Pitt's Blue-Gold game is today at 1:00 p.m. at Martorelli Stadium, the home field for North Hills High School. Yes, it's at a high school. In the end, it's still a glorified scrimmage so who cares where it's played. But, for those without media credentials, it's the first time we'll be able to see this bunch of Panthers play under Paul Chryst, which should be enough of an incentive for all of you to go.
There are a couple things I'm going to watch and it starts with Tino Sunseri. As we saw last year, one good spring game does not make a good QB come fall. It'll give us a place to judge Sunseri's progress through spring camp and how much success he could have come fall, but it doesn't always work out that way as we saw last year.
I'm really interested to see Dan Mason play. Several reporters have raved about his play after all he's been through and I want to see it for myself. How mobile is he? How well is he playing? Will he be able to be a consistent performer throughout the entire season? All things that a lot of fans are wondering right now about Mason and hopefully he'll be able to answer some of those questions on Saturday.
Isaac Bennett is another player I'll have my eyes on. He's gotten better since last season and is going to be a fierce competitor come fall when the backfield becomes really crowded with Ray Graham and Rushel Shell putting on pads. He's had a great spring so far and it'll be interesting to see what things he can do that will distinguish himself from a proven back in Graham and the talented Shell.
In regards to entire units, the defensive front seven and the offensive line, two groups that were hit hard by departures, are arguably the two biggest question marks at the end of spring camp. The defensive side has had a great spring so far, although we've got to take it with a grain of salt due to some issues and injuries with the offense. I'll still go into fall thinking that the defense will figure itself out throughout the season, but with the loss of Myles Caragein, Chas Alecxih, Brandon Lindsey, Max Gruder, and Tristan Roberts, there are a lot of holes to fill.
The offensive line though has not had the best spring. They've gotten better, which is obviously ideal, but how much better? Have they gotten better in pass protection? The switch to a pro-style offense will help in that regard, but only so much. And we won't really have an answer to it after Saturday's game - and only then, it'll be just the beginning, really. Jim Hueber is a fantastic line coach and I don't doubt that he will get these guys ready for the fall. And after last season, this unit can only get better, right?
Lots of things to look forward to regarding the game today.