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Blind player snaps extra point during USC’s victory

A college football player who has been blind since age 12 snapped for a successful extra point Saturday, helping the University of Southern California to a 49-31 victory against Western Michigan.

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Jake Olson entered the game with 3:13 to play in the fourth quarter. The Trojans’ Marvel Tell III had just returned an interception for a touchdown, allowing Olson to make his first appearance in a regular-season game. The Western Michigan players were aware that Olson was in the game and did not rush the kick. Olson delivered a perfect snap and USC converted for the final margin of victory.

“I loved being out there,” Olson said. “It was an awesome feeling, something that I'll remember forever, getting to snap at USC as a football player.”

Olson was born with retinoblastoma, a form of eye cancer, and he lost his left eye when he was 10 months old, ESPN reported. In 2009, at age 12, he learned he needed surgery to remove his right eye, which would completely cost him his vision. 

USC coach Clay Helton had praise for Western Michigan coach Tim Lester, who signed off on Olson's debut.

“Very special moment for us with a very special guy at the end of the game,” Helton said. “I commend and I thank Coach Lester and the entire Western Michigan family for the honor of getting what I think is a very special person in Jake Olson in.”

“It was very special, hearing my name being called over the P.A. system,” Olson said.

USC alumnus Clay Matthews, who plays for the Green Bay Packers in the NFL, saluted Olson on Twitter, calling it “an inspiration.”

Pitt players talk easing up in second half against Youngstown State

The Panthers won a close opener against Youngstown State on Saturday, 28-21. If it looked like the Panthers eased up a little, from the sounds of some players, it appears they did.

"It's a matter of being on the gas pedal," admitted quarterback Max Browne. "And probably if we are being honest, easing off a little bit."

"Luckily we finished it out."

I'm not going to kill Browne or even the players. Pitt is playing with a lot of young guys and, as I said earlier, when the coaches are not exposing all of their plays, they are essentially saying that this opponent isn't as good as the next one. Seeing guys take it easy a little bit after a 21-0 lead isn't what you want to see at all, but I can't say I'm really surprised by it. These aren't professionals, they're college kids.

Running back Darrin Hall also knows the offense could have played harder in the second half.

"As an offense, we need to come out hungrier," Hall said. "We might've taken a back seat and we should've come out harder. We should've made more plays."

If Pitt had shown a little more of the playbook in the second half, perhaps they could have had an easier time of things. But much of it was about effort, as Browne and Hall acknowledged. The good news is that it didn't ultimately cost the team a victory.

Be sure to join Cardiac Hill's Facebook page and follow us on Twitter @PittPantherBlog for our regular updates on Pitt athletics. Follow the author and founder/editor @AnsonWhaley.

Should Pitt continue downscaled offense in openers?

Under Pat Narduzzi, Pitt has made a habit of scaling back the offense in the Panthers' opener. Last year, the strategy seemed to pay off. The team comfortably won a largely boring contest over Villanova, 28-7. More importantly, James Franklin and Penn State seemed to be caught off guard by a dynamic Pitt offense a week later that showed a new arsenal of plays.

This year, the Panthers clearly took the same approach to the opener this year against Youngstown State. Unfortunately for the team, it nearly came back to bite them. Pitt blew a 21-0 and, after going scoreless in the second half, allowed the Penguins to tie the game, sending it to overtime. The Panthers ultimately prevailed but could easily have lost the game.

I understand Narduzzi's decision to hold things back and not publicize them for the Panthers' biggest opponents. But the reality is that the strategy could backfire and even cost the team an embarrassing loss.

The counter, of course, is that even with a scaled back version of the offense, Pitt should be able to win anyway. They have more talent than FCS teams and, even though they shouldn't need it, they even have an added advantage playing them at home.

I would agree. Here's the problem.

Pitt's coaches are constantly telling us that every game counts. They are reinforcing that message to their players. But at the same time, they are holding certain plays back that could be beneficial. If you're a player, how do you take that message? And when you jump out to a 21-0 lead, I'm not sure how you don't start thinking to the next game if you're a 19-year-old kid that's essentially been told by the coaches that the opponent isn't good enough to warrant using all of your best plays.

