Should Pitt be on upset alert against Gardner-Webb? As we saw against Youngstown State, you should always be on upset alert. That said, Gardner-Webb's recent history indicates that Pitt should definitely be on the lookout for strange happenings.
The Runnin' Bulldogs (that nickname will never get old, by the way) have been fairly competitive against the FBS recently.In 2010, Gardner-Webb knocked off MAC team Akron on the road. And before you roll your eyes, just remember that Pitt hasn't always had success against MAC programs, losing to both Ohio and Bowling Green in recent memory. Two years before that in 2008, the Runnin' Bulldogs came within a field goal of knocking off a solid nine-win Georgia Tech team on the road, losing 10-7.
That said, here's why you shouldn't be too concerned. Gardner-Webb simply isn't very good this year. They're 0-3 so far and have been blown out in every game they've played. They were also only 4-7 last year and were crushed by a final score of 78-8 against FBS programs Wake Forest and Ohio. Further, that Akron win came when the Zips had one of their worst seasons ever at 1-11.
You should never take any opponent lightly and in lieu of what happened to Pitt earlier this season, I'd be shocked if they did that. But assuming they show up to play, the Panthers should have little trouble in their game this weekend.