Pitt football schedule predictions and early game-by-game preview for 2016. Projecting how the Panthers will do this year.
Can the Panthers rally back to come through with a great Year Two under Pat Narduzzi? Can the schedule work out well enough to get into the Coastal Division title chase? Check out the Pitt football schedule predictions for every game this upcoming season.
Sept. 3 vs. Villanova
The Panthers have the talent to come up with a great season, but they’ll need to be sharp out of the gate against a dangerous FCS team with a chip on its shoulder. Pitt will win, but it might take a half before everything starts to click.
Preseason Prediction: Pitt 27, Villanova 10
Sept. 10 vs. Penn State
The Nittany Lions will struggle and sputter in Heinz Field. However, Pitt won’t get enough out of the passing game to overcome a bad day from the ground attack. It’ll be in the fight until the end with Penn State proving just a tad bit better on the defensive front.
Preseason Prediction: Penn State 23, Pitt 20
Sept. 17 at Oklahoma State
The Cowboys have the offense to bomb away, but the defense will be just soft enough to have a big problem with the Panther power attack – when it goes to one. Pitt will come up with a few good moments, but it won’t be able to overcome the home runs the Oklahoma State offense hits at home. The passing game beats the running one.
Preseason Prediction: Oklahoma State 34, Pitt 23
Sept. 24 at North Carolina
It’s going to be a really, really frustrating run for the Panthers. They’ll be good enough to start out the season 4-0, but they’ll be 1-3 after missed opportunity after missed opportunity. They’ll outplay the Tar Heels, but they’ll turn the ball over just enough – and they’ll whiff on just enough red zone trips – to come up with a rough loss.
Preseason Prediction: North Carolina 23, Pitt 20
Oct. 1 vs. Marshall
The Thundering Herd will be good enough to win the Conference USA title, but they’ll get hit hard and often by a Pitt offense desperately looking for something positive to build on. Pitt will run and run some more, while the defense will come up with a gem in the team’s best outing of the first half of the season – by far.
Preseason Prediction: Pitt 30, Marshall 13
Oct. 8 vs. Georgia Tech
The Georgia Tech offense is always tough to deal with, but the Pitt defensive front will take care of business. After a tough September, the Panthers will start to find their footing with a very good, very solid win that’ll get them in the thick of the Coastal race.
Preseason Prediction: Pitt 27, Georgia Tech 17
Oct. 15 at Virginia
Can the Panthers keep the momentum rolling? Yeah, but it’ll take a lot of work to get there against a Virginia team coming off a week off. The Cavalier defense will keep it close throughout, but the offense won’t be able to push through in the second half when the chances are there.
Preseason Prediction: Pitt 20, Virginia 13
Oct. 27 vs. Virginia Tech
It’s not quite fair for the Panthers to get a bit short-changed on their week off, but at least they’ll get some time off to get ready and prepare for a Hokie team coming off a huge win over Miami. It’ll be a defensive war with the Panthers being just a wee bit better, and a wee bit stronger with the running game.
Preseason Prediction: Pitt 21, Virginia Tech 17
Nov. 5 at Miami
The Panthers just won’t be able to get the offense rolling like they’ll want to. They’ll be mired in defensive battle after defensive battle, and Miami will be yet another one. The Canes will come into the game on a two-game losing streak, and they’re going to be in for a fight. It won’t be art on a wall, but if you like tough defenses and lots of drama, this is it.
Preseason Prediction: Miami 23, Pitt 17
Nov. 12 at Clemson
Oh that’s just GREAT. What does a struggling team need when the offense isn’t quite working right? How about a game against a team that might just be the best in college football – on the road. The Panthers have the right mix to pull off the upset, but they won’t get it with the Tigers home for the second game in a row. Clemson will need three quarters before it pulls away, and then it’ll come up with a few scores Pitt won’t have an answer for.
Preseason Prediction: Clemson 30, Pitt 21
Nov. 19 vs. Duke
Finally, the Pitt offense will start to open things up a bit – even if it’s on the ground. It’ll take a little while to get comfortable, but being at home will help in the game the team will desperately need to try changing things up late. The time of possession will be lopsided in favor of the Panthers.
Preseason Prediction: Pitt 37, Duke 24
Nov. 26 vs. Syracuse
Will the Syracuse offense be rolling by the end of the season? The new coaching staff will have the attack moving at some point, but in the regular season finale, Pitt’s defense will be fantastic. The Orange will be far better than they were last year, but not this week in a cathartic win for the Panthers.
Preseason Prediction: Pitt 38, Syracuse 12
2016 Prediction: 7-5
2016 ACC Prediction: 5-3