Ok, I’ll be the first to admit Tennessee football has been pretty irrelevant for the better part of the last 20 years. Pittsburgh went to Knoxville as a slight favorite. When your the ACC at the moment though for the last 14 months, there are no power 5 OOC wins – None, zero, nada – until today.
First Virginia took care of business against a bad Illinois team, but here’s the point. They took care of business. Few if any ACC teams can say that against anyone of note OOC. Virginia did.
You know else did? Pittsburgh against Tennessee.
The Panthers went down to Neyland Stadium spotted Tennessee 10 points and promptly outscored the Vols 41-24.
Kenny Pickett played extremely well at going 24/37 for 286 yards and 2 TDS. The secondary got cooked a few times, but held Tennessee to under 400 total yards of offense.
Success or failure is razor thin in the ACC, and just ask Texas and NC State whether winning at even mediocre SEC teams like Arkansas and Mississippi State is given. It’s not, so this is a good win.
Pat Narduzzi and Pitt hit 5 losses like clockwork year after year, but beating Tennessee changes expectations.
With Western Michigan, New Hampshire, and Georgia Tech next the Panthers could be sitting a solid 5-0 before heading to fellow upstart Virginia Tech in a pivotal ACC Coastal game.
When you think Pitt has it figured out, they usually flounder. When you overlook them, that’s when they usually come up and bite you.
They have an experienced quarterback with Pickett, so there might be some substance to this Panther team.
They’ve done something few ACC teams have done recently, and that’s beat a Power 5 team, They did it on the road too.
That counts for something. Keep an eye on this Pittsburgh team.