I'm not saying that's the message the coaches are trying to send. I'm saying that when you're a college kid and you see that, coupled with a big lead, it would be easy to let up a little bit.

None of that excuses the players and they hopefully learned a valuable lesson after today's debacle. And, as stated, that strategy worked perfectly for the program last year. But after such a close call on Saturday, it makes you wonder if that's the right approach going forward.

Be sure to join Cardiac Hill's Facebook page and follow us on Twitter @PittPantherBlog for our regular updates on Pitt athletics. Follow the author and founder/editor @AnsonWhaley.

Pitt needs overtime to defeat Youngstown State in opener, 28-21

Earlier this week, I wrote about Pitt having some potential issues against Youngstown State. They were a little shorthanded, a little banged up, and probably even looking ahead a little to a big matchup against Penn State next week. But despite all of that, I didn't expect the level of nail-biting we saw today as Pitt needed overtime to defeat FCS team Youngstown State, 28-21 on Saturday.

The Penguins are one of the better FCS teams out there. They played in the national championship final last year and are expected to challenge to win it all this season. Coming into the season, they were ranked in the top ten in the FCS' major polls. If you're looking for a silver lining, though, that's not necessarily it. Pitt should still be defeating teams like that pretty handily - especially at home.

Starting the game, Pitt looked pretty motivated. I don't know that I'd say they were dominant, but they got out to a 21-0 halftime lead and looked like they had the game in hand. Things fell apart after that, likely due at least in part to some mental lapses and looking ahead to next week a little early. If I'm taking anything positive away from this besides the team winning, it's probably that for a half, they did exactly what they needed to do, even if in unspectacular fashion.

Keep in mind, too, that Pitt wasn't giving up anything on offense in terms of trick plays, etc. Like last year's game was against Villanova, the Panthers really ran a pretty straightforward offense without much in the way of innovation. Pitt's offense needs to be better and I expect it will be once they open things up a little more. I would be very surprised if the offense is as bad as it looked for much of today.

The bad? Well, there was plenty of that.

First, if we're dismissing this as simply Pitt looking past the Penguins, that in itself should be discouraging and shows a lack of maturity. The Panthers can't afford to look past anyone and you'd like to think that after getting out ahead 17-3 and then seeing Youngstown State match scores with them in 2015 that they'd have kept the pressure on. But this is an almost entirely new team with new faces and if they didn't know that taking your foot off the gas is a problem, they should now.

Next, the secondary was the team's fatal flaw last year and I didn't see much today to make me think that it's much improved. it will, of course, get better when Jordan Whitehead returns from suspension, but that unit didn't have a great day. They not only gave up more than 300 passing yards to an FCS team but also managed to leave several guys open that dropped passes or were over/underthrown. The numbers could have been even higher.

Bricen Garner thankfully came away with the game-ending interception but aside from that, it's hard to be encouraged by how they played today. It's only one game and Pitt was missing its best player in the secondary. But this is still an FCS team that shouldn't have been able to move the ball as much as they did in the second half.

One problem for me was that Pitt didn't get nearly enough pressure. Amir Watts was credited with a sack and while there were some hurries recorded, I'm guessing, that didn't help the secondary get a breather. Pitt absolutely has to get more pressure than that against an FCS team. We can scream about the secondary until we're blue in the face but if the quarterback isn't under enough pressure, those guys would get burned beat there even if the Panthers had All-Americans on the field.

Looking at Pitt's own offense, it's really difficult to judge those guys since I think the playbook was scaled back so much. But I came away really unimpressed. Max Browne was lackluster, completing only about half of his passes and most of his work was limited to shorter routes so it should have been higher. Seven of his 17 receptions went to running backs and the starting wide receivers Jester Weah and Quadree Henderson each caught only one pass.

I also wasn't impressed with the running backs today. We did see Henderson get his share of carries as Pitt kept that part of the offense from Matt Canada's system, but the backs as a whole were underwhelming. Qadree Ollison led the way with 91 yards and two touchdowns on 22 carries but he, Darrin Hall, and freshman A.J. Davis, who saw playing time on some crucial fourth downs, finished under four yards per carry with Ollison and Hall getting the bulk of the workload. All three are serviceable but it's not hard to figure out that replacing James Conner is harder than it looks. And where we're at with Chawntez Moss is no idea. He looked explosive earlier on last year and now he's losing carries to a true freshman and can't even get on the field when the top two guys are having only an average day?

