Pitt fan here

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#51
#53

Volfan1000

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#53
Greetings from the Burgh everyone.

First off, I'll be making the trip down to Knoxville on Friday from Pittsburgh. Based on what I've seen and heard, Neyland is supposed to be a fantastic venue with great atmosphere and fans, and am really looking forward to it (not to mention it's my first road trip since late 2018).

Just wanted to chime in and give "yinz" (google that if by chance you dont know what that is) a quick rundown as to what to expect from our Panthers, and how this intriguing matchup might shake down.

On offense, you all probably know we have our 4th year super senior starter Kenny Pickett at QB. The long and short of it he's an experienced kid with some strong performances over the last couple years, and the general consensus is this has to be "the" year for him to finally break through. In 2018 (his first full year starting) he didnt really have to do much because the offense was so run oriented (we had TWO backs each rush for over 1000 yards--Darrin Hall and Qadree Ollison). But there was virtually no passing attack to speak of, so Narduzzi hired Mark Whipple as the OC prior to 2019.

Basically Whipple's game is throw, throw, and throw again. Kenny likes to sling it all over the field, and they frequently come out of the shotgun, and have been running more tempo as of late, even moreso than the last couple seasons. The issue has been the running game, and Pitt over the last couple seasons has been terrible in red zone production. Now, we have a young back Izzy Abanikanda (a Soph) who theyre hoping can kind of fill the void since Ollison and Hall went to the NFL. The OL is good, not great. They cant run block very well, but they give Pickett a decent amount of time to throw the ball, and he's always a threat to run. The MAJOR difference is we have a tight end (finally). Lucas Krull is a big, NFL-sized TE who can leap up and make plays in the red zone, something we've been sorely missing since 2016. Pickett also has a ton of playmakers around him to choose to get the ball to. Main guys you'll need to watch are Jordan Addison, speedy slot receiver type, and Taysir Mack, who can stretch the field and can make acrobatic catches, albeit he's prone to dropping easy ones (go figure).

On defense, it's your typical Pat Narduzzi defense. The primary strength is the front 7, which is outstanding. They did lose Rashad Weaver and Patrick Jones to the NFL, but there is still a TON of depth up front, with John Morgan, Haba Baldonado, Keyshon Camp, Deslin Alexander, Dayon Hayes, and others backing them up. Because of the depth, Narduzzi tries to rotate guys in a lot. Similar to the linebackers, which is among the most experienced of the conference.

The secondary lost big names, namely Damar Hamlin and paris Ford, and also Jason Pinnock, but they have an experienced senior CB Damari Matthis starting, and Eric Hallett/Brandon HIll at the safety positions, who all saw a lot of time last year. The secondary for sure is the "weakest" part of the group. Good players of course, but they havent really been tested yet and are prone to give up a big play here and there.

Anyway, the way I see this game playing out: this will primarily get decided on how long Tennessee's OL gives Milton to throw the ball. My understanding is IF (big IF) he has time, the kid has the arm to chuck it down field. Which makes me nervous since our secondary might give up a big play here and there. If UT gives him time and has a couple shots down field, they can move the ball in a hurry and punch it in. However, Pitt's DL is nasty and has been at or near the top in sack the past two seasons, so they'll show Milton a ton of looks and be blitzing for sure.

Kenny Pickett needs to find Krull a lot in the middle of the field. It seems you guys have some experience in the secondary and that might limit our ability to make big plays down field. So my guess is Pickett will be using Krull and especially addison a lot to chip their way down the field.

The big intangible thing here that worries me that is working most against Pitt is: history. Pitt hasn't won an OOC road game against a P5 team since Notre Dame in 2008. And (get this), Pitt has never....I repeat NEVER....gone undefeated in the non-conference schedule since joining any conference. (Even back when we were in the Big East). Which is nuts. After this week's game, Pitt has WMU and New Hampshire at home, so If Pitt can actually buck this insane trend, theyll finally (probably) break that streak. But again, as someone noted on another thread...this is exactly the kind of game Pitt always loses.

