Pittsburgh Panthers 2023 College Football Preview

Pittsburgh Panthers 2023 College Football Preview

July 8, 2023

2022 Recap

Record – 9-4

ATS – 6-7

The Panthers were stuck in neutral for a good chunk of the season and were sitting at the .500 mark (4-4) before they CAUGHT FIRE and won their final four regular season games. They even managed to destroy YOUR Miami Hurricanes by a score of 42-16. The momentum continued in the postseason as they slithered past UCLA in the Sun Bowl (W 37-35) to finish at 9-4.

Pittsburgh Panthers 2023 Outlook


The offense fell back as expected LY without the great Kenny Pickett at QB but they still managed to put up 31 PPG (#6 ACC) and they featured a very balanced attack. There are yuuuge changes on the horizon as Pitt loses starting QB Kedon Slovis, 1,400-yard rusher (!) Israel Abanikanda, and 1,000-yard WR Jared Wayne. That’s a lot of talent to lose, yo. The Panthers will roll with former BC QB Phil Jurkovec who’s gotta a LASER ROCKET ARM but the mobility of a BONSAI TREE. Jurkovec has thrown for over 5,000 yards in his career (37-17 TD to INT) so we think he was a good pickup. We’re not thrilled with the options at RB but productive RBs seem to grow on trees at Pitt. There doesn’t appear to be a star in the WR/TE unit but we feel confident that they’ve got enough productive players to have a good THROW GAME. Keep your eye on WR BUB Means (401, 14.9 LY) who demands triple-coverage based on his name alone, and don’t sleep on TE Gavin Bartholomew who’s one of the best pass-catching TEs in the ACC. Over 80 career starts are back up front including their fine center Jake Kradel. We think this offense will be as productive as they were in 2022.


The Pitt defense excelled again vs the run LY (98 YPG, #8 FBS) and that makes it three consecutive campaigns in which they’ve allowed less than 100 YPG on the ground. You wanna talk PENETRATION? One of the most underappreciated stats in college football is the fact that Pitt has registered 48,54,46 and 51 sacks over the L4Y. Ace DC Randy Bates will have to work his magic once again as the Panthers retain just five starters on defense and will be without their top-four (!) tacklers and top-two sack producers from the 2022 stop unit. The losses up front are INCALCULABLE so we’ll have to go on faith that the Panthers can RINSE and REPEAT. We’re a bit skeptical but have been proven wrong before. The LB unit also takes a hit given that SirVocea Dennis is off to the NFL (#1 tackler, 12 TFL LY) but they’ve still got a pair of talented players on board in Shayne Simon and Bangally Kamara. The secondary will likely be a problem area as they lost a pair of doods to the NFL. Pitt has allowed fewer than 25 PPG every year since 2018 but we think it’ll be a challenge to do that again.


We LIKEY LIKEY. PK Ben Sauls was a robot last season (20-24 FG, 47-47 XP) and punter Caleb Junko averaged an impossible 48.7 yards per punt in limited action. Also be reminded that PR M.J. Devonshire is coming off a fine campaign (9.7, TD).

Schedule Analysis

Overall – The Panthers have a good shot to start the season 3-0 (Wofford, Cincinnati, at WV) before heading into ACC action. They miss Clemson but have to face North Carolina and Florida St. Thankfully, both of those contests are at home.

Potential ATS Trouble Spot – Syracuse (Nov 11)

This is a potential letdown situation as they’ll be coming off battles with Notre Dame and Florida St. HC Pat Narduzzi is just 14-22-2 ATS as home chalk.

Season Win Total

Market consensus July 8

Over 7 -115

Under 7 -115


Lean: Over

We’ll probably refrain from participating in this market as that looks like the right number. If we had to choose we’d go with the ‘over’ based on the schedule. It’s also critical to point out that Pitt has won at least seven games in each of Pat Narduzzi’s eight seasons other than in 2017 and 2020 (PLANDEMIC season, 11 games).

MEGAmazing Tidbit

Only three teams have won the ACC since Virginia Tech turned the trick in 2010. Those teams are Clemson, Florida St, and PITTSBURGH. **

** doesn’t need fact check


All they do is win.

We’re not super-pumped about the roster but there’s no doubt that the Panthers are chronic overachievers. We’ll call for them to finish in the top-half of the ACC but don’t think they have enough talent to bag a spot in the ACC title game. In any event, Go Pitt!