Peak at the Panthers: Pitt vs Duke Preview

Cale Berger
October 04, 2019 - 11:44 am

Cale Berger and Chris Peak of Panther-Lair.com recap Pitt's narrow victory over Delaware, preview Saturday's primetime matchup with Duke and check in with some wide receiver targets on the recruiting trail.

A shorthanded Pitt team outlasted Delaware 17-14 last Saturday without their quarterback Kenny Pickett and their top two running backs. Pitt was able to get the win behind the arm of backup quarterback Nick Patti and 100-yard rushing performance by Todd Sibley Jr.

​Chris' takeaway from Saturday was just how important Pickett is to the Panthers' success. Patti did throw two touchdowns and ultimately get the victory, but the offense looked out of sync throughout the day. Pickett has thrown for 1,102 yards and three touchdowns with two interceptions. It was a game time decision to have Patti start in place of Pickett last week.

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​Cale's takeaway from last week was the lack of discipline the Panthers showed on Saturday. Cale feels that a significant reason why Pitt struggled against Delaware was the 13 penalties they committed for 115 yards. While Pitt was able to get the win, Cale insists that they will not be able to be that undisciplined and still win against ACC teams.

Cale and Chris both agree that the key matchup is the battle between Pitt's defensive line and Duke's offensive line. Pitt is tied for the second-most sacks in the country with 24 on the season, while Duke has only allowed one sack all year, which is the best in the nation. With the Blue Devil's ability to protect the passer, there will be more pressure put on the Panthers' secondary to cover down the field.

In recruiting, Chris highlights two of Pitt's wide receiver commits in the 2020 class in Jordan Addison and Jaylon Bardeen. Addison is a 3-star recruit from Frederick, Maryland. Barden is also a 3-star wideout, hailing from Macon, Georgia.