That said, I like our chances because I love this defense, but who knows. There's a very "If not now, WHEN" vibe around the fanbase right now, so many are hopeful that they can pull one out on Saturday and finally have the season we've been waiting for for about 4 decades.

Anyway, looking forward to this trip, and to hang out with a great set of fans in an SEC environment. See yinz this weekend. H2P! --Chris

I would not mind seeing Pittsburgh and Tennessee play a home and home series in basketball as well because Barnes enjoys scheduling ACC teams in out of conference matchups.
 
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#54

jmcarr33

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#54
Greetings from the Burgh everyone.

First off, I'll be making the trip down to Knoxville on Friday from Pittsburgh. Based on what I've seen and heard, Neyland is supposed to be a fantastic venue with great atmosphere and fans, and am really looking forward to it (not to mention it's my first road trip since late 2018).

Just wanted to chime in and give "yinz" (google that if by chance you dont know what that is) a quick rundown as to what to expect from our Panthers, and how this intriguing matchup might shake down.

On offense, you all probably know we have our 4th year super senior starter Kenny Pickett at QB. The long and short of it he's an experienced kid with some strong performances over the last couple years, and the general consensus is this has to be "the" year for him to finally break through. In 2018 (his first full year starting) he didnt really have to do much because the offense was so run oriented (we had TWO backs each rush for over 1000 yards--Darrin Hall and Qadree Ollison). But there was virtually no passing attack to speak of, so Narduzzi hired Mark Whipple as the OC prior to 2019.

Basically Whipple's game is throw, throw, and throw again. Kenny likes to sling it all over the field, and they frequently come out of the shotgun, and have been running more tempo as of late, even moreso than the last couple seasons. The issue has been the running game, and Pitt over the last couple seasons has been terrible in red zone production. Now, we have a young back Izzy Abanikanda (a Soph) who theyre hoping can kind of fill the void since Ollison and Hall went to the NFL. The OL is good, not great. They cant run block very well, but they give Pickett a decent amount of time to throw the ball, and he's always a threat to run. The MAJOR difference is we have a tight end (finally). Lucas Krull is a big, NFL-sized TE who can leap up and make plays in the red zone, something we've been sorely missing since 2016. Pickett also has a ton of playmakers around him to choose to get the ball to. Main guys you'll need to watch are Jordan Addison, speedy slot receiver type, and Taysir Mack, who can stretch the field and can make acrobatic catches, albeit he's prone to dropping easy ones (go figure).

On defense, it's your typical Pat Narduzzi defense. The primary strength is the front 7, which is outstanding. They did lose Rashad Weaver and Patrick Jones to the NFL, but there is still a TON of depth up front, with John Morgan, Haba Baldonado, Keyshon Camp, Deslin Alexander, Dayon Hayes, and others backing them up. Because of the depth, Narduzzi tries to rotate guys in a lot. Similar to the linebackers, which is among the most experienced of the conference.

The secondary lost big names, namely Damar Hamlin and paris Ford, and also Jason Pinnock, but they have an experienced senior CB Damari Matthis starting, and Eric Hallett/Brandon HIll at the safety positions, who all saw a lot of time last year. The secondary for sure is the "weakest" part of the group. Good players of course, but they havent really been tested yet and are prone to give up a big play here and there.

Anyway, the way I see this game playing out: this will primarily get decided on how long Tennessee's OL gives Milton to throw the ball. My understanding is IF (big IF) he has time, the kid has the arm to chuck it down field. Which makes me nervous since our secondary might give up a big play here and there. If UT gives him time and has a couple shots down field, they can move the ball in a hurry and punch it in. However, Pitt's DL is nasty and has been at or near the top in sack the past two seasons, so they'll show Milton a ton of looks and be blitzing for sure.

Kenny Pickett needs to find Krull a lot in the middle of the field. It seems you guys have some experience in the secondary and that might limit our ability to make big plays down field. So my guess is Pickett will be using Krull and especially addison a lot to chip their way down the field.

