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Pittsburgh Panthers 2016 College Football Preview, Schedule, Prediction, Depth Chart, Outlook

2015 Record 8-5

Pittsburgh Panthers 2016 Preview

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Pat Narduzzi looks to build on his first year success and lead the Pitt Panthers to another Bowl in 2016.

Overview: After a Bowl berth in his first season at the helm for the Panthers, the expectations are high for Pat Narduzzi but he has the talent back to make another trip to the postseason.

Pittsburgh Panthers 2016 College Football Preview, Schedule, Prediction, Depth Chart, Outlook

USA TODAY Sports

Offense: Matt Canada (NC State) takes over as the Panthers offensive coordinator and he has some nice pieces to work with  quarterback Nate Peterman back after throwing for nearly 2,300 yards and running for another 387 yards. Pitt is loaded in the backfield with James Connor returning from injury with Qadree Ollison bringing back 1,121 yards from 2015 with Darrin Hall thrown in to the mix along with other options. Dontez Ford is Pittsburgh’s top receiving option with just over 500 yards on 27 receptions but guys like Zach Challingsworth, Quadree Henderson and Jester Weah have potential. The Pitt O-Line gets back four starters paced by All ACC performers Adam Bisnowaty and Dorian Johnson.

Defense: The Panthers defensive line gets back their top four with end Ejuan Price recording 19.5 TFL and 11.5 sacks with tackle Tyrique Jarrett totaling seven TFL while Tennessee transfer Dewayne Hendrix should compete for a starting job. The Panthers have a very solid linebacking crew with Matt Galambos, Mike Caprara and Bam Bradley combining for 24.5 TFL and ten sacks. The Pittsburgh secondary is led by safety Jordan Whitehead with his 91 stops, six TFL and seven passes defensed in 2015 with fellow safety Terrish Webb defensing five passes while corner Avonte Maddox made 63.5 tackles and defensed 15 passes.

Special Teams: Pitt gets back punter Ryan Winslow and strong legged placekicker Chris Blewitt along with KR Quadree Henderson and PR Avonte Maddox.

Outlook: The Panthers have a lot of the same talent that they rode to success in 2015 so with the return of James Connor and more consistency from the pass ‘D’ this team should be in solid shape.

Schedule:

9/3                 Villanova

9/10               Penn State

9/17               @Oklahoma State

9/24               @North Carolina

10/1               Marshall

10/8               Georgia Tech

10/15             @Virginia

10/27             Virginia Tech

11/5               @Miami (FL)

11/12             Clemson

11/19             Duke

11/26             Syracuse

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