Fresh off a bye week and riding the momentum of three straight wins, can Pitt football continue their winning ways in Week Eight?
As we enter Week Eight of the college football season, the Pittsburgh Panthers have been one of the NCAA’s bigger surprises, sitting at 4-2. After an ugly Week One loss to Virginia, Pitt has played well, winning four of five with the one loss coming against Penn State in a game that Pitt gave the Nittany Lions everything they could handle. Head coach Pat Narduzzi has his squad playing good football, but will it continue in Week Eight?
Despite their record, Pitt is more vulnerable than it appears. Their upset against UCF a few weeks ago was spectacular, but in the last two weeks, Pitt has only managed to squeak by much worse teams in Delaware and Duke. In winning those games by a combined six points, Pitt’s weaknesses were put on full display. Their Week Seven opponent, Syracuse, isn’t necessarily an elite team, but they are almost certainly a stronger opponent than the tomato cans Pitt has barely knocked over in recent weeks. After entering the bye week riding a three-game winning streak, this looms as a potential trap game that threatens to derail all the momentum they have built.
Ultimately, this game will likely come down to Pitt’s ability to play efficient offense. The defense is talented enough to win games, but the offense needs to put together a consistent effort. The running game, which has been largely disappointing so far, needs to improve. Syracuse will likely focus on stopping Kenny Pickett and the passing attack, making it crucial that Pitt’s running backs take advantage.
When it’s all said and done, Pitt should be able to handle Syracuse and come away with the win in Week Eight, but that doesn’t mean it will be easy. Narduzzi needs his squad to clean up some issues we have seen manifest themselves over the past few games, or else Syracuse might pull off the upset. This is going to be a tough contest, but Pitt has given us reason to believe in their ability to win these matchups.