One word of caution I'll throw out there is, hold off on the crucifying Shawn Watson bandwagon. Pitt's new offensive coordinator will take a lot of heat this week, but you might remember that Matt Canada took some last year after a pretty lackluster opener against Villanova, too. That turned out to be premature. I'm not saying Pitt's offense will turn around like that one did. Canada had several NFL players on his offense last year and it remains to be seen how many will come of this group. But I'm not ready to throw Watson under the bus yet until we see the team take on bigger chunks of the playbook.

The special teams were also somewhat disastrous with freshman Alex Kessman missing both of his field goal attempts. If you thought the shaky kicking was leaving town with the departure of Chris Blewitt, think again. This is something Kessman and Pitt are going to have to figure out. One of those kicks was inside of 30 yards and those have to be practically gimmes.

I don't think this should be all about panic. Like I said, Pitt didn't show much on offense all day long and I think part of their second-half issues were about taking the foot off the gas a little. But what frustrated me was seeing some of the individual struggles by guys on offense like Browne, the receivers, and the running backs. Even in a vanilla offense, those guys should look better playing an FCS team. Today was a good example of just how hard it is to replace an NFL quarterback, an NFL running back, and two NFL offensive linemen.

Long way to go, obviously.

Be sure to join Cardiac Hill's Facebook page and follow us on Twitter @PittPantherBlog for our regular updates on Pitt athletics. Follow the author and founder/editor @AnsonWhaley.

Thousands of college football fans wave to patients at new children's hospital

When the new University of Iowa Children’s Hospital was built, overlooking Kinnick Stadium, officials suggested that Hawkeye fans wave to patients.

Hawkeye fans did not let the kids down.

>> Need something to lift your spirits? Read more uplifting news

At the end of the first quarter of Saturday's game against the Wyoming Cowboys, thousands of Hawkeye fans turned to wave at the young patients looking out the windows of the hospital.

The Hawkeyes and the University of Iowa are participating in a "Touchdowns for Kids" campaign, in which fans can donate a dollar or more for every time the Hawkeyes score a touchdown, KWWL reported.

New to the Zoo: Danya Kingsby commits to Pitt

Pitt lands a junior college guard

Blessed to announce that I have committed to the University of Pittsburgh pic.twitter.com/wDB22TPTIv— Danya Kingsby (@D_Kingsby2) September 1, 2017

Pitt basketball received some good news tonight, as they landed a verbal commitment from Danya Kingsby. Kingsby is a 6’1” point guard that plays for the College of Southern Idaho in the JuCo ranks. He chose Pitt over offers from UNLV, Texas A&M, and Tulsa among others. He will have two years of eligibility for coach Kevin Stallings.

Kingsby is originally a native of Milwaukee before playing for CSI this past season. As a freshman in 2017, he averaged 11.4 points per game, to go with 3.7 assists and 3.0 rebounds. He helped lead his team to a 27-7 record and a berth in the NJCAA tournament.

Pitt is getting a very athletic guard in Danya Kingsby. His athleticism really jumps off the screen when you watch his highlights. He should provide a nice change of pace to Pitt’s projected starting guard, Marcus Carr in the 2018-19 season.

Kingsby becomes the second recruit in the 2018 class, joining three-star forward, Bryce Golden. Both players are on campus this weekend, along with a few other of Pitt’s top targets.

Pitt obviously brought on 11 new players this past offseason, and that likely will not be the case again in this cycle. With two players committed, I only expect Pitt to take two more at the most. They are in on some good players still, and it would be a welcomed step for this staff to start landing some higher caliber recruits. Golden and Kingsby are two solid recruits, but they could use a headliner in this class.

