2016-17 Football Previews – (ACC) – Panthers
Looking for 2016 Pittsburgh Panthers predictions? The Pittsburgh football program finally has reason for optimism. Head coach Pat Narduzzi welcomes back a majority of his star players that can really be a dark horse in the ACC. Pittsburgh will once again be a run first offense here in 2016. With the talent they have back there, they can cause a lot of fits for opposing defenses.
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2016-17 College Football Preview – Pittsburgh Panthers
Head Coach: Pat Narduzzi
Pittsburgh Panthers Odds to win 2017 FBS Championship: 500/1
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The Panthers will be tested in the month of September with 3 very quality opponents. Getting off to a hot start will certainly be important as a slow September can bury them and put them out of contention.
Pittsburgh Panthers Predictions: Team Strengths
Stability in the Backfield
Pittsburgh welcomes back one of the best 1-2 punches in the backfield from last season.
James Conner and Qadree Ollison both return and offer so many options for Pittsburgh. Conner played just 1 game last year and tallied a pair of touchdowns to his credit. Ollison stepped into his place and was a force to be reckoned with.
Ollison rushed for 1121 yards and had 11 touchdowns to his credit, setting the offensive pace for the Panthers. With Conner at 100% and back with him, not only can Ollison get some breaks, but both RBs will certainly be seen in the backfield at the same time.
QB Nathan Peterman also returns. Last season, Peterman threw for 2287 yards and had 20 touchdowns to just 8 interceptions.
Peterman has the ability to step up and make a clutch pass when needed and what is probably is most impressive quality is that he never forces the issue.
Mistakes are rare for him and with a pair of dynamic backs along side him, this offense is going to be quite impressive.
Pittsburgh Panthers Predictions: Team Weaknesses
Replacing A Star
A giant reason for Peterman’s success last year came from Tyler Boyd.
Not only was Boyd the number 1 target and one of the best receivers in the nation, he was also given the ability to motion in the backfield and take a handoff. Pittsburgh did whatever they could to get him the ball.
Now, they must find a way to replace his production, which is certainly no easy task.
A very underrated weakness comes from the kicking game for the Panthers.
K Chris Blewitt managed to hit just 15 of 23 field goals attempted last season. His unreliability forced the Panthers to go for it more times than not when inside the opponents territory.
Look for telling signs early on whether or not Blewitt will be a reliable option in high pressured situations.
Pittsburgh Panthers 2016 Prediction: 8-4
The Panthers have a chance to do some damage in the ACC.
Replacing Boyd is tough and probably not even likely, but with Conner back, this running back duo is one of the best in the nation.
Pittsburgh will have a tough go at it early on after Villanova in Week 1, with that game in Week 4 against the Tar Heels a very important one.
The first month of the season will tell what kind of Panthers team we’ll get this year. If they can get the running game going and have that offensive line working, they’ll be a threatening team.
2016 Pittsburgh Panthers Football Schedule
- 09/03/16 vs. Villanova TV Pittsburgh, Pa. 1:30 p.m. ET
- 09/10/16 vs. Penn State TV Pittsburgh, Pa. 12:00 p.m. ET
- 09/17/16 at Oklahoma State Stillwater, Okla. 3:30 p.m. ET
- 09/24/16 at North Carolina * Chapel Hill, N.C. TBA
- 10/01/16 vs. Marshall Pittsburgh, Pa. TBA
- 10/08/16 vs. Georgia Tech * Pittsburgh, Pa. TBA
- 10/15/16 at Virginia * Charlottesville, Va. TBA
- 10/27/16 vs. Virginia Tech * TV Pittsburgh, Pa. 7:00 p.m. ET
- 11/05/16 at Miami * Miami Gardens, Fla. TBA
- 11/12/16 at Clemson * Clemson, S.C. TBA
- 11/19/16 vs. Duke * Pittsburgh, Pa. TBA
- 11/26/16 vs. Syracuse * Pittsburgh, Pa. TBA
What do you think about our 2016 Pittsburgh Panthers predictions? Please leave us a comment below telling us how you think they’ll do in 2016!
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