The big intangible thing here that worries me that is working most against Pitt is: history. Pitt hasn't won an OOC road game against a P5 team since Notre Dame in 2008. And (get this), Pitt has never....I repeat NEVER....gone undefeated in the non-conference schedule since joining any conference. (Even back when we were in the Big East). Which is nuts. After this week's game, Pitt has WMU and New Hampshire at home, so If Pitt can actually buck this insane trend, theyll finally (probably) break that streak. But again, as someone noted on another thread...this is exactly the kind of game Pitt always loses.

That said, I like our chances because I love this defense, but who knows. There's a very "If not now, WHEN" vibe around the fanbase right now, so many are hopeful that they can pull one out on Saturday and finally have the season we've been waiting for for about 4 decades.

Anyway, looking forward to this trip, and to hang out with a great set of fans in an SEC environment. See yinz this weekend. H2P! --Chris
How many guys did y’all have go Pro? Was it 5? Impressive if so. Can’t wait til Saturday!
 
#56

VolPack22

Jessica Alba is my wife
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#56
Hope you have a great trip and enjoy your time in Tennessee. The Vol Navy, The Vol Walk, Rocky Top and running through the T are a few of the traditions we are most proud of. Neyland is one of the few remaining stadiums that still resemble that coliseum-type look. If you have never been it is a great atmosphere. Probably won’t be as great as your visit to Clemson since they have their program rolling. Our atmosphere easily eclipsed what they are doing in the 90s and early 2000s whenever we were rolling. All that being said, I hope you have a long trip back after the loss 😉
 
#59

Other_Guy

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#59
He's playing Tenn, so it's almost 100% chance he will be leading the Heisman contenders after the game.

Also, unless your front 7 is just top level SEC caliber, them giving him time is not a "big if". Him getting rid of the ball or scrambling for big yardage is however.
 
#61

sjt18

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#61
Greetings from the Burgh everyone.

First off, I'll be making the trip down to Knoxville on Friday from Pittsburgh. Based on what I've seen and heard, Neyland is supposed to be a fantastic venue with great atmosphere and fans, and am really looking forward to it (not to mention it's my first road trip since late 2018).

Just wanted to chime in and give "yinz" (google that if by chance you dont know what that is) a quick rundown as to what to expect from our Panthers, and how this intriguing matchup might shake down.

On offense, you all probably know we have our 4th year super senior starter Kenny Pickett at QB. The long and short of it he's an experienced kid with some strong performances over the last couple years, and the general consensus is this has to be "the" year for him to finally break through. In 2018 (his first full year starting) he didnt really have to do much because the offense was so run oriented (we had TWO backs each rush for over 1000 yards--Darrin Hall and Qadree Ollison). But there was virtually no passing attack to speak of, so Narduzzi hired Mark Whipple as the OC prior to 2019.

Basically Whipple's game is throw, throw, and throw again. Kenny likes to sling it all over the field, and they frequently come out of the shotgun, and have been running more tempo as of late, even moreso than the last couple seasons. The issue has been the running game, and Pitt over the last couple seasons has been terrible in red zone production. Now, we have a young back Izzy Abanikanda (a Soph) who theyre hoping can kind of fill the void since Ollison and Hall went to the NFL. The OL is good, not great. They cant run block very well, but they give Pickett a decent amount of time to throw the ball, and he's always a threat to run. The MAJOR difference is we have a tight end (finally). Lucas Krull is a big, NFL-sized TE who can leap up and make plays in the red zone, something we've been sorely missing since 2016. Pickett also has a ton of playmakers around him to choose to get the ball to. Main guys you'll need to watch are Jordan Addison, speedy slot receiver type, and Taysir Mack, who can stretch the field and can make acrobatic catches, albeit he's prone to dropping easy ones (go figure).

On defense, it's your typical Pat Narduzzi defense. The primary strength is the front 7, which is outstanding. They did lose Rashad Weaver and Patrick Jones to the NFL, but there is still a TON of depth up front, with John Morgan, Haba Baldonado, Keyshon Camp, Deslin Alexander, Dayon Hayes, and others backing them up. Because of the depth, Narduzzi tries to rotate guys in a lot. Similar to the linebackers, which is among the most experienced of the conference.

