Ladies and gentlemen, welcome to game day. Pitt will kick off its 2014 season in just under two hours against Delaware. Here are a few pregame notes to get us rolling...
- First, here's a link to my preview from today's Post-Gazette about Pitt coach Paul Chryst trying to win his first season-opener as the Panthers' head coach. The losses each of the past two years were certainly very different (one to an FCS team, another to the eventual national champions) but a 1-0 start instead of 0-1 would go a long way towards a successful season today.
- No major injuries for the Panthers today, as Pitt got out of training camp remarkably healthy. The only guy of note that'll likely be held out is freshman receiver Adonis Jennings, who was banged up during training camp. Chryst said this week that he's in "wait and see" mode when it comes to whether or not he'll redshirt (that said, he is dressed today).
- One thing I'm most interested to see today is Pitt's running back rotation. We know James Conner will be the first guy out there, but after that it could get interesting. Chryst said Chris James will get some first- and second-down work, so I wouldn't be surprised to see him get a few series in the first half, and then have the coaches ride the hot hand after that. Isaac Bennett and Rachid Ibrahim will likely be third-down backs, but both could also get more extensive reps if the Panthers jump out to a big lead.
- As far as a prediction goes, I think Pitt will win this one pretty handily, but Delaware could get a backdoor touchdown or two at the end to make it closer than it really was. I'm going to say Pitt wins 38-24.