ACC

Pitt Panthers vs Ohio Bobcats Preview

Pitt v Virginia

Welcome to the most comprehensive Pitt Panthers Game Day Preview on the internet! This is your one-stop shop for everything you need to know about Pitt and their upcoming opponent! Mike Drakulich of Pittsburgh SportsNation brings you inside the huddle for both teams, providing all fans with a Game Story, Pitt’s Keys to Victory, Score Prediction, Game Information, a detailed breakdown of each team, Individual Stats, and Team Stats. Heck, you’ll even know the weather at kickoff! The only thing you’re missing is a game uniform!

 

PANTHERS LOOKING TO EXECUTE OFFENSE AND BOUNCE BACK FROM DISAPPOINTING LOSS TO VIRGINIA

Thanks to the ACC Network not being available in various markets due to Comcast being hardheaded, many people missed Pitt’s opening season loss to Virginia 30-14. One look at the score would indicate a bad day by the Panther’s defense and a bland type of play from the offense.

The Cavaliers did what they had to do to come away with the victory. Pitt didn’t do itself any favors along the way.

Kenny Pickett did not execute new offensive coordinator Mark Whipple’s offense as hoped. Pickett was intercepted twice on poor choices of throws, was routinely rattled by Virginia’s pass rush, and missed four wide open receivers down the middle that could have resulted in touchdowns. His receivers didn’t help their cause either, as they had three crucial drops in the game that definitely changed the momentum in the game.

Pitt will face the Ohio Bobcats this Saturday morning at 11:00 am at Heinz Field, and they will be without another defensive starter in Keyshon Camp, who was lost for the year when he tore his ACL last week vs Virginia.

“We’ll become stronger from it,” Pitt head coach Pat Narduzzi said. “Keyshon will become stronger from it. It happened to me back in 1985 (at Youngstown State). It’s part of the game.

“You just feel for Keyshon. It’s not easy to tell him. These kids worked their tails off for eight months.”

Camp joins Rashaad Weaver on the list for season ending injuries. Redshirt freshmen David Green, Devin Danielson and Tyler Bentley will get their chance to make a difference in Camp’s absence.

“(Jalen) Twyman (redshirt sophomore) is playing at a high level,” Narduzzi stated. “(Senior) Amir Watts will take on a bigger role there. We’re not going to have to sub him as much.”

As for the offense?

“It’s throwing the ball on time,” Narduzzi said. “We had guys open more than you would think. We have to hit them. We have to catch them.”

Curiously, Pitt seemed to abandon it’s running game, something that has been a strength for the Panthers for decades.

“We can always look back and say (we should have run more),” Narduzzi said. “But when I see all the open receivers, you’re saying, ‘Throw it to that guy, really quick and let’s go.’

“If you knew we wouldn’t throw it to the guy who was open, yeah, `Let’s just go and run.’ When you see open guys you say, ‘Man, we had a chance to make some big plays.’ ”

 

Pitt Keys to Victory

  1. Run a Balanced Offense: Pitt needs to establish the running game, which should open up lanes in the passing attack.
  2. Ball Control: No untimely turnovers. Don’t hand away possessions.
  3. Make Plays: Hit your open receivers… receivers need to make catches.

 

Prediction

It was a numb feeling for both Pitt fans and their players after dropping a huge game vs Virginia 30-14 in last week’s season opener.

Time waits for no one, however, and now the Panthers need to learn from their mistakes and bounce back from the agony of defeat. Ohio was picked to win the MAC this year and will present the Panthers a unique challenge in this ridiculously early start time of 11:00 am this Saturday. Pitt is 7-1 vs Ohio lifetime, suffering their only defeat on the road in a stunning OT loss in 2005.

The last thing Pitt wants to do is lose to a lower level conference and fall to 0-2, especially with Penn State and Central Florida looming in the next two game. A loss here could free-fall into a 0-4 start in what was supposed to be a promising year for Pitt.

The Bobcats defeated Rhode Island 41-20 last week. Though Ohio held the Rams to just 84 yards rushing, they did allow 291 yards through the air.

Kenny Pickett and his pass catchers need to get on the same page, and the offensive line needs to dig deep and give Pickett more than two seconds to throw a pass. It would behoove the o-line to use it’s sizer and strength and open some holes in the running  game, too. Both A.J. Davis and Todd Sibley failed to impress last week in the Panther rushing attack. Neither had much running room, but at the same time, neither made anyone miss, or managed to break a tackle or two.

The mistakes are correctable. Overthrown passes, dropped catches, missed assignments… a well coached team can only do so much, it’s up to the players to execute.

