Peak at the Panthers: Pitt at Syracuse Game Preview

Cale Berger
October 18, 2019 - 9:53 am

Cale Berger and Chris Peak of Panther-Lair.com recap Pitt's big win over Duke, preview Friday night's game at Syracuse and recap Pitt basketball's newest addition on the recruiting trail.

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Prior to the bye week, Pitt outlasted Duke 33-30 in Durham. The Panthers were able to survive a ferocious Blue Devils comeback with a game winning touchdown pass from quarterback Kenny Pickett to running back V'Lique Carter in the final minutes. Defensive end Patrick Jones II sealed the game for Pitt with a strip-sack of Duke quarterback Quentin Harris in the final seconds.

​Chris' takeaway from Saturday was the Panther's resiliency they demonstrated coming from behind to win the game. Pitt led 26-3 in the third quarter, but allowed Duke to score 27 unanswered points to grab the lead in the fourth. While the Panthers would have obviously preferred to not give up the large advantage they had, it is a good sign that they were able to make the plays when they had to down the stretch. Chris also identified that the Panthers need to do a better job taking care of the football. Pitt turnovers were a significant reason why Duke was able to comeback and take the lead.

​Cale's big takeaway from the Duke game was just how important safety Paris Ford has been to the Pitt defense this year. Cale says that Ford was the best player on the field for both teams two weeks ago in Durham. Ford had 12 tackles and two interceptions, the first of which he returned for a touchdown. After a dynamic first half, Ford was ejected in the third quarter for targeting, a call that will also hold him out of the first half against Syracuse. Cale feels that the Panthers will surely miss him for the first two quarters of Friday night's contest.

Cale and Chris are both looking at the matchup between the Pitt defensive line and Syracuse offensive line on Friday night. The Panthers are tied for second in the nation with 27 sacks on the season, while the Orange have allowed the third-most sacks in the country. Syracuse quarterback Tommy DeVito was sacked eight times last week in their loss to NC State. Cale and Chris agree that the Pitt defensive line should have a field day against the Syracuse offense Friday night.

Related: Listen To Pitt Panthers Games On The RADIO.COM App

In recruiting news, Chris discusses Pitt basketball's second commitment of the 2020 class in three-star power forward Max Amadasun. While Pitt is still in the running for some of the top prospects in the 2020 class, Chris believes that the addition of Amadasun is important for Jeff Capel's team in terms of depth and long-term development.