The secondary lost big names, namely Damar Hamlin and paris Ford, and also Jason Pinnock, but they have an experienced senior CB Damari Matthis starting, and Eric Hallett/Brandon HIll at the safety positions, who all saw a lot of time last year. The secondary for sure is the "weakest" part of the group. Good players of course, but they havent really been tested yet and are prone to give up a big play here and there.

Anyway, the way I see this game playing out: this will primarily get decided on how long Tennessee's OL gives Milton to throw the ball. My understanding is IF (big IF) he has time, the kid has the arm to chuck it down field. Which makes me nervous since our secondary might give up a big play here and there. If UT gives him time and has a couple shots down field, they can move the ball in a hurry and punch it in. However, Pitt's DL is nasty and has been at or near the top in sack the past two seasons, so they'll show Milton a ton of looks and be blitzing for sure.

Kenny Pickett needs to find Krull a lot in the middle of the field. It seems you guys have some experience in the secondary and that might limit our ability to make big plays down field. So my guess is Pickett will be using Krull and especially addison a lot to chip their way down the field.

The big intangible thing here that worries me that is working most against Pitt is: history. Pitt hasn't won an OOC road game against a P5 team since Notre Dame in 2008. And (get this), Pitt has never....I repeat NEVER....gone undefeated in the non-conference schedule since joining any conference. (Even back when we were in the Big East). Which is nuts. After this week's game, Pitt has WMU and New Hampshire at home, so If Pitt can actually buck this insane trend, theyll finally (probably) break that streak. But again, as someone noted on another thread...this is exactly the kind of game Pitt always loses.

That said, I like our chances because I love this defense, but who knows. There's a very "If not now, WHEN" vibe around the fanbase right now, so many are hopeful that they can pull one out on Saturday and finally have the season we've been waiting for for about 4 decades.

Anyway, looking forward to this trip, and to hang out with a great set of fans in an SEC environment. See yinz this weekend. H2P! --Chris
Welcome. You obviously know quite a bit about your team. You'd have to work pretty hard to know UT's considering the number of emerging players and changes brought by the new staff. Nothing you might think you've learned by watching the Vols over the last 3 years will tell you anything about this team. On O, UT went from a very conservative approach with a very flawed QB to an aggressive tempo offense. On D, UT went from a complex 3-4 scheme that seemed to confuse our guys more than the opponents to a simpler 4-2-5 designed to let the players play fast and aggressive. You probably couldn't find successive coaches at any program that approach the game more differently than Pruitt and Heupel.

For instance, you'd be tempted looking at the last couple of years to think UT is a bad rushing team. When you hear all the noise about losing the "top 2 backs"... you might write the Vols off completely. Obviously BGSU sucks almost as bad as UMass... but the Vols OL run blocked better than they have probably since before 2010. They blocked amazingly like they knew who to block and then got nasty with them. Heupel's whole scheme is designed around tempo so you'll get a steady diet of run plays with passing mixed in to wear down your DL. Not trying to give you a bad time but there seems to be a fairly significant drop off in your front 4 from the first line to their back ups. None appear to be ready to step into the shoes of the guys you lost. You had several sacks but blitzed quite a bit vs UMass. UT has talent on the OL and they appear to be doing much better in this scheme.

We're pretty proud of our DL coach- one of the best in CFB. UT's DT's spent the afternoon in BGSU's backfield and will try to do the same this weekend. UT has size and athleticism going 3 deep on the DL. UT's front 4 against your "good" OL will be a big key to the game. UT's secondary played well. We still have concerns about the LB's but UT plays a 4-2-5 and the star is excellent.

We really don't know what to think of Milton and the receivers or the passing game as a whole. If Milton throws well or else is replaced by one of the other two who throws well then this could go really good for UT. If he plays as bad as he did vs BGSU in the 2nd half... it won't.


