Pitt is expected by most to win Saturday's opener against Youngstown State, but the Penguins aren't buying in, it seems. Several players talked about feeling confident heading into Heinz Field.
Junior quarterback Kurt Hess, who was a redshirt freshman when YSU last played Pitt in 2009, said even the fans seem more confident heading into Saturday.
"Definitely, I do get that sense," Hess said. "Just talking to the guys in the locker room and talking to some of my friends here on campus. They’re like, ‘Hey, you guys did great the last two years, but this year we’re really expecting a lot of out of you.’
"I hear more people are buying tickets to this game. Probably because it’s closer, but I think they really want us to go out there and give it our best shot and they believe that we can win."
There's no reason at all to think that Youngstown State will be intimidated. They've played against Penn State and Michigan State the past few years and while the game against Pitt is their 'marquee matchup' of the season, I'd be surprised if the Penguins were awestruck by playing an FBS team.
Head coach Eric Wolford also has a small bit of strateegeery up his sleeve as well:
Although most of YSU’s starters played in last year’s game in East Lansing, Wolford said he’ll give his players 10 minutes on Saturday to walk around Heinz Field and get used to the surroundings.
"I think that’s important to do in that type of arena," he said. "You get all that ‘ooh-aah, ooh-aah’ out of there, then you can go in [the locker room] and flip the switch and be ready to play."
The game kicks off in six hours, boys and girls.