Peak at the Panthers: Pitt vs UCF

Cale Berger
September 20, 2019 - 10:50 am

Cale Berger and Chris Peak of Panther-Lair.com recap Pitt's loss to Penn State, preview Saturday's matchup with UCF and check in with the Panthers on the recruiting trail.

Pitt fell to Penn State last week in the 100th meeting between the two squads, but Chris was still impressed by the Panthers success in the passing game. Quarterback Kenny Pickett completed 35 passes for 372 yards last Saturday, setting career-highs in both categories for the second week in a row.

​Cale agrees that Pickett was exceptional, but he was also impressed with the play of the Pitt defense. Cale felt that the Pitt defense had another great day. Outside of the three explosive plays they allowed to the Nittany Lions, the defense was stout and kept Penn State quarterback Sean Clifford under duress all afternoon.

In addition,​ Cale and Chris both questioned head coach Pat Narduzzi's decision to kick a field goal on fourth down from the one-yard line with under five minutes left to play. Both agree that the Panthers should have went for the touchdown on the fourth down play. Cale also noted that Narduzzi placed his kicker in a difficult situation having to kick from such a tough angle.

According to Chris, the key matchup on Saturday will be between Pitt defensive coordinator Randy Bates and UCF quarterback Dillon Gabriel. The true freshman signal caller has dazzled this season, with nine touchdown passes in the last two games.

Cale is looking forward to the matchup between UCF's running backs and Pitt's linebackers on Saturday. UCF is one of the fastest teams in the country, and they use multiple running backs in a variety of ways. Pitt's linebackers will be tested sideline to sideline, as they attempt to corral Adrian Killins Jr, Greg McCrae and Otis Anderson.

On recruiting, Chris highlighted the Panthers' success recruiting in the state of Florida in the past, and their current commits and targets from the Sunshine State.

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