Kicker Kevin Harper is an important piece to the team this year (Photo by Justin K. Aller/Getty Images)
The kicking game doesn't usually get a lot of recognition until it's going bad. But CBS Sports somehow found a way to rank the top kickers in the Big East for 2012. Pitt's Kevin Harper came in third.
That got me to thinking about how Pitt's kicking game could really be key for the team this season. It's always important, but with an offense that might not score a ton of points, picking up three in a close game could be the difference between winning and losing several games.
Just look at last year as an example.Four of Pitt's six regular season losses were by four points or less (three of them by three points or less). The Panthers can't afford to miss out on points and field goals will be extremely important.
The good news? Harper's got the leg. In the scrimmage this weekend, he was practicing a little off to the side and hit some 50ish-yard field goals with plenty of leg to spare. In the scrimmage, he missed one from 37, but hit several others from varying distances.
If Harper's on, Pitt's chances to impress this season will go up drastically.