Pittsburgh Panthers Predictions: The Final 6 Games

Posted on Aug 16 2017 - 7:11pm by Jordan Kiebler
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Photo of Panthers head coach Pat Narduzzi courtesy of Gene J. Puskar/Associated Press.

A lot of injuries have occurred since my last article was published. Do I think that changes the first six games? No, I don’t.

Pitt will still go 4-2.

However, it was a toss-up for some of the later games on the schedule, and I believe Pitt’s youth and lack of experience will unfortunately start to show.

Let’s dive in.

Pitt vs. North Carolina State – LOSS

The Wolfpack were sneaky good last year. A few plays away from being pretty good. They know who will be the quarterback, the same name from last year. The Boise State transfer, Ryan Finley. He shouldn’t be losing much sleep at night when he thinks about his offensive line. They are returning four starters.

Jaylen Samuels, a senior slot receiver, returns as their leading target. He has 31 touchdowns in 39 games.

The defensive line is one of the best in the ACC, featuring Bradley Chubb, an ALL-ACC pick.

The biggest concern will be their secondary as more new faces will be in the mix.

This was one of my toss-ups and with all the injuries and such, I think Pitt loses to NC State.

Pitt at Duke – WIN

Duke has a season to forget last year finishing with a 4-8 record. Although Blue Devil fans shouldn’t be running for the fences yet.

Their quarterback is looking to fit in just find under David Cuctliffe. Daniel Jones threw for over 2,500 yards and 16 touchdowns last year. The big 6’5” 210 pound quarterback will try to lead the team to a better record.

DeVon Edwards will no longer be fielding kicks. He was a game changer at Duke, returning six kicks during his career. With him gone, their special teams game will be rebounding from his stellar career.

The biggest question is the defense.

Too many questions still remain for the team and this is why I think Pitt wins.

Pitt vs. Virginia – WIN

Virginia had an absolutely terrible year last year. The Cavaliers finished 2-10 and nothing looked good on either side of the ball.

Kurt Benkert will be taking the snaps again this year after being benched last year. Taquan Mizzell, the offenses most effective weapon has graduated and Daniel Hamm will more than likely take his place.

Micah Kiser returns at linebacker after he thought about declaring for the draft, but decided to come back. Kiser was third in the nation with 134 tackles.

Bronco Mendenhall gave fans a lot of hope when he was hired, but then he started to choke on his words. Still a lot of question marks at Virginia, and I think they are still a few years from being back in the picture.

Pitt will win this game.

Pitt vs. North Carolina – WIN

Mitch Trubisky, Elijah Hood and Ryan Switzer are all gone. That should be enough to let Pitt win this game.

Louisiana State University grad transfer Brandon Harris will likely take Trubisky’s place under center. Austin Proehl returns as a wide receiver with plenty of talent and experience to be a big time offensive leader.

One of Proehl’s best games last year was against Pitt when he racked up nearly 100 yards against the Panthers.

It’s going to be really tough to fill in the spots in the backfield. Auburn grad transfer Stanton Tuitt doesn’t have much experience. Jordan Brown only rushed for 45 yards last year, and a couple true freshmen are options as well.

All in all it’s a rebuilding year for Larry Fedora. You don’t replace guys like Trubisky overnight.

Pitt wins and should have extra motivation after last year’s last second loss.

Pitt at Virginia Tech – LOSS

Jeord Evans. Isaiah Ford and Bucky Hodges are all gone. Phew.

Travon McMillian should be receiving a heavy work load in the backfield since Evans won’t be there. Cam Phillips should step up as the No. 1 receiver this year as well.

Going to be tough to go down to VT and try to beat them in that environment, arguably one of the best in college football.

This was another toss-up for me, but it will come down to a healthy roster.

Virginia Tech will win.

Pitt vs. Miami – LOSS

Mark Richt will have this program back to the old “U” days in no time. I see Miami returning to a national powerhouse again in the years to come. So watch out for that.

With Brad Kaaya leaving, Miami looks to replace such a talent at the quarterback position. Malik Rosier will probably be the starter, but nothing is certain yet.

Mark Walton returns as the tailback after a 1,100-yard season and 14 touchdowns.

Ahmmon Richards, the extremely talented wide out broke records last year and opened up the eyes of Hurricane fans. With both Richards and Walton back, the offense has enough play makers to change the outlook of games.

The entire front seven on defense returns. However, they are replacing all four starters in the secondary.

Just a tough, tough game for Pitt to win. It would be fun to see these two teams rival against each other again like the old days in the Big East.

Miami will win.

Final Thoughts

I believe Pitt will finish at 7-5 this year. Too many injuries, too many question marks, and a 5-star recruit who isn’t at camp yet.

I hope the Panthers prove me wrong.

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