Where: Heinz Field, Pittsburgh, PA
When: Saturday, September 21, 3:30 PM. ET.
The Pittsburgh Panthers will be trying to bounce back from their loss to Penn State when they take on the 15th ranked UCF Knights on Saturday afternoon.
Knights Going For Fourth Consecutive Win
The Knights are off to another fast start, winning their first three games of the season for the third consecutive season. They are coming off a big win over Stanford in their last game and will try to keep the momentum going by picking up a win in Pittsburgh on Saturday.
It was 21-0 before you could blink 😲
— UCF Football (@UCF_Football) September 17, 2019
UCF has been hot on the offensive end so far, averaging 51.7 points per game. They have also been very balanced on the offensive end, which has kept their opponents off balance so far. The team is averaging 321.7 passing yards per game and 282.7 rushing yards per game.
Freshman quarterback Dillon Gabriel continues to impress his coaches and teammates and finished the game against Stanford completing 22 of 30 passes for 347 yards and four touchdowns. His strong play has given head coach Josh Heupel a tough decision to make with graduate transfer Brandon Wimbush, who started the season opener against Florida A&M but missed the next game with an injury, healthy enough to play last week.
“He’s definitely going to play,” Heupel said when asked whether Gabriel will start for the Knights (3-0) against the Panthers (1-2). “He’s earned that opportunity. I think as we get further into our game plan [Monday], we’ll decide how we’ll use all the quarterbacks.”
If Gabriel gets the start and continues to play as he did in his last two games, the Knights offense will be difficult to stop.
Even Lane Kiffin, FAU coach, is a believer in UCF. His team was crushed, 48-14 two weeks ago.
“They looked just like an ACC or SEC team,” Kiffin told Yahoo Sports. “Not Alabama or Clemson, but one of the top teams in both of those conferences. They’ve done an unbelievable job recruiting. They have skill. Normally in the Group of Five they have skill players but not the [size on] the lines, well UCF has long and good-looking linemen.”
Panthers Looking For Second Consecutive Home Win
The Panthers had Penn State on the ropes in the first half of their last game, but they were unable to finish off what they started as their offense stalled in the second half of their 17-10 loss to Penn State. With the team back in front of their home crowd, they will try to do what they couldn’t do last week and pull off the upset.
"We need to be consistent throughout."
— Pitt Football (@Pitt_FB) September 17, 2019
With their offense averaging 14.7 points per game, the Panthers will need to play better than they have offensively if they want to get the win on Saturday.
Kenny Pickett was the bright spot for the Panthers on offense after completing 35 of 51 passes for 372 yards.
The Panthers will try to establish their running game after getting held to 24 yards and one touchdown on 25 carries. If they are unable to run successfully, they will need Pickett to move the ball again like they did last week, which will make them one dimensional and easier to defend.
Pittsburgh’s defense will be the key to the game. If they can apply some pressure on UCF’s quarterbacks and force them into making mistakes, they will give themselves a good chance to get the win.
- 9-3 ATS vs. a team with a losing record.
- 3-7 ATS in their last 10 road games vs. a team with a losing home record.
- 4-0 ATS in their last 4 non-conference games.
- 6-1 ATS in their last 7 games following an ATS win.
- 5-1 ATS in their last 6 home games vs. a team with a winning road record.