LOUISVILLE NEEDS TO WIN THIS GAME CONVINCINGLY
Jeff Brohm has a history of winning big games but has letdowns in games that he should win. I don’t think that’s going to happen this weekend but I do think he needs to show that he can beat a bad team in a convincing fashion.
Pitt is playing terribly right now. They’ve given up 79 points over their last two games. They’ve scored four touchdowns on offense during that span. As a matter of fact, Pitt’s offense has scored four more touchdowns than Jawhar Jordan has on his own. This is a team that is already on to its backup quarterback in hopes of creating a spark. That backup turned the ball over three times in the one half that he has played this year.
No real excuses. Louisville should win this game with ease.
UOFL’S PASSING GAME WILL GET BACK ON TRACK
Pitt loves to challenge receivers and quarterbacks. They have actually mastered the art of rushing four while leaving their secondary players on an island. Pitt has always had the talent to do this but this year the defense has taken a step back after losing some key players.
The Panthers haven’t given up many big passing plays but I think that changes this weekend. Jeff Brohm has utilized a balanced offense to get to 6-0 but big plays in the passing game were how he started off the season on offense. He will look to get back to hitting those big passing plays because they can change a game in an instant. Pitt will try to pressure Jack Plummer as other teams have. It will backfire this weekend.
PITT WILL FOCUS ON RUNNING THE BALL
This seems obvious with Pitt starting a new quarterback but they really haven’t run the ball well this year and Pat Narduzzi knows that Jeff Brohm will be looking to put points up quickly. I think back to the Duke game in 2016 when David Cutcliffe took the air out of the ball and kept Lamar Jackson on the sideline. Pitt may not deploy the same strategy, but they will look to control the clock and go slow.
I don’t know that Pitt will have success here but Louisville hasn’t faced a good running game outside of Notre Dame, but Pitt has some receivers that may change Ron English’s thinking. Bub Means and Konata Mumpfield can make big plays. I don’t have any faith that their passing games can create those big plays but it’s worth wondering if English backs off the pressure a bit.
ASHTON GILLOTTE WILL PUT ON A SHOW
This is a given every week but Pitt is especially bad at protecting the quarterback. If things go the way they should for Louisville’s defense, Pitt will be in passing situations a lot on Saturday. I expect Gillotte to find himself in one-on-one blocking situations as Pitt relies on their tight ends to be key pass catchers.
I hoped all summer long that Ashton would enter this season with some legit pass-rushing moves and I feel silly at this point as he has a bevy of moves. His ability to use his strength to control blockers has been phenomenal. Then you get the moments where he can use his speed to run games and get inside with pressure. I met Ashton’s mom before the season at an open practice and she said the goal was to get 10+ sacks. He’s probably going to get there, but he’s put enough good film out there already to be a high draft pick in the spring.