chad Voytik returns from a season that saw him throw for 2233 yard and 16 touchdowns. Voytik played extremely well as he only threw 7 interceptions, but he took 20 sacks in 2014. He seemed to try and do way too much a times and will have to learn to see another down this coming season.
At RB, James Conner comes back off an extremely impressive 2014. Connor rushed for 1765 yards along with 26 rushing touchdowns. He got a lot of the work load and never broke stride throughout the entire season.
At WR, the main guy Tyler Boyd is back out wide. Boyd caught 78 passes for 1261 yards in 2014. He was easily Voytik’s number one go to guy in passing downs.
Breaking, not bending: Pittsburgh was the complete opposite of the “bend, not break” theory. When they started to bend, they completely broke, extremely quick. They missed an easy field goal against Duke as time expired to seal their fate and saw Houston get 2 onside kicks late in their bowl game.
The problem here is Pat Narduzzi had that mentality when it came to Michigan State’s defense. He would occasionally bring the house on random downs to try and force the QB into a sack or bad decision. That worked at times, but other times they allowed the big play.
If he brings that concept into Pittsburgh’s program, are they good enough to recover from the times they get burned? If one was to ask that question last season, the answer would probably be no.
If this happens in 2015, Pittsburgh needs to be a team that takes things more in stride and doesn’t panic or collapse during momentum swings.
2015 Pittsburgh Panthers Prediction: 9-3
The Panthers welcome in a new coach with a very suspect defense. Although, the returning threats and playmakers on the offensive side of the ball are such a nice look for them.
Pittsburgh’s offense was explosive in both aspects of passing and running. They were able to keep teams honest and use the play action to their advantage many times.
With that, Pittsburgh’s offense could find themselves in shootouts at times, but they can easily be up for that challenge.
The Panthers make a splash this season in the ACC and have a solid year with a possible ACC Title game appearance pending a couple breaks.
2015 Pittsburgh Panthers Schedule
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