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At First Glance: Pitt vs. Delaware - Panthers should have reason for some concern against the Blue Hens

Mitch Stringer-USA TODAY Sports

Pitt's season finally begins on Saturday with Delaware coming into Heinz Field.

Last season, the Fightin Blue Hens were a modest 7-5. If you're looking at common opponents, both Pitt and Delaware played Navy last year. Both teams lost, but Pitt's three-point loss was a much more respectable than Delaware's 44-point defeat.

The Panthers should win this game. But there are plenty of reasons for worry here, as well.

For starters, we've seen first hand that season openers against FCS teams don't always go according to plan. Pitt not only lost to Youngstown State but was beaten badly at home two years ago. With other FCS teams knocking off D-I foes, those are no longer guaranteed wins.

It's not only the Youngstown State game, either. Pitt has struggled with lesser foes in general, like Old Dominion last season, winning by only 11 at home. The Panthers trailed in that game 10-0 and only led by four in the fourth quarter before scoring a final touchdown.

The fact is that Pitt has had their share of struggles at home against some weaker teams.

In addition, there are a ton of question marks surrounding this team. Starting quarterback Chad Voytik is inexperienced and hasn't had a dominant training camp. There's the loss of Devin Street on offense and Aaron Donald on defense. The secondary is facing significant losses with the graduations of K'Waun Williams and Jason Hendricks, as well as the losses of Titus Howard (suspended), Trenton Coles (left the team), and Jahmahl Pardner (left the team). In all, we just don't have much of an idea what to expect this year.

The point of all this isn't to scare Pitt fans or to suggest that the Panthers are headed for a loss. Pitt has better talent, is playing at home, and has the motivation of that past Youngstown State loss. If the Panthers lose, it would indeed be a colossal defeat.

There's reason for optimism and this is a game Pitt should win. But at first glance, there's a little reason for some concern here, too.

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