Although their record sits at 5-3, Pitt Football desperately needs to improve on the offensive side of the ball or the consequences may ruin a promising season.
The Pittsburgh Panthers are one of the most challenging teams to figure out in all of college football. On the one hand, the team is 5-3, with one of those losses coming in a close contest against a talented Penn State squad. On the other hand, they have scored fewer points than they have given up on the season, showing that despite possessing a winning record, things could look very different had they not had a few lucky breaks along the way. That’s not to say that Pitt is a bad team; instead, they are a solid team that needs to make a few improvements, particularly on offense.
According to Sports-Reference, Pitt ranks 115th in the nation in terms of offensive points scored at just 21 per game. In the passing game, quarterback Kenny Pickett continues to underwhelm as a starter. After some early-season momentum, Pickett has fallen back down to Earth. His numbers aren’t horrible, but far too often, he looks panicked, and his decision-making seems to be shaky at best. Another issue is his complete unwillingness to throw deep down the field. The offensive line shares some of the blame for Pitt’s checkdown-centric offense, but Pickett has to start taking some shots down the field if this team is ever going to score with consistency.
That said, Pickett needs more help from a running attack that has been sluggish this season. Starting running back, A.J. Davis has been far too inconsistent, mixing in some incredible highlights with long periods of ineffectiveness. Todd Sibley Jr. has been explosive in his limited action, but the coaching staff doesn’t seem to trust him fully, and it remains to be seen whether he can be a feature back. As a team, Pitt is averaging 3.5 yards per carry this season, a pitiful number. That number is somewhat misleading due to college football’s rules that sacks count against rushing yards, but it does underscore the fact that they need to get better production on the ground.
Against a Georgia Tech team that is giving up around 30 points per game, Pitt football has a chance to get their offense on track. After Week Nine’s brutal loss and a season filled with close victories, Pitt desperately needs to show that they can score, especially against a weaker opponent. With their reputation on the line, how will this offense respond?