For all the talk about Pickett, Milton, and skill players, this game will likely come down to the Line of Scrimmage. You don't need to run to win. UT does. You can win passing but not if UT can get good pressure up the middle. Going to be fun.
 
#62

sjt18

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#62
PS- how tightly pass interference is called may have an impact on the game. Pitt's secondary grabs and holds... A LOT. They did going back into last year.
 
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#63

DonDiego

I Am the Sheep That Was Lost, Madre
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#63
I didn't Google it, but I'm gonna make a wild guess that 'yinz' is roughly equivalent to "you'uns". Nobody ever said ain't no rednecks north of the mason dixon...lol. Welcome to Rocky Top..Welcome to SEC football. You're in for an eye opening experience. I hope you go home amazed, but I also hope you go home smarting from the loss. Go Vols!
 
#65

VFFL@THE BEACH

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#65
Yeah there is some familiarity with Heupel’s system, most recently being the game Pitt won in 2019, which ended their 33 or whatever game winning streak. Randy Bates (our DC) at least knows what to expect.
This game has been circled on the calendar for most of the fan base since the schedule came out earlier this year, as one that could define the season and set real momentum for the key October games (we haven’t started 4-0 since 2000). So I was A little surprised I guess When I’ve been reading that you guys feel the same way.
I’m really looking forward to the pregame festivities. My guess it’s gonna be a similar buildup to what Clemson does, which by the way we went to the 2016 game against them that we won, and it’s by far the best atmosphere I’ve ever been to. So I suspect Neyland is similar. (By the way in case many of you were wondering, penn state’s atmosphere is good, but nowhere near as good as they think it is. Clemson blows it out of the water).
Just for reference, my wife who has only been to a few UT games, said Clemson was cute.
 
#70

feathersax

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#70
You bet! I'm already looking forward to another fine meal or two at Max's Allegheny Tavern. I ate there 2 of the 3 nights I was up there for a conference a few years back...darn fine eatin'.
Never been to Pittsburg but have always wanted one of these. Great post, PittChris & welcome to East Tennessee & Neyland Stadium.
 

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#71

EricberryFAN

GO VOLS MAN!
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#71
Thank you for your insight. Enjoy the game man, nothing like Neyland and the Smokey mountains if you choose to see them. I wish the game wasn't at 12pm but that is probably more favorable for you guys.

Go Vols!
 
#72

ETSU VOL

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#72
Greetings from the Burgh everyone.

First off, I'll be making the trip down to Knoxville on Friday from Pittsburgh. Based on what I've seen and heard, Neyland is supposed to be a fantastic venue with great atmosphere and fans, and am really looking forward to it (not to mention it's my first road trip since late 2018).

Just wanted to chime in and give "yinz" (google that if by chance you dont know what that is) a quick rundown as to what to expect from our Panthers, and how this intriguing matchup might shake down.

On offense, you all probably know we have our 4th year super senior starter Kenny Pickett at QB. The long and short of it he's an experienced kid with some strong performances over the last couple years, and the general consensus is this has to be "the" year for him to finally break through. In 2018 (his first full year starting) he didnt really have to do much because the offense was so run oriented (we had TWO backs each rush for over 1000 yards--Darrin Hall and Qadree Ollison). But there was virtually no passing attack to speak of, so Narduzzi hired Mark Whipple as the OC prior to 2019.

Basically Whipple's game is throw, throw, and throw again. Kenny likes to sling it all over the field, and they frequently come out of the shotgun, and have been running more tempo as of late, even moreso than the last couple seasons. The issue has been the running game, and Pitt over the last couple seasons has been terrible in red zone production. Now, we have a young back Izzy Abanikanda (a Soph) who theyre hoping can kind of fill the void since Ollison and Hall went to the NFL. The OL is good, not great. They cant run block very well, but they give Pickett a decent amount of time to throw the ball, and he's always a threat to run. The MAJOR difference is we have a tight end (finally). Lucas Krull is a big, NFL-sized TE who can leap up and make plays in the red zone, something we've been sorely missing since 2016. Pickett also has a ton of playmakers around him to choose to get the ball to. Main guys you'll need to watch are Jordan Addison, speedy slot receiver type, and Taysir Mack, who can stretch the field and can make acrobatic catches, albeit he's prone to dropping easy ones (go figure).