Pitt will need to get back to running the ball this week, which will hopefully open up the passing game for some long passes that need to be on target and caught. The defense played well last week despite giving up 30 points. 21 of those were off short fields following a blocked punt, an interception, and a turnover on downs late in the game.

The defense should be able to contain a solid Bobcat’s offense. It’s up to the offense to do their jobs and lead the Panthers to their first victory of the season, and gain some confidence in a massive match-up against their cross-state rivals next week, when they visit Penn State.

Senior Nathan Rourke passed for 188 yards and two touchdowns last week, and added 75 yards on the ground and another score, so the Pitt D will have to do their best to contain another dual threat QB , as they did vs the Cavalier’s Bryce Perkins.

Pitt 31 Ohio 17

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Game Information

Pitt Panthers vs Ohio Bobcats

  • Venue: Heinz Field, Pittsburgh, PA. | Field: Kentucky Bluegrass
  • Game-time: Saturday, September 7th, at 11:00 am ET
  • Game Tickets Link
  • TV: ACC Network | Announcers: Clay Matvick (play-by-play) John Congemi (analyst) | Dr. Jerry Punch (reporter)
  • Local Radio: Pittsburgh- 93.7 The Fan | Announcers: Bill Hillgrove (play-by-play) Pat Bostick (analyst) | Larry Richert (reporter)
  • National Radio: N/A | Announcers: 
  • Sirius XM Satellite Radio:Sirius Channel 133, XM Channel 193, Internet Channel 955
  • Weather at Kickoff: 69 and partly sunny. Winds WNW 5-10 mph.
  • Vegas Line: Pitt -4.5

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Pitt Panthers vs Ohio Bobcats History

Series History: Began in 1902

  • Pitt is 7-1 overall vs Ohio
  • At Home: 7-0
  • On Road: 0-1
  • Neutral Site: 0-0
  • ACC Series: N/A
  • Streak: Ohio won last meeting.
  • Last Regular Season Meeting: Sept. 9, 2005 (Ohio won, 16-10 [OT])

 

Did You Know?* 

  • Ohio is the preseason favorite to capture the MAC championship. The Bobcats return 14 starters from last year’s 9-4 team that claimed a 27-0 victory over San Diego State in the 2018 DXL Frisco Bowl.
  • Pitt and Ohio are meeting for the first time since 2005. The Panthers are 7-1 all-time against the Bobcats but lost the most recent encounter, a 16-10 overtime decision in Athens.
  • The Panthers are 30-4 overall against MAC opponents, including 26-2 in home games.
  • The Panthers are trying to avoid their first 0-2 start since 2012. Over the past 50 seasons, Pitt has lost its opening two games only five times (1969, 1972, 1984, 2005 and 2012).
  • Pitt’s four non-conference foes went a combined 37-15 (.712) last year. Moreover, Ohio (9-4), Penn State (9-4), UCF (12-1) and FCS program Delaware (7-5) each advanced to the postseason.
  • The Panthers will have a morning kickoff for only the fourth time since 1979. Pitt last had an 11 a.m. start in 2012, a 45-35 home loss to Louisville.

    *Courtesy of pittsburghpanthers.com

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Pitt

A look at the Pitt Panthers!

 

Scouting the Panthers

OFFENSE (Pro Style)

 

QUARTERBACKS

Kenny Pickett*

Good arm, but needs to be more accurate when playing Pro Style QB. Utilizes his legs well and scrambles for extra yards.

  • Passing Yards: 185 | TD Passes: 1 | Interceptions: 2 | Sacks: 4 | Yards Rushing: 16 | Rushing TD’s: 0

 

RUNNING BACKS

A.J. Davis*

Talented ball carrier who looks to make his mark in the 2019 season.

  • Yards Rushing: 25 | Rushing TD’s: 1 | Receptions: 2 | Yards Receiving: 65 | Receiving TD’s: 0

 

Todd Sibley

Like his fellow back Davis, yearning for a breakout season toting the rock for the Panthers.

  • Yards Rushing: 23 | Rushing TD’s: 0 | Receptions: 0 | Yards Receiving: 0 | Receiving TD’s: 0

 

WIDE RECEIVERS

Maurice Ffrench*

One of the best returners in the game. Looking to take his receiving game to the next level.

  • Receptions: 6 | Receiving Yards: 54 | Receiving TD’s: 0 | Rushing Yards: 0  | Rushing TD’s: 0

 

Taysir Mack*

Reliable in his route running and hands…normally.

  • Receptions: 6 | Receiving Yards: 33 | Receiving TD’s: 0 | Rushing Yards: 0  | Rushing TD’s: 0

 

Tre Tipton*

Enters this season looking to have a breakout season for the Panthers.

