The Pittsburgh Panthers are coming off of a 2013 season in which they finished 7-6. Their record was slightly disappointing, as the Panthers hoped to have a better season in their first year in the ACC. In 2014, Pitt seems to have what looks like an easy schedule. For fans, the season may not be as enticing, but for those who truly care about the team’s record, Pitt has a chance of finishing the season with the most wins they’ve had in a long time. Here are my predictions for the Pitt Panthers 2014 season:
Week 1: vs. Delaware
Pitt opens the season with what should be a tune up game. Pitt plays the University of Delaware who is annually one of the top teams in the FCS (1-AA). Delware finished last year with a 7-5 record, but I look for Pitt to go to 1-0 against the Blue Hens.
Week 2: @ Boston College
The Eagles finished last season at 7-6, the same as Pitt. The Eagles main offensive weapon, running back Andre Williams, was lost to the NFL. The game appears as an even game, but I believe Pitt will go up to BC and get a victory, and move to 2-0.
Week 3: @ FIU
The Golden Panthers of Florida International play in the C-USA and went just 1-11 in 2013. The game could be a slip up game for Pitt if they look past FIU, but I believe the Panthers win easily and move to 3-0.
Week 4: vs Iowa
Pitt returns home to play the Iowa Hawkeyes who finished the season 8-5, going 5-3 in Big Ten play. I believe the Panthers drop this game to Iowa, although it should be close. The Panthers fall to 3-1.
Week 5: vs. Akron
The Zips went 5-7 in 2013. The Panthers should win this game fairly easily, especially coming off of a loss. Pitt improves to 4-1.
Week 6: @ Virginia
The Cavaliers went just 2-10 last season, and notably were 0-8 in ACC play in 2013. The game should be closer than expected, just as it was last season, but I believe the Panthers pull this one out and move to an impressive 5-1.
Week 7: vs. Virginia Tech
This is the biggest game for the Panthers in 2014, as the Hokies are the only top team Pitt will face. VT may be ranked by this time in the year depending on how their year has progressed, and I think beat the Panthers at Heinz Field, dropping Pitt to 5-2.
Week 8: vs. Georgia Tech
Pitt struggled big time against the Yellow Jackets last season in Atlanta, and I believe hit a rough patch in their season, dropping a second straight game falling to 5-3.
Week 9: vs. Duke
The Pitt/Duke game last season was one of the most enjoyable of the year, as Pitt lost 58-55 in a shootout. Duke had a great season last year and I believe will take a step back this season, losing to the Panthers who improve to 6-3.
Week 10: @ UNC
The Tar Heels tied with Pitt in the ACC rankings last year, but beat them head to head. I believe the Panthers fall in North Carolina to 6-4, in a close game.
Week 11: vs. Syracuse
Pitt vs. Cuse is a hard fought game every season, with Pitt winning a tight game, 17-16 in Syracuse last year. I believe the Panthers win two years in a row and go to 8-4.
Week 12: @ Miami
The Hurricanes have not been “The U” that they are known as, but when playing at home against the Panthers, I believe they take them down, dropping the Panthers to an 8-5 record for te year.
If Pitt were to finish 8-5, it would be their best finish in quite some time and would land them in yet another solid bowl game. I hope to error on the optimistic side so let’s hope the Panthers can live up to expectations this season.