Pitt fell to Michigan State 31-21 in the Peach Bowl on Thursday, but on Friday, it took a step toward improvement at Michigan State’s expense, as Michael Dowell announced that he would transfer from Michigan State to Pitt.
“No need in running it back if you’re gonna just do the same dang thing over and over again when you lose,” Dowell wrote in a message posted on Twitter. “See a problem, solve a problem, get back to business.”
The safety was a member of a Michigan State secondary that ranked last in the nation in pass defense in 2021, conceding 324.8 yards per game through the air. But for his part, Dowell contributed 40 tackles, including one tackle for a loss, and three pass breakups.
Dowell can offer a helping hand to a Pitt secondary that didn’t fare much better than Michigan State’s in 2021, as it ranked No. 113 in pass defense, with 264.3 yards per game allowed on passes. But with that said, the program offers Dowell a talented partner in the defensive backfield, as he will likely be paired up with Pitt safety Brandon Hill.
In addition, many Pitt defensive backs have been able to move on to the NFL, with recent examples including Damar Hamlin, Dane Jackson, Avonte Maddox, Jason Pinnock, Lafayette Pitts, K’Waun Williams and Jordan Whitehead. So the move may brighten Dowell’s professional outlook as well.
Dowell is the second transfer Pitt has landed in December, as the program also added former USC quarterback and Pac-12 Freshman of the Year Kedon Slovis. And after posting an 11-win season for the first time in 40 years in 2021, the Panthers will look to Dowell and Slovis to help them build on that momentum in 2022.