  • Receptions: 3 | Receiving Yards: 26 | Receiving TD’s: 1 | Rushing Yards: 0 | Rushing TD’s: 0

 

Dontavius Butler-Jenkins

  • Receptions: 0 | Receiving Yards: 0 | Receiving TD’s: 0 | Rushing Yards: 0  | Rushing TD’s: 0

 

V’lique Carter

Versatile player who also moonlights as a RB and at cornerback. Special athlete.

  • Receptions: 1 | Receiving Yards: 3 | Receiving TD’s: 0 | Rushing Yards: 0 | Rushing TD’s: 0

 

Shocky Jaques-Louis

Has all the talent in the world. Will this be the year he displays all of it. Starts season not listed on the Two-Deep roster…

  • Receptions: 0 | Receiving Yards: 0 | Receiving TD’s: 0 | Rushing Yards: 0 | Rushing TD’s: 0

 

Aaron Matthews

Great blocker who would like to incorporate a few catches intro his arsenal.

  • Receptions: 0 | Receiving Yards: 0 | Receiving TD’s: 0 | Rushing Yards: 0 | Rushing TD’s: 0

 

John Vardzel

  • Receptions: 0 | Receiving Yards: 0 | Receiving TD’s: 0 | Rushing Yards: 0 | Rushing TD’s: 0

 

TIGHT ENDS

Will Gragg*

Hoping to bring the position out of the lost and found.

  • Receptions: 3 | Receiving Yards: 4 | Receiving TD’s: 0 | Rushing Yards: 0  | Rushing TD’s: 0

 

Grant Carrigan

  • Receptions: 0 | Receiving Yards: 0 | Receiving TD’s: 0 | Rushing Yards: 0 | Rushing TD’s: 0

 

Nakia Griffin-Stewart

  • Receptions: 0 | Receiving Yards: 0 | Receiving TD’s: 0 | Rushing Yards: 0 | Rushing TD’s: 0

*Denotes Starter

OFFENSIVE LINE

Left Tackle: Carter Warren | Left Guard: Bryce Hargrove | Center: Jimmy Morrissey | Right Guard: Gabe Houy | Right Tackle: Nolan Ulizio

 

DEFENSE (Base 4-3)

Defensive End: Patrick Jones II | Defensive Tackle: Jaylen Twyman | Defensive Tackle: Amir Watts | Defensive End: Deslin Alexandre

Money LB: Kylan Johnson | Mike LB: Elias Reynolds | Star LB: Cam Bright/Phil Campbell III

Cornerback: Dane Jackson | Strong Safety: Paris Ford | Free Safety: Damar Hamlin | Cornerback: Jason Pinnock

 

SPECIAL TEAMS

Placekicker

Alex Kessman

  • Extra Points: 2-2 | FG: 0-1 | 0-19:  0-0 | 20-29:  0-0 | 30-39:  0-0 | 40-49:  0-0 | 50+:  0-1 | Long: 0

 

PUNTER

Kirk Christodoulou

  • Yards per Punt: 43

 

KICKOFF RETURNER

Maurice Ffrench

Ffrench averaged 27.4 yards per return last year with two touchdowns.

  • Yards per Kickoff Return: 26.0 | Return TD’s: 0

 

PUNT RETURNER

Maurice Ffrench

  • Yards per Kickoff Return: 0.0 | Return TD’s: 0

 

Pitt Injury Report (9/5/19)

  • Out: DL Rashad Weaver (ACL), DE Keyshon Camp (Knee)
  • Doubtful: None
  • Questionable: None
  • Probable: None

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Ohio

A look at the Ohio Bobcats!

Scouting the Bobcats

OFFENSE (Multiple Sets)

 

QUARTERBACKS

Nathan Rourke*

Senior QB focuses on short accurate passes. Dangerous on the run, as well.

  • Passing Yards: 188 | TD Passes: 2 | Interceptions: 0 | Sacks: 1 | Yards Rushing: 75 | Rushing TD’s: 1

 

RUNNING BACKS

Juilen Ross*

The Bobcats leading rusher.

  • Yards Rushing: 68 | Rushing TD’s: 0 | Receptions: 0 | Yards Receiving: 0 | Receiving TD’s: 0

 

De’Montre Tuggle

Used in short yardage and goal-line situations.

  • Yards Rushing: 65 | Rushing TD’s: 2 | Receptions: 0 | Yards Receiving: 0 | Receiving TD’s: 0

 

O’Shaan Allison

Listed as first team on depth chart but only managed 38 yards last week.

