Staff Picks | Pitt football vs Western Michigan Broncos predictions

By The Pitt News Staff

Pitt football is coming off of an emotional overtime loss to the Tennessee Volunteers. The game was a back-and-forth slugfest, and several Panthers went down with an injury in the defeat. But the Panthers still push on, with Western Michigan next on the docket.

Western Michigan took down the Panthers in an improbable upset last year. The loss marked a turning point in the season for Pitt, launching the team into an ACC Championship campaign. While the Panthers have maintained that last year is in the past and they’ll approach this game like any other, last year’s loss is certainly in the back of their minds.

The Pitt News’ Sports Desk gives their predictions for Pitt’s game against the Broncos and what fans can expect on Saturday night.

Pitt wins 31-13 // Frankie Richetti, Senior Staff Writer

I think Pitt will win this game, but it’s tough to say by how much, given the uncertainty around the quarterback position. 

But no matter who is taking the snaps for the Panthers, the defense will continue its dominance from the second half of the Tennessee game and make things difficult for Western Michigan quarterback, Jack Salopek — whose first scholarship offer came from his hometown Panthers before it was eventually pulled back.

Pitt wins 21-7 // Dalton Coppola, Sports Editor

Hello darkness, my old friend. Pitt will take the road with a chance to make up for last year’s letdown against the Broncos on Saturday, and I think this game will end differently than last year’s. The defense hasn’t exactly lived up to the hype thus far, but that changes against the Broncos.

Expect the Panthers to stifle the Bronco offense, allowing the makeshift Panther offense to win on just a few scores.

Western Michigan wins 21-14 // Alexander Ganias, Senior Staff Writer

The Panthers can win this game, and the Panthers should win this game. Which is exactly why they won’t. With injuries to both senior quarterbacks Kedon Slovis and Nick Patti and a defense that has allowed more than 30 points in both of their two games, it’s not out of line to think that the Broncos will complete the home-and-home sweep.

Pitt wins 35-14 // David Scott, Staff Writer

Pitt took a loss at home against Western Michigan last year, but it’s going to return the favor this year. The quarterback situation for the Panthers may be muddy right now, but if the defense continues to pressure the opposing quarterback, it shouldn’t be too much of an issue. The front seven will control the game for the Panthers, leading them to victory.

Western Michigan wins 38-31 // Brian Sherry, Staff Writer

They say lightning doesn’t strike the same place twice. But Western Michigan will upset the Panthers for the second time in two years and disprove this saying. Questions at quarterback leave the Panthers in position for an upset. With Pittsburgh native quarterback Jack Salopek leading the way, Western Michigan will outscore Pitt in a shootout, causing the Panthers to drop out of the top 25. 

Pitt wins 27-14 // Jack Markowski, Staff Writer 

Following a shocking upset at home last year, the Panthers are better equipped to handle everything Western Michigan throws at them this year. With nobody knowing who is playing quarterback for Pitt, coupled with a Broncos unit that has a lot to prove, I don’t expect offensive fireworks in this game. The Panthers should escape with a victory here on the back of their pass rush and rushing attack. 

Pitt wins 17-14 // Richie Smiechowski, Assistant Sports Editor

Full disclosure — I’m terrified of this matchup. Not just because of last year, but because the Panthers have shown genuine flaws through two games this season. The Broncos seemingly moved at will against Pitt’s defense last year. I’m afraid that a similar scheme will do the same this year, despite Western Michigan not having their second-round pick wide receiver Skyy Moore this year.

I still do believe that Pitt will manage to tidy some things up from last year’s matchup, carrying a “revenge game” mentality into the contest. But still, with the current quarterback debacle and a long trip to Kalamazoo ahead of them, this feels like a toss up. 

Pitt’s game against the Broncos will kickoff at 7:30 p.m. and air on ESPNU.