Pittsburgh Football 2017 Match Preview Prediction and Players: While the Pittsburgh Panthers didn’t improve record-wise in the second year of the Pat Narduzzi era, there are plenty of promising signs for the program’s future. Narduzzi guided the Panthers to their second straight 8-5 campaign, matching their best record since 2010. Considering the difficulty of Pittsburgh’s 2016 schedule and coaching turmoil in recent times, the Panthers should be thrilled with the success and stability of Narduzzi’s tenure so far.
Behind a dynamic offense, the Panthers were the only team in the nation to take down national champion Clemson in 2016 and added an early season victory over a Penn State squad that won the Big Ten. Pittsburgh ranked 10th in the nation with 40.9 points per game, leading to a number of memorable games such as a 76-61 win over Syracuse to close out the regular season. Unfortunately, one-score losses to North Carolina and Virginia Tech kept Pittsburgh from winning the ACC Coastal, and the Panthers’ season ended on a low note with a 31-24 loss to Northwestern in the Pinstripe Bowl. Narduzzi and coordinator Josh Conklin will need to quickly build the defense after the Panthers surrendered 35.2 points per game in 2016.
Pittsburgh Football 2017 Match Preview & Prediction
While the Panthers have enough returning experience to remain competitive in the division, they replace some key pieces next season. Pittsburgh will have new starters at both quarterbacks and running back, while top defender Ejuan Price is off to the NFL. Early season matchups at Penn State and against Oklahoma State pose a major challenge, but the Panthers will be in the ACC Coastal mix if those new players at important skill positions can acclimate quickly enough alongside any sort of improvement from the defense. Here’s a look at Pittsburgh’s projected depth chart in 2017, courtesy of Ourlads.com.
The University of Wisconsin football team added depth in the backfield this week with the addition of former Pittsburgh running back Rachid Ibrahim, who will join the Badgers next season. Ibrahim, who left Pittsburgh before spring practice, will have one season of eligibility after joining the Badgers as a graduate transfer. Ibrahim carried the ball 60 times for 399 yards in his two seasons with Pittsburgh, but he hasn’t had a carry in over two years. He also caught 20 passes for 161 yards and one touchdown for the Panthers. Ibrahim redshirted the 2015 season after tearing his Achilles tendon during training camp. The 22-year-old looks to compete for carries with returning Badgers Bradrick Shaw, Chris James and Taiwan Deal.
Pittsburgh Football 2017 Match Schedule
Pitt will have a small class in terms of numbers but it’s shaping up to be one of their best in terms of sheer quality of recruits. It’s too early to know where they’ll end up in terms of recruiting rankings but it could end up surprising many people. I say that for a couple of reasons: 1) I believe some of their current 3-star commitments could and will get moved up to a 4-star ranking. 2) Pitt probably has less than ten scholarships left but they’re involved with some major players like Kwantel Raines, Brian Asamoah and others. This is all a good sign for the future of Pitt recruiting. Just a few years ago, Pitt was beating small schools for their recruits, now they’re going up against and beating quality programs. Source Link