Peak at the Panthers: Pitt at Virginia Tech

Cale Berger
November 22, 2019 - 9:26 am

Cale Berger and Chris Peak of Panther-Lair.com recap Pitt's win against North Carolina, preview their matchup with Virginia Tech and check in with a key prospect on the recruiting trail.

Pitt knocked off UNC 34-27 in overtime last Thursday for their first win against the Tar Heels since 2009. Quarterback Kenny Pickett 25 of 41 passes for 359 yards and a touchdown. He also ran for 53 yards and two scores, including the game winner in overtime.

​Chris' takeaway from Thursday was the Pitt defense's ability to make plays in crunch time. While the Panthers were continuously diced up by North Carolina quarterback Sam Howell, they were able to make the crucial plays in the fourth quarter and overtime to seal the victory. The Pitt defense has been fantastic all year, but the Tar Heels may have exposed some weaknesses that team will try to exploit moving forward.

​Cale's takeaway was the play of Pickett, who he believes played his best game as a Panther last week. Pickett posted a near flawless performance, eliminating turnovers and negative plays that have plagued the Pitt offense over recent weeks. Pickett was smart and decisive in his decisions, whether running or throwing. Cale also felt that Pickett's renewed willingness to run was a sign that he is fully healthy, which bodes well for the Panthers as they compete for a repeat Coastal crown.

Related: Pitt-Virginia Tech Matchup Headlines ACC’s Week 13 Schedule

Chris and Cale agree that the key matchup on Saturday in Blacksburg will be the Pitt defense against quarterback Hendon Hooker. Since taking over as the starter for Virginia Tech, Hooker has thrown eight touchdowns and no interceptions, leading the Hokies to a 5-0 record. A dual-threat quarterback, Hooker also plays an important role in the Virginia Tech running game. Pitt will need to slowdown their strong ground game to earn a key win Saturday.

In recruiting news, Chris provides an update on 2020 Pitt commit Jordan Addison. A three-star wide receiver from Maryland, Addison has been committed to the Panthers for quite some time, but he recently receiver an offer from the University of Michigan. It will be key for the Panthers to fight off the Wolverines, adding a dynamic playmaker like Addison to their 2020 class.

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