The Cardiac Spill 2017 Pitt PUN-THERS Football Preview

0% CONTENT//100% WORDPLAY//I NEED YOU TO IMAGINE MY BOWTIE SPINNING AFTER EVERY ITALICIZED PHRASE//IT’S THE ONLY WAY WE’RE GONNA GET THROUGH THIS ONE TOGETHER

vs. Youngstown State Penguins (September 2nd)

Jeez - this first game is for the birds! And with Bo Pelini at the helm, there's no way this game won't be just like this preview - corny! I hope Pitt doesn't play down to the FCS level this week - that is, don't Stoops to their level! I sure hope Heinz Field has "fair weather" for this one! And if you’re going to get a tan this weekend, be careful not to stay in the sun that long - or else you’ll get Max Browne! Zingo! Next!

at Penn State Nittany Lions (September 9th)

A Nittany Lion may be a type of cat - but frankly, I think the dogs are going to Barking over this one! If I may be frank, I... uh...

You know what, give me a week on this one.

vs. Oklahoma State Cowboys (September 16th)

Oklahoma State is going to throw so many touchdowns, they should be called "six-shooters!" As we saw last year, Cowboys quarterback Mason Rudolphcan make some very crazy throws! Hopefully this one doesn't turn into a real paddling! I still live here! What’s up with that! Bwuh-zam! Next!

at Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets (September 23rd)

This game is opening ACC play for us - so you know there'll be some real buzz! This one might sting! This high-octane offense might give us some serious road rash! If we start the season 1-3, it'll be a real wreck! Georgia Wreck! Georgia Blech? Bore-gia Blech?! Jim-jam jimminy! Next!

vs. Rice Owls (September 30th)

Jeez - this fifth game is for the birds! This game might seem like a comedown after those last two match-ups, so it's up to the coaches to make sure the players give a hoot! I hope we don't see them try to wing it! If we lose this one, we have a problem! But if this team is as good as advertised, it might be an offensive downpourby Pitt! Pitt games are usually won by a score or less... but it's gonna be at least a ten over Rice! Wa-pow! Next!

at Syracuse Orange (October 7th)

Dome, sweet Dome! Cuse may have a strong offense again, but will they be able to win with their D? No!

...Orange you glad this preview is halfway over? Yes? Whatever, next.

vs. NC State Wolfpack (October 14th)

Oh, grandma, what a big game this might be! NC State might be formidable this year, but I bet Pitt will Do-’er-in! And remember: if you’re going to this game, make sure your concessions trash doesn’t fall out of the can accidentally: that is, make sure the Tre Tipton! Yowza!

Losing to NC State at home? Wuf! Next!

at Duke Blue Devils (October 21st)

This team always has some diabolical scheme - but the devil is in the details, and Pitt usually finds a Wade to win. That is, as long as they don't try to cut any corners, because this team is going to be Jones-ing for a statement win at home. K? Better put your dukes up!And if you go to North Carolina for this game, try racing the trees down there - it’s fun to Chase Pine! Sha-zow! Next!

vs. Virginia Cavaliers (October 28th)

Hoo boy, a home game against Virginia! I think we'll Leead the whole time!

vs North Carolina Tar Heels (November 9th)

Let's all hope that by this game, the ACC Coastal is still up in the air - because we all know that this game is gonna be an uphill battle! Here's hoping that Coach Narduzzi and his boys don't wind up in another sticky situation, and bring home the crown! But if they don’t, well, life’s a Mitch anyway! Buppity Bam! Next!

at Virginia Tech Hokies (November 18th)

Jeez - this eleventh game is for the birds! (I think?) If we're still in Lane for the division at this point, I'll be beaming! Hopefully the Hokies won't e-Vick-t us from the division race, but you better be ready just in case this Fuente fellow coaches football en fuego! Say your prayers, I guess! And when you’re, you, crossing grocery store lanes without... permission, you... uhhh... Jay Stocker.

...

Shabbledeeboo! Next!

vs. Miami Hurricanes (November 24th)

This game sure might rock me like a Hurricane! A win here would be a golden way to end the season! And if, after this game, you (a vampire) decide to go cattle shopping for an upcoming rodeo, be sure to tell them “Avonte Maddox!”

Alright, bye.

FINAL SEASON RECORD PREDICTION: [distant “ha-cha-cha-cha” noises]

Be sure to join Cardiac Hill’s facebook page and follow us on Twitter (@PittPantherBlog) for our regular updates on Pitt athletics. Send hate mail to @N_THEYSTAYTHERE (nicetryilluminati@gmail.com)

(Don't) Bet the Farm: Cardiac Hill's Pitt-Youngstown State Game Picks

With Pitt facing Youngstown State this weekend, we'll be continuing our weekly staff picks. As usual, we'll be keeping a tally throughout the season.

