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Three Things to Know about the Pitt Panthers



Cowboys go P-5 this week against the ACC’s Pitt Panthers, hitting the road for Coal Country. Quarterback Nathan Peterman and running back James Conner are hanging out on NFL rosters and coordinator Matt Canada is sipping on some gumbo in Baton Rouge but plenty of talent remains on the roster that beat Clemson and Penn State last year.

Not a Controversy?

Five-star QB-turned USC expat Max Browne will be the starter on Saturday but don’t expect him to be the only guy behind center all day.

…(T)he Panthers struggled through three quarters under Max Browne in Saturday’s 33-14 loss to Penn State before backup Ben DiNucci finally got the Panthers across the goal line in the fourth quarter and led yet another long drive afterwards.

DiNucci provided the offense a spark that it lacked at times throughout the day, particularly with his ability to escape pressure in the pocke(t) and scramble. [Pitt Sports Now]

You can loosely compare the two to the Oil Baron (Max Browne) and Wudtee (Ben DiNucci). Browne should make less mistakes and manage the game well while Dinucci is a relative unknown but provides a spark with his athleticism as an underclassmen.

Dinucci played well against the Penn State backups playing prevent but who knows, heaven help us if he looks like a K-State third team WR throwing passes.


While Tulsa has some talent in the passing game, Pitt has a big play wideout in Jester Weah. Who knows if anybody can get the ball to him downfield (no version in the current QB stable has) but he’s a 6-3, 210-pound wideout that will be by far be the best OSU has seen yet.

He could be more of a red-zone threat than one who can expose you in the open field — but he did go for 60 and a score in Stillwater last year. While he went for 870 and 24.2 yards per catch in 2016, Browne hasn’t done a lot for him, averaging just 7.72 yards per completion.

The real story for the Cowboy defense will be containing sparkplug Qadree Ollison. With 126 yards against Penn State, the Cowboy linebacker group will have their hands full keeping him between the tackles.

Same Ol’ Story

Going behind enemy lines, here’s what a Panther writer had to say about Pitt’s defense:

Even if the pass defense improves as the season goes on, it doesn’t seem likely that unit will be a strength of the team. That means Pitt will always be vulnerable to quick-strike offense and to be consistently competitive, they’ll need the ability to respond in kind. [Pitt Sports Now]

Let those words seep into your brain wrinkles: “always be vulnerable to a quick-strike offense”. 

From a stylistic and personnel point of view — it’s not in Pitt’s favor for the game to evolve into a shootout. Penn State, another prolific offense, lost the time of possession battle (38:20 to 21:40) but led 28-6 late in the game.

And while it’s unwise to project emotions and excitement levels of 19-year-olds from week to week — Heinz Field (on Saturdays) hasn’t exactly been a Saturday night in Death Valley.

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