Pitt Panthers Postgame Commentary: September 19 vs Syracuse

By COMON Network, Capel Faithful Teams

Final Score – No. 25 Pittsburgh Panthers (2-0, 1-0 ACC) 21 def. Syracuse Orange (0-2, 0-2 ACC) 10

In the ACC opener matinee at Heinz Field, the 25th-ranked Pittsburgh Panthers bested the Orange 21-10, after being favored by three touchdowns by oddsmakers. Despite the lack of a cover, the Panthers are now 1-0 in ACC play in 2020.

Andre Szmyt knocked down a 26-yard field goal to start the scoring with 6:08 to play in the first quarter. With 4:12 left in the same frame, Kenny Pickett completed to Jordan Addison for a 27-yard score to give Pitt a 7-3 lead. Nearing the middle portion of the second, Syracuse starting quarterback Tommy DeVito was hurt and Rex Culpepper found the speedy Taj Harris or a 69-yard touchdown. Pickett rushed in from one yard away with 5:06 left in the half. The Panthers found themselves up 14-10 at the break.

With 0:54 to play in the third, Pickett found Jared Wayne, who caught five balls for 59 yards on the day, for a 17-yard strike and score that was the final scoring play of the afternoon.

The attention now turns to Louisville, who is ranked 18th as of this week. The Cardinals come to town next week at noon.

COMON Network, Capel Faithful Team Commentary


  • Kenny Pickett was solid when Pitt needed him to be and he was efficient today in the win. He goes 25-for-36 for 215 yards and two scores with a pick, but accounts for all three scores. Good day for the signalcaller, but he needs some help from his backfield. The group back there rushed for 2.9 yards per carry on 44 attempts today and frankly nobody looked great. Vincent Davis did some good things in pass pro and caught a couple balls, but that room has got to be better moving forward.
  • I like what we’ve seen from Jordan Addison early on and Jared Wayne was solid today. Those two combine for 12 receptions. DJ Turner was good too. If I have any complaints on the pass catcher topic it’s two drops by Lucas Krull, the transfer tight end from Florida. He didn’t get the tune up game last week, so I won’t judge two drops too harshly. This offense looks like it can do some things, even though Syracuse’s defensive unit played pretty well.
  • Paris Ford’s interception was a big play and a really nice play too. It’s no surprise to see him flying around and to help the Panthers create a two-takeaway day is a good sign for this defense, which everyone who knows anything about this team expected to be a very good unit. The group altogether had seven sacks and allowed just 51 rushing yards on 34 carries. That’s unreal. And the aerial attack wasn’t much better: 69 yards come on one play and the rest of the game it’s 12-23 between Culpepper and DeVito for 51 yards and an interception. Big day for the defense going into the game against the Louisville Cardinals.
  • Kessman and the kicking game is an eye sore today. Three misses. I hate where the hash marks are in college football but that’s no excuse. That group and Kessman has to be better going forward.

Player of the Game – Kenny Pickett (PITT)

DYLAN MITCHELL – Capel Faithful

  • Running back situation is still a mess. You’d think with as many highly touted guys they have on the roster they could figure it out.
  • Way too many illegal formation calls. Undisciplined and unacceptable from a D1 football team.
  • Jordan Addison is a Sunday player. As a true freshman, he already looks like one of the better weapons Pitt has had in the past decade.
  • Whipple needs to figure it out. He has some bizarre plays calls and packages. The offense needs to play better football if Pitt wants to contend for the ACC Title game
  • The kicking situation is bad. Pitt is going to be in tight games where Kessman needs to make kicks. Today was not a good sign for the future.

Player of the Game – Calijah Kancey (PITT)

DAVID HADDAD – Capel Faithful

  • Mark Whipple and Pat Narduzzi are clearly still unbelievably unaware of what they have on the offensive side. Between limiting Kenny Pickett’s downfield attack (where he has looked sharp on scant opportunity), and giving Vincent Davis and AJ Davis undeserved touches over Sibley, Izzy, and Daniel Carter, this team has a lot to figure out before next week’s matchup against an actual, functioning opponent. Cut down on drops, figure out what’s going on with Kessman and Christadoulou, and hope the return of Taysir Mack opens up the offensive scheme a little, and let’s move on to next week.  
  • PS – Addison looks incredible and so does the whole defense.

Player of the Game – Calijah Kancey (PITT)

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