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Pitt vs. Michigan State: Peach Bowl Open Gamethread

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COLLEGE FOOTBALL: DEC 04 ACC Championship Game - Pitt v Wake Forest Photo by John Byrum/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

Pitt and Michigan State are set to square off in the Peach Bowl in Atlanta on Thursday. For the first time in 2021, the Panthers enter the game without Kenny Pickett under center, and for the first time all season, they are considered underdogs by oddsmakers, with DraftKings listing the Spartans as 3.5-point favorites.

Michigan State will also be missing a star, as Kenneth Walker III opted out of the game. And both sides will be missing other contributors as well, as Pitt receiver Taysir Mack and Pitt defensive back Damarri Mathis will be out, as will Michigan State defensive back Michael Dowell, who entered the transfer portal after the Spartans’ last regular-season game.

With that said, Pitt quarterback Nick Patti will be a player to watch, as the outcome of the game will likely hinge on his ability to adequately step in for Pickett. The game will also feature two weak secondaries, and if one is able to step up, it will likely give its team a meaningful advantage in the matchup.

The Peach Bowl will kick off at 7 p.m. ET and air on ESPN. Join the Cardiac Hill community here to comment during the game.