  • Yards Rushing: 38 | Rushing TD’s: 0 | Receptions: 2 | Yards Receiving: 9 | Receiving TD’s: 0

 

WIDE RECEIVERS

Jerome Buckner*

Redshirt Freshman is the team’s leading receiver through one game.

  • Receptions: 3 | Receiving Yards: 48 | Receiving TD’s: 0 | Rushing Yards: 0  | Rushing TD’s: 0

 

Isiah Cox*

  • Receptions: 3 | Receiving Yards: 26 | Receiving TD’s: 0 | Rushing Yards: 0  | Rushing TD’s: 0

 

Tyler Tupa

Tupa has one touchdown reception for the Bobcats.

  • Receptions: 3 | Receiving Yards: 49 | Receiving TD’s: 1 | Rushing Yards: 0 | Rushing TD’s: 0

 

Shane Hooks

  • Receptions: 1 | Receiving Yards: 30 | Receiving TD’s: 0 | Rushing Yards: 0  | Rushing TD’s: 0

 

Cameron Odom

  • Receptions: 1 | Receiving Yards: 10 | Receiving TD’s: 0 | Rushing Yards: 0 | Rushing TD’s: 0

 

TIGHT ENDS

Adam Luerhman*

  • Receptions: 1 | Receiving Yards: 7 | Receiving TD’s: 0 | Rushing Yards: 0  | Rushing TD’s: 0

 

Ryan Luerhman

Luerhman made only one catch last week, but made it count for six

  • Receptions: 1 | Receiving Yards: 4 | Receiving TD’s: 1 | Rushing Yards: 0 | Rushing TD’s: 0

*Denotes Starter

 

DEFENSE (Base 4-3)

Gave up 20 points to Rhode Island last week. Held the Rams to 84 yards rushing but did give up 291 through the air.

 

SPECIAL TEAMS

Placekicker

Louie Zervos

  • Extra Points: 5-5 | FG: 2-2 | 0-19:  0-0 | 20-29:  0-0 | 30-39:  1-1 | 40-49:  1-1 | 50+:  0-0 | Long: 42

 

Ohio Injury Report (9/5/19)

  • Out: None
  • Doubtful: None
  • Questionable: None
  • Probable: None

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OFFENSIVE & DEFENSIVE STATS

Total Offense: Pitt averages 263 YPG | Ohio averages 466 YPG

  • Rushing: Pitt averages 78 YPG | Ohio averages 278 YPG
  • Passing: Pitt averages 185 YPG | Ohio averages 188 YPG
  • Scoring: Pitt averages 14 PPG | Ohio averages 41 PPG

 

Total Defense: Pitt allows 310 YPG | Ohio allows 375 YPG

  • Rushing: Pitt allows 129 YPG | Ohio allows 84 YPG
  • Passing: Pitt allows 181 YPG | Ohio allows 291 YPG
  • Scoring: Pitt allows 30 PPG | Ohio allows 20 PPG

 

Defensive Stats

  • Pitt- Sacks: 3 | Interceptions: 0 | Fumbles: 0
  • Ohio- Sacks: 2 | Interceptions: 1 | Fumbles: 0

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ACC Standings

ACC

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Pitt Panthers 2019 Schedule

Regular Season: Overall: 0-1 |  ACC: 0-1

August 31: Virginia* (ACCN), L- 30-14
September 7: Ohio (ACCN), 11 a.m.
September 14: at #15 Penn State (ABC), Noon
September 21: #17 UCF, TBA
September 28: Delaware, TBA
October 5: at Duke*, TBA
October 18: (Friday) at #22 Syracuse* (ESPN), 7 p.m.
October 26: Miami* (HC), TBA
November 2: at Georgia Tech*, TBA
November 14: (Thursday) North Carolina* (ESPN), 8 p.m.
November 23: at Virginia Tech*, TBA
November 30: Boston College*, TBA

*ACC game | (HC) Homecoming | Bold = Home Game

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Author Profile

Mike DrakulichYour source for Pittsburgh sports!
From Midland, "The Basketball Capital of Pennsylvania", located 35 miles NW of Pittsburgh along the Ohio River. This former steel town was home to storied athletes such as Dave Alston, Norm Van Lier, Simmie Hill, and the legendary 1965 Midland High School Basketball Team.

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As Editor of Pittsburgh SportsNation, Mike Drakulich provides top notch opinions and coverage of the Pittsburgh Steelers, Pittsburgh Penguins, Pittsburgh Pirates, Pitt Panthers football & basketball, Robert Morris Colonials basketball, and Duquesne Dukes basketball, as well as all sports teams that represent Western Pennsylvania, including WPIAL Football.

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