It’s homecoming week for your Pittsburgh Panthers! The Panthers and the Virginia Tech Hokies will both be looking to get right coming off of losses last week. The Hokies currently are coming off an embarrassing loss against the North Carolina Tar Heels where it never looked competitive. Let’s take a closer look at the state of Virginia Tech and how they match up against the Panthers.
Virginia Tech offense
Virginia Tech is coming off two back-to-back bad performances on offense. Two weeks ago the Hokies totaled only 228 total yards and a lowly 35 rushing yards against West Virginia. The Hokies last week against North Carolina had 273 total yards and only 14 first downs.
Grant Wells has been struggling at quarterback for the Hokies, throwing two interceptions in his last two games, including this one last week against North Carolina.
Big time play from @kingced3289.— Carolina Football (@UNCFootball) October 1, 2022
➡️ ACCN / https://t.co/Nf1tl38Zwv pic.twitter.com/zQdjJv7MED
Overall, Wells has thrown five touchdowns to six interceptions on the season with a 45.6 QBR. Things haven’t been much better when it comes to the rushing attack either. Jalen Holston and KeShawn King have combined for 382 yards on the season with three touchdowns. After a big game in a loss to Old Dominion where King rushed for 111 yards, it has been a complete downfall from there. Though the Hokies getting down big early against the Tar Heels last week didn’t give the rushing attack much of a chance.
While the Hokies have not given up many sacks they have yet to face a team with the pass-rushing capabilities of Pitt. If the Panthers can get after the quarterback they should be able to control this Virginia Tech offense and give the offense extra opportunities if they can capitalize on the opponent’s mistakes this week after letting a few slip through their hands last week.
Virginia Tech defense
The Hokies’ defense has swung drastically from the teams they have played. While playing well against Maine, Boston College, and for the most part ODU, they were completely blown away by West Virginia and North Carolina. After playing well against the pass most of the season, West Virginia opened them up and then Drake Maye of UNC completely lit them up. On the day Maye finished with 363 yards and three touchdowns with a 94.8 QBR. Virginia Tech gave up 218 yards on the ground to West Virginia and 160 to North Carolina. This should be a team that Pitt’s rushing attack should be able to take advantage of. While confidence in the Pitt passing offense is at a low point, this is another opportunity for them to get right. Below are a bunch of the offensive wins the Tar Heels were able to get over the Hokies.
Handled the Hokies ✅#CarolinaFootball #UNCommon pic.twitter.com/IimX77At2P— Carolina Football (@UNCFootball) October 1, 2022
While this looks like a good matchup for the Pittsburgh Panthers to get back into the win column they can’t look forward to next week. The Panthers had this type of opponent last week and ended up coming away with a loss. The Panthers have to be able to establish an identity with their offense and execute their game plan. If the Panthers can control the ball and impose their will in the trenches, it should be a game that they win. If they let Virginia Tech hang around and allow the Hokies to establish the run game on them, it will take the pressure off a struggling pass offense and let the Hokies off the hook then anything can happen.