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GAME THREAD: Pitt Panthers at Virginia Cavaliers

The Panthers look to become bowl eligible with a win

NCAA Football: Virginia at Pittsburgh Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sports

The Pittsburgh Panthers look to string back-to-back wins during ACC play for the first time this season.

After knocking the Syracuse Orange from the ranks of the top 25, the Panthers turn their attention to the Virginia Cavaliers, who are currently last in the ACC Coastal. This will be the Panthers’ first trip to Scott Stadium since 2018. Last season’s matchup was a thriller, with Kenny Pickett and the Panthers outlasting 487 yards from Virginia quarterback Brennan Armstrong for a 48-38 victory. That win locked up the Coastal division title for the Panthers last season.

This season has not gone according to plan for either team and both offenses are vastly different than they were a season before. Both quarterbacks had some NFL hype coming into the preseason that has fallen flat at this point in the season. Kedon Slovis has not been able to replicate his success at USC under new offensive coordinator Frank Cignetti. This hard pivoted the Panthers back to a run-first approach they have mainly been under Pat Narduzzi.

Brennan Armstrong lit up the ACC throwing for over 4,00o yards last season with 31 touchdowns to 10 interceptions. Under a completely new coaching staff this season, Armstrong has plummeted. Armstrong currently has 2,058 yards on the season and has only six touchdowns to 10 interceptions. Armstrong is also the teams leading rusher, as he has constantly had to escape the pocket to avoid sacks behind an offensive line that has failed to protect or create consistent rushing lanes.

In all this is a game the Panthers need to win. This game will be the easiest for the Panthers on paper to ensure they qualify for a bowl game with Duke and Miami left on the schedule. As bad as the Louisville and Georgia Tech losses were, a loss to Virginia would be the worst loss the Panthers would take. The rest of the season is all about salvaging morale and building momentum to have the players buy in on the direction of the program and that starts today.

Use this post as your game thread.