Historically, here are the past winners from each season to date:

2016: Corey2015: Anson/Aron (tie)2014: Chris2013: Anson

No surprises here - this year, all of our writers are expecting a Pitt victory to open the season. The Panthers may not blow out Youngstown State but no one is picking against them to lose the game outright.

Anson - PittCorey - PittHokie Mark - PittJD - PittJim - PittJordan - PittMatt - PittMike - PittPBS - PittStephen - Pitt

Be sure to join Cardiac Hill's Facebook page and follow us on Twitter @PittPantherBlog for our regular updates on Pitt athletics. Follow the author and founder/editor @AnsonWhaley.

Cardiac Hill Predicts the College Football Season

The staff and friends take a stab at forecasting the 2017 college football season.

The tradition continues for another year. In each of the past two seasons members of Cardiac Hill and former writers for the site have tried to predict the college football season. As you might guess, those prediction are spotty at best.

So we will try our best to do the same once again. Last weekend was a “soft” opening of college football, but it’s back 100% in all it’s glory this weekend. Everyone here at Cardiac Hill is excited for Pitt football, and college football in general. So as you settle in to watch Indiana and Ohio State tonight, check out our picks.

Here is this year’s trusty panel.

Cardiac Hill staff

  • Anson Whaley - He correctly picked Clemson to win it all last year.
  • J.D. Schroderer - J.D. picked Dewayne Hendrix to have a breakout year, turned out he got in hurt in the first quarter of the first game.
  • Corey Cohen - Corey had LSU to win it all last season.....
  • viewfromtheZoo32 - He’s new around here, so we’ll see what he’s got.
  • P.B.S. - That Kenny Hill Heisman pick did not age well.
  • Matt Hawley - Newbie
  • Mike Wilson - Ditto
  • JimHammett - I said the Clemson game last year wasn’t winnable so....

Former Cardiac Hill Contributors.

  • Aron Minkoff - Aron picked Pitt to win the Coastal last year, I like the optimism.
  • Spilly - In a bit of an upset, HB Blades did not win ACC Defensive Player of the Year.
  • Mike - He left this caveat last season in his ACC Atlantic pick, “Clemson, provided they rebound from losing to Pitt at home.” I guess they did rebound from that loss.
  • Dan Sostek - Dan was out in front of the Lamar Jackson hype train.
  • Adam Bittner - Adam picked Darrin Hall for 2 different Pitt related categories, it didn’t work out well.
  • Bryan (PittScript) - He didn’t make any picks last year, wise man.
  • Bryan (The other one) - Bryan had Quadree Henderson as his breakout player, good call.
  • MikeO - Like everyone else, he incorrectly picked Damar Hamlin to be Pitt’s top freshman.
  • Pat - Pat’s Leonard Fournette Heisman pick did not pan out.
  • Jesse Irwin - His James Conner Heisman pick was a bit ambitious.
  • Chris Bruno - Chris was too trusting of Miami, will he make the same mistake this year?

ACC Coastal Pick

Anson - MiamiJD - MiamiCorey - Virginia TechviewfromtheZoo32 - MiamiPBS - Virginia TechMatt Hawley - Virginia TechMike Wilson - MiamiJimHammett - Miami

Aron - Virginia TechSpilly - Virginia TechMikeDan - MiamiAdam - NOT Miami Bryan (PittScript) - Georgia TechBryan - Virginia TechMikeO - MiamiPat - Virginia TechJesse - PittChris - Miami

ACC Atlantic Pick

Anson - Florida StateJD - Florida StateCorey - Florida StateviewfromtheZoo32 - Florida StatePBS - Florida StateMatt Hawley - Florida StateMike Wilson - Florida StateJimHammett - Florida State

Aron - Florida StateSpilly - LouisvilleMikeDan - Florida StateAdam - Florida State Bryan (PittScript) - Florida State Bryan - Florida StateMikeO - Florida StatePat - NC StateJesse - Louisville Chris - Florida State

