It’s that week of the year that both PITT and Penn State fans look forward to. That’s right, don’t believe Penn State fans and media when they try to play down this week because they believe their athletic department when they say that they are “Unrivaled”. Which I call BS on because they need this rivalry as much as PITT needs this rivalry. Especially now in the playoff era, PITT, Penn State and WVU should play each other every year if they want to impress the playoff committee with their resumes. But, that is a different conversation for a different day, today is just about the game coming up this Saturday.
PITT is coming off a game against Youngstown State that was a lot closer than it had to be. I’m not reading into what the offense did in that game as much because it was a “sugar free” vanilla game plan and yes it was even more bland than their game plan last season against Villanova in the opener. When we boil it all down, PITT had a 21-0 lead at the Half and a 21-7 lead after 3 quarters with a chance to make it a 3 touchdown lead after the blocked punt was returned inside the 5 yard line.
If PITT scores a touchdown there instead of missing a FG, the score would have been 28-7 and the game would of probably ended that way and it would of been the exact same score and same conversation had after the Villanova game last year. But, the conversation changed because of the way the 4th Quarter went down with the offense trying to hold onto the lead without showing too much and the secondary just could not cover the wheel route to save their lives. But, the OT went exactly like you would want to see from PITT as the Max Browne found Jester Weah in the endzone and the defense picked off a desperate Hunter Wells to seal the game and allow the Panthers to escape with a season opening Win.
Now, Penn State took care of business by defeating Akron 52-0 in their Week 1 win at home. But, I’m not reading too much into that to because it was in State College and everyone expected them to run all over the Zips. I do believe that Saquon Barkley is for real and their offense does run through him. Barkley is going to have a lot to prove because he had a bad game last season in this match-up with a few turnovers and McSorley had a few turnovers including the one big interception by Ryan Lewis in the end-zone to ice the game.
That is where I am going to start with what PITT needs to do...
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