On defense, it's your typical Pat Narduzzi defense. The primary strength is the front 7, which is outstanding. They did lose Rashad Weaver and Patrick Jones to the NFL, but there is still a TON of depth up front, with John Morgan, Haba Baldonado, Keyshon Camp, Deslin Alexander, Dayon Hayes, and others backing them up. Because of the depth, Narduzzi tries to rotate guys in a lot. Similar to the linebackers, which is among the most experienced of the conference.

The secondary lost big names, namely Damar Hamlin and paris Ford, and also Jason Pinnock, but they have an experienced senior CB Damari Matthis starting, and Eric Hallett/Brandon HIll at the safety positions, who all saw a lot of time last year. The secondary for sure is the "weakest" part of the group. Good players of course, but they havent really been tested yet and are prone to give up a big play here and there.

Anyway, the way I see this game playing out: this will primarily get decided on how long Tennessee's OL gives Milton to throw the ball. My understanding is IF (big IF) he has time, the kid has the arm to chuck it down field. Which makes me nervous since our secondary might give up a big play here and there. If UT gives him time and has a couple shots down field, they can move the ball in a hurry and punch it in. However, Pitt's DL is nasty and has been at or near the top in sack the past two seasons, so they'll show Milton a ton of looks and be blitzing for sure.

Kenny Pickett needs to find Krull a lot in the middle of the field. It seems you guys have some experience in the secondary and that might limit our ability to make big plays down field. So my guess is Pickett will be using Krull and especially addison a lot to chip their way down the field.

The big intangible thing here that worries me that is working most against Pitt is: history. Pitt hasn't won an OOC road game against a P5 team since Notre Dame in 2008. And (get this), Pitt has never....I repeat NEVER....gone undefeated in the non-conference schedule since joining any conference. (Even back when we were in the Big East). Which is nuts. After this week's game, Pitt has WMU and New Hampshire at home, so If Pitt can actually buck this insane trend, theyll finally (probably) break that streak. But again, as someone noted on another thread...this is exactly the kind of game Pitt always loses.

That said, I like our chances because I love this defense, but who knows. There's a very "If not now, WHEN" vibe around the fanbase right now, so many are hopeful that they can pull one out on Saturday and finally have the season we've been waiting for for about 4 decades.

Anyway, looking forward to this trip, and to hang out with a great set of fans in an SEC environment. See yinz this weekend. H2P! --Chris
Thank you for the write-up. I went back and watched your game with UMASS and a few things stood out to me. First, UMASS played a 3-4 defense all day. Their 3 Dlinemen rarely affected the QB. Once in the red zone they started bringing extra people and were able to affect your QB. We run a base 4-2-5. Based off of last week’s performance and Coach Rodney Garner’s track record I expect to see our Dline be more effective in rushing the QB.

Next, your Defense was swarming all day and played with swagger. I did see your Dline break through some but most of the pressure was from blitzing corners that were not picked up. My hope is that CJH has learned from playing Pitt and will have a game plan for this.

Overall your QB played a great game. He took what the defense gave him and was patient enough to give his WRs time to settle in the holes in the zone defense.

My concern is if Milton plays another backyard style game of football. He did key on a few of our WRs too much and thus completely missing others running wide open. This seems to be his MO from Michigan as well. The kid has a cannon but lacks the wherewithal to throw some balls with touch.
 
#75

BACKDOC

Junior Member
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#75
Greetings from the Burgh everyone.

First off, I'll be making the trip down to Knoxville on Friday from Pittsburgh. Based on what I've seen and heard, Neyland is supposed to be a fantastic venue with great atmosphere and fans, and am really looking forward to it (not to mention it's my first road trip since late 2018).

Just wanted to chime in and give "yinz" (google that if by chance you dont know what that is) a quick rundown as to what to expect from our Panthers, and how this intriguing matchup might shake down.