ACC Offensive Player of the Year

Anson - Lamar Jackson QB LouisvilleJD - Deondre Francois QB Florida StateCorey - Lamar Jackson QB LouisvilleviewfromtheZoo32 - Lamar Jackson QB LouisvillePBS - Lamar Jackson QB LouisvilleMatt Hawley - Lamar Jackson QB Louisville Mike Wilson - Lamar Jackson QB Louisville JimHammett - Lamar Jackson QB Louisville

Aron - Lamar Jackson QB Louisville Spilly - Lamar Jackson QB LouisvilleMike - Dan - Deondre Francois QB Florida StateAdam - Lamar Jackson QB Louisville Bryan (PittScript) - Lamar Jackson QB Louisville Bryan - Deondre Francois QB Florida StateMikeO - Deondre Francois QB Florida StatePat - Lamar Jackson QB LouisvilleJesse - Lamar Jackson QB Louisville Chris - Lamar Jackson QB Louisville

ACC Defensive Player of the Year

Anson - Derwin James S Florida StateJD - Derwin James S Florida State Corey - Christian Wilkins DT Clemson viewfromtheZoo32 - Harold Landry DE Boston CollegePBS - Derwin James S Florida StateMike Wilson - Harold Landry DE Boston College JimHammett - Derwin James S Florida State

Aron - Harold Landry DE Boston CollegeSpilly - Derwin James S Florida StateMikeDan - Derwin James S Florida StateAdam - Christian Wilkins DT Clemson Bryan (PittScript) - Bradley Chubb DE NC State Bryan - Harold Landry DE Boston CollegeMikeO - Dexter Lawrence DT ClemsonPat - Derwin James S Florida State Jesse - Josh Sweat DE Florida StateChris - Harold Landry DE Boston College

Heisman

Anson - Baker Mayfield QB Oklahoma JD - Sam Darnold QB USC Corey - JT Barrett QB Ohio State viewfromtheZoo32 - Baker Mayfield QB Oklahoma PBS - Saquon Barkley RB Penn StateMatt Hawley - Sam Darnold QB USCMike Wilson - Sam Darnold QB USCJimHammett - JT Barrett QB Ohio State

Aron - Josh Rosen QB UCLA Spilly _ Lamar Jackson QB Louisville MikeDan - Mason Rudolph QB Oklahoma StateAdam - Sam Darnold QB USC Bryan (PittScript) - Saquon Barkley RB Penn State Bryan - Baker Mayfield QB Oklahoma MikeO - Baker Mayfield QB Oklahoma Pat - Sam Darnold QB USC Jesse - EJ Borghetti SID Pitt Chris - Sam Darnold QB USC

National Champion Prediction

Anson - Alabama over Ohio StateJD - USC over PSU Corey - Ohio State over AlabamaviewfromtheZoo32 - Alabama over Florida StatePBS - Florida State over OklahomaMatt Hawley - Alabama over USCMike Wilson - Alabama over Ohio State JimHammett - Florida State over USC

Aron - Alabama Spilly - Alabama, per the usual roughly biennial Sabanic dark sacrificeMikeDan - AlabamaAdam - Alabama Bryan (PittScript)Bryan - USCMikeO - AlabamaPat - USC Jesse - PittChris - USC

Pitt Offensive MVP

Anson - Jester Weah WRJD - Jester Weah WR Corey - Quadree Henderson WR viewfromtheZoo32 - Quadree Henderson WRPBS - Quadree Henderson WRMatt Hawley - Quadree Henderson WRMike Wilson - Qadree Ollison RBJimHammett - Max Browne QB

Aron - Max Browne QBSpilly - Quadree Henderson WRMikeDan - Quadree Henderson WRAdam - Brian O’Neill LT Bryan (PittScript) - Quadree Henderson WR Bryan - Qadree Ollison RBMikeO - Chris Clark TEPat - Jester Weah WRJesse - Quadree Henderson WR Chris - Quadree Henderson, though I really want to say Brian O'Neil here.

