College Football News Preview 2020: Previewing, predicting, and looking ahead to the Pitt Panthers season with what you need to know.
5. College Football News Preview 2020: Pitt Panthers Offense 3 Things To Know
– Thank you, defense. Pitt scored the fewest points per game since the 1996 team that went 4-7, and yet it tied for the most games won in a season since 2009.
Under offensive coordinator Mark Whipple – the former UMass head coach – the offense didn’t have the same rushing spark of previous seasons, the passing game stalled a bit too often, and scoring was like pulling teeth at times – the team failed to score more than 35 in any game and scored more than 20 just three times.
But the change to more of a passing game did work – the air attack was better.
The blocking wasn’t a total disaster, but it wasn’t all that great. That might change this year with a veteran unit that could be sneaky good with all five starters expected back around all-star center Jimmy Morrissey and guard Bryce Hargrove.
CFN in 60 Video: Pitt Panthers Preview
– Kenny Pickett only seems like he has been around since the Johnny Majors – sky point – era. The senior quarterback has been fine, and he threw for a lot of yards – close to 3,100 – but he only tossed 13 touchdown passes with nine picks while not doing all that much for the running game. However, he can get hot, throwing for over 300 yards five times including in three of the last four games.
He’s still the guy, but sophomore Nick Patti is a decent backup who could push for work, and Arizona State transfer Joey Yellen is coming in – even though he’s most likely in the mix for the 2021 starting job.
Leading receiver Maurice Ffrench is done, but senior Taysir Mack is a solid veteran who can be the new No. 1 guy, and there’s enough talent coming back to be okay. The addition of Florida transfer tight end Lucas Krull could be a huge help to fill the hole.
– The running game went from ripping off 3,191 yards and 30 touchdowns in 2018 to 1,544 yards and 11 scores last year. V’Lique Carter transferred out, but the top three running backs return, starting with senior AJ Davis coming off a 530-yard, four-score season. He’s the 215-pound pounder, while 5-8, 175-pound sophomore Vincent Davis provides a little more splash after leading the team with five rushing scores.