It’s a battle to start out the ACC season hot with a key Coastal battle right away. Check out the Pittsburgh vs. North Carolina fearless prediction and game preview.
Pittsburgh (2-1) vs. North Carolina (2-1) Game Preview
Date: Saturday, September 24th
Game Time: 3:30 pm
Venue: Kenan Stadium, Chapel Hill, NC
Why Pittsburgh Will Win
Get ready for a steady dose of the Pitt running game.
The North Carolina defense hasn’t been anywhere near as bad as it was to end last year with the bowl loss to Baylor, but everyone’s getting fat on the leaky front seven.
Georgia hasn’t been able to run against anyone else so far, but it ripped through the Tar Heels for 289 yards and three touchdowns in the opener. Illinois ran for over five yards per carry, and James Madison rumbled for 209 yards. Pitt won’t have a problem.
After a shaky start, the Panthers have been fantastic, crushing Penn State and running wild on Oklahoma State with two straight 100-yard running games from James Conner.
Holding on to the ball for just over 24 minutes a game so far, the North Carolina offense is fast and effective, but it’s giving its defense plenty of time to get gassed. Pitt’s been owning the clock for 34.20 a game, and this week, that’ll matter.
Why North Carolina Will Win
Pitt’s pass defense has taken the last few weeks off.
It’s supposed to be working perfectly – run the ball, control the clock, own the tempo, and rely on the defensive front seven. Unfortunately, the secondary hasn’t been along for the ride getting ripped up by Penn State Trace McSorley and getting bombed on by Oklahoma State’s Mason Rudolph for 540 yards.
Mitch Trubisky broke out last week against James Madison with a 432-yard day, and he’s catching fire at the right time with five touchdowns and no picks over the last two games.
If Trubisky is on, and if the punting and return games that’ve been so good so far can keep Pitt pinned deep, the Tar Heels should be able to hold serve just enough to let the offense roll.
North Carolina can convert third downs, and Pitt can’t. That’ll matter in the second half.
What’s Going To Happen?
Can the Panther running game rumble its way to a win? The defense won’t be able to stop a balanced day from a Tar Heel offense that’ll make every big pass play it wants to.
Pitt will dial up the pressure, and it won’t matter – Trubisky will be too good.
Pittsburgh vs. North Carolina Prediction
Final Score: North Carolina 38, Pitt 34
Line: North Carolina -7, o/u: 68
ATS Confidence: 5: Xmas in September – 1: Get out now … 3
Must See Rating: 5: The Magnificent Seven – 1: The Voice … 3.5