Pitt Defensive MVP

Anson - Dewayne Hendrix DEJD - Saleem Brightwell Corey - Dewayne Hendrix DEviewfromtheZoo32 - Dewayne Hendrix DEPBS - NoMatt Hawley - Dewayne Hendrix DEMike Wilson - Jordan Whitehead SJimHammett - Saleem Brightwell LB

Aron - Jordan Whitehead SSpilly - A bag that blows in from the stands and trips a WR, becoming the #1 safety in the processMikeDan - Saleem Brightwell LBAdam - Saleem Brightwell LBBryan (PittScript) - Dewayne Hendrix DE Bryan - Avonte Maddox CB MikeO - Dewayne Hendrix DEPat - Kam Carter DTJesse - Jordan Whitehead S Chris - Let's go with Dewayne Hendrix again...UGH stay healthy!

Pitt Breakout Candidate

Anson - Dewayne Hendrix DEJD - Keyshon Camp DTCorey - Chris Clark TE viewfromtheZoo32PBS - Damar Hamlin CBMatt Hawley - Chawntez Moss RBMike Wilson - Damar Hamlin CBJimHammett - Rashad Weaver DE

Aron - Max Browne QBSpilly - Homecoming Bobblehead of James ConnerMikeDan - Saleem Brightwell LBAdam - Jester Weah WRBryan (PittScript) - Damar Hamlin CBBryan - Ruben Flowers III WRMikeO - Therran Coleman CBPat - Maurice Ffrench WRJesse - Heather Lyke ADChris - Chris Clark TE

Pitt’s Top Freshman

Anson - Keyshon Camp DTJD - Damarri Mathis CBCorey - Alex Kessman K viewfromtheZoo32 - Therran Coleman CBPBS - Jimmy Morrissey CMatt Hawley - Keyshon Camp DTMike Wilson - Damarri Mathis CBJimHammett - Damarri Mathis CB

Aron - AJ Davis RB Spilly - Theodore Blewitt, the strangely old walk on kicker here to save a beaten to death Twitter jokeMikeDan - Dontavius Butler-Jenkins WRAdam - Todd Sibley RB Bryan (PittScript) - Rashad Weaver DE Bryan - Damarri Mathis CBMikeO - AJ Davis RBPat - Dontavius Butler-Jenkins WR Jesse - Alex Kessman K Chris - AJ Davis...was so going to say Paris Ford, but just too far behind right now.

Pitt’s Toughest Game

Anson - @ Penn StateJD - @ Penn StateCorey - @ Penn StateviewfromtheZoo32 - Penn StatePBS - Oklahoma StateMatt Hawley - @ Penn StateMike Wilson - Miami JimHammett - @ Georgia Tech (plaything the triple option directly after PSU and OK State is going to be tough)

Aron - @ PSUSpilly - Syracuse, when the game is called a tie at 1437 points each in centuple overtimeMikeDan - Oklahoma StateAdam - The one after their biggest winBryan (PittScript) - @ Penn StateBryan - @ Penn StateMikeO - Oklahoma StatePat - @ Virginia TechJesse - The National Championship GameChris - @ Penn State

Pitt’s Final Record

Anson - 8-4JD - 8-4Corey - 7-5viewfromtheZoo32 - 8-4PBS - 6-6Matt Hawley - 8-4Mike Wilson - 8-4 JimHammett - 8-4

Aron - 8-4 Spilly - 69-0MikeDan - 7-5Adam - 8-5Bryan (PittScript) - 6-6Bryan - 9-3 MikeO - 7-5Pat - 7-5Jesse - 8-4Chris - 7-5. Would love 8.

Local Pitt Football Media Predictions for 2017 season

Pittsburgh Sports Now rounded up some Pitt football predictions from local media. I added my thoughts and my general feeling for this team is another 8-4 year.

That likely won't please head coach Pat Narduzzi if it happens but it would be a solid year with a challenging schedule and lots of key personnel losses from last year. The non-conference schedule is difficult with two ranked teams and while the Panthers avoid the deadly Florida State/Clemson pairing this season, they also must face the competition in the Coastal, which includes Miami, Virginia Tech, and North Carolina squads that have all been above average teams.

You can check out the predictions of local media type folk here.

Be sure to join Cardiac Hill's Facebook page and follow us on Twitter @PittPantherBlog for our regular updates on Pitt athletics. Follow the author @AnsonWhaley.

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