Pittsburgh Panthers Football Details
Pat Narduzzi was recognized as one of the best defensive coordinators in the nation at Michigan State, and he seems to have adjusted just fine to being the head coach at Pittsburgh. The Panthers hired him 2015, and Narduzzi went 8-5 in each of his first two years with the program. He is exactly the right guy to help turn Pittsburgh into a national power once again. The Panthers have won nine national titles (1915, 1916, 1918, 1929, 1931, 1934, 1936, 1937, 1976) and two conference titles in program history, and they are desperate to start playing at that level once again. 2016 was a step in the right direction, as the Panthers handed eventual national champion Clemson its only loss of the season.
Pittsburgh’s strength last season was running the ball, as the Panthers rushed for 225.1 yards per game (28th in the country). That was a big reason the team averaged a ridiculous 40.9 points per game on the year (10th nationally), and this offense isn’t much worse now. Replacing Nathan Peterman at quarterback is Max Browne, who transferred from USC. Browne once won a position battle with top NFL Draft prospect Sam Darnold, so there is clearly plenty of talent there. The Panthers also have both wide receiver Quadree Henderson and running back Qadree Ollison back this season. Henderson is one of the quickest players in college football, and he can beat teams in a number of different ways. Ollison, meanwhile, rushed for 1,121 yards and 11 touchdowns in 2015. He took a backseat to the legendary James Conner a year ago, but he will have no trouble thriving in his new role as the lead back.