Pat Bostick: 'They're Going To Have To Hit Them From Every Angle'

Pitt's color analyst breaks down ACC Championship Game

Matt Koll
November 30, 2018 - 11:47 am
Dabo Swinney & Pat Narduzzi

Joshua S. Kelly-USA TODAY Sports

PITTSBURGH (93.7 The Fan)- For the first time in school history, Pitt won the ACC Coastal division is now set to face the #2 Clemson Tigers in the ACC Championship Game in Charlotte, NC Saturday night at 8:20 pm. 

Former Pitt quarterback now Pitt radio color analyst Pat Bostick joined The Fan Morning Show Friday morning to help preview the matchup. It goes without saying, Pitt has its hands full. The Panthers have had a tremendous running game all year, but Bostick expressed the importance of passing the ball as well Saturday. 

"[Kenny Pickett] is going to have to play well. They're going to need to hit some shots down the field. I think [Clemson's] safeties can be attacked a little bit but that means you've got to protect. You have to have a threat of running the ball, you can't just abandon it. But you're going to have to hit some big plays."

"I think they need to throw the screens a little bit, too," said Bostick. "They need to get him (Pickett) in a rhythm, they need to get the ball out of his hand, keep that front off balanced as much as you can. Those guys, I mean [Dexter] Lawrence is 6'4'' 350 and [Christian] Wilkins is 6'4'' 315 in the three technique. Those guys are unreal and you can't let them just tee off on you." 

Bostick said the pass may have to set up the run against a really big, physical defensive front of Clemson that might be the best in the country. 

"Get the ball on the perimeter. Good things have happened when they got the ball to [Araujo] Lopes and Ffrench in space and they can make a guy miss or break a tackle and all of the sudden you've got chunk plays.Then, later on in the game when you get them off their front hand a little bit and sitting back, you can start to try to run the ball."

"I just don't think you want to beat your head into a brick wall all day long. They are tough. They are big. They're physical. They're really good football players. You're going to have to do a little bit of everything to keep them off balanced and keep moving the ball." 

Bostick said that unlike when Pitt beat Clemson in 2016, you don't want this game to turn into a track meet because this Pitt offense isn't built that way. That '16 Pitt team was averaged over 40 points per game. This Pitt team needs to control the ball and keep the sticks moving methodically. On top of that, the Pitt defense is playing better than it did in 2016 so they should be able to contain the Clemson offense a little more. 

Bostick reiterated the point of keeping Clemson off balanced as the key to victory at the end of his time on The Fan Morning Show Friday to wrap things up. 

"They're going to have to hit this defense from every different angle," said Bostick. "Side to side, north and south, screens, shots over the top. I think the formula to win this football game is to move the ball, to possess the ball, it's going to be sloppy conditions, control the clock to the best of your ability and to do that you've got to move it. I'm not saying two yards and a cloud of dust either, I'm talking about controlled passing, I'm talking about sweeps, some trick 'ems as well. You're going to have to get a couple takeaways to win this game. You're going to have to win the special teams war."     

You can listen to the two-part interview with Pat Bostick on The Fan Morning Show below.                   

 

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