It took three tries, but Pitt's football program finally gets the fast start they've been waiting or.
The Panthers throttled Delaware on Saturday and just as important, head coach Paul Chryst finally begins a season with a victory.
Pitt's seasons began with optimism the last two years. In 2012, there was the excitement of a new head coach (another one) when Chryst began his tenure. Last season, the Panthers had the exciting game against Florida State as their first contest as a member of the ACC.
Problem is, Pitt not only lost both, but badly. The Panthers were soundly beaten by FCS team Youngstown State in Chryst's first game two years ago, then crushed at home by the eventual National Champions, Florida State. The loss to the Seminoles didn't look as horrible by the end of the year, but losing by four touchdowns at home to anyone is still a bad loss.
Just as those were bad losses, however, today's game against Delaware really couldn't have gone any better. Pitt's offensive line bullied Delaware the way Chryst is hoping to do. The running game, as a result, was incredibly successful with over 400 rushing yards. The defense was stout, pitching a shutout and forcing three turnovers. Outside of some fumbling issues, Pitt was flat out dominant.
Starting out 1-0 is nice ... winning by nine touchdowns is just a lot of fun.
For once, the Panthers have some momentum with Chryst as coach and it could pay off. The team takes a whole lot of confidence into next week's game against Boston College and, potentially, the follow-up game against FIU on the road. Winning at BC might not be easy, but if Pitt can pull it off, they'll have a chance to come back home with a 3-0 record and some genuine buildup heading into the home game against Iowa.
Season ticket sales have taken a bit hit after last year's modest 6-6 season in the ACC. With a far less glamorous schedule this year, tickets haven't been flying off the shelves. Pitt's game against Iowa still might not be a sellout but the Panthers have a chance to help their athletics department out with a fast start.
For once, it's nice not to to have the wind taken out of Pitt's sails after a single game.
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