On offense, you all probably know we have our 4th year super senior starter Kenny Pickett at QB. The long and short of it he's an experienced kid with some strong performances over the last couple years, and the general consensus is this has to be "the" year for him to finally break through. In 2018 (his first full year starting) he didnt really have to do much because the offense was so run oriented (we had TWO backs each rush for over 1000 yards--Darrin Hall and Qadree Ollison). But there was virtually no passing attack to speak of, so Narduzzi hired Mark Whipple as the OC prior to 2019.

Basically Whipple's game is throw, throw, and throw again. Kenny likes to sling it all over the field, and they frequently come out of the shotgun, and have been running more tempo as of late, even moreso than the last couple seasons. The issue has been the running game, and Pitt over the last couple seasons has been terrible in red zone production. Now, we have a young back Izzy Abanikanda (a Soph) who theyre hoping can kind of fill the void since Ollison and Hall went to the NFL. The OL is good, not great. They cant run block very well, but they give Pickett a decent amount of time to throw the ball, and he's always a threat to run. The MAJOR difference is we have a tight end (finally). Lucas Krull is a big, NFL-sized TE who can leap up and make plays in the red zone, something we've been sorely missing since 2016. Pickett also has a ton of playmakers around him to choose to get the ball to. Main guys you'll need to watch are Jordan Addison, speedy slot receiver type, and Taysir Mack, who can stretch the field and can make acrobatic catches, albeit he's prone to dropping easy ones (go figure).

On defense, it's your typical Pat Narduzzi defense. The primary strength is the front 7, which is outstanding. They did lose Rashad Weaver and Patrick Jones to the NFL, but there is still a TON of depth up front, with John Morgan, Haba Baldonado, Keyshon Camp, Deslin Alexander, Dayon Hayes, and others backing them up. Because of the depth, Narduzzi tries to rotate guys in a lot. Similar to the linebackers, which is among the most experienced of the conference.

The secondary lost big names, namely Damar Hamlin and paris Ford, and also Jason Pinnock, but they have an experienced senior CB Damari Matthis starting, and Eric Hallett/Brandon HIll at the safety positions, who all saw a lot of time last year. The secondary for sure is the "weakest" part of the group. Good players of course, but they havent really been tested yet and are prone to give up a big play here and there.

Anyway, the way I see this game playing out: this will primarily get decided on how long Tennessee's OL gives Milton to throw the ball. My understanding is IF (big IF) he has time, the kid has the arm to chuck it down field. Which makes me nervous since our secondary might give up a big play here and there. If UT gives him time and has a couple shots down field, they can move the ball in a hurry and punch it in. However, Pitt's DL is nasty and has been at or near the top in sack the past two seasons, so they'll show Milton a ton of looks and be blitzing for sure.

Kenny Pickett needs to find Krull a lot in the middle of the field. It seems you guys have some experience in the secondary and that might limit our ability to make big plays down field. So my guess is Pickett will be using Krull and especially addison a lot to chip their way down the field.

The big intangible thing here that worries me that is working most against Pitt is: history. Pitt hasn't won an OOC road game against a P5 team since Notre Dame in 2008. And (get this), Pitt has never....I repeat NEVER....gone undefeated in the non-conference schedule since joining any conference. (Even back when we were in the Big East). Which is nuts. After this week's game, Pitt has WMU and New Hampshire at home, so If Pitt can actually buck this insane trend, theyll finally (probably) break that streak. But again, as someone noted on another thread...this is exactly the kind of game Pitt always loses.

That said, I like our chances because I love this defense, but who knows. There's a very "If not now, WHEN" vibe around the fanbase right now, so many are hopeful that they can pull one out on Saturday and finally have the season we've been waiting for for about 4 decades.

Anyway, looking forward to this trip, and to hang out with a great set of fans in an SEC environment. See yinz this weekend. H2P! --Chris
Yeah, when I was in college, my friend from Oil City would say that; I always thought he was saying yunz.
 

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