The University of Pittsburgh's Daily Student Newspaper

The Pitt News

The University of Pittsburgh's Daily Student Newspaper

The Pitt News

The University of Pittsburgh's Daily Student Newspaper

The Pitt News

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Opinion | Stop canceling flawed characters
Opinion | Stop canceling flawed characters
By Delaney Rauscher Adams, Staff Columnist • 12:09 am
Column | Blake Hinson has pro potential
By Aidan Kasner, Staff Writer • February 29, 2024
Women’s History Month event roundup
By Ryleigh Lord, News Editor • February 29, 2024

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Opinion | Stop canceling flawed characters
Opinion | Stop canceling flawed characters
By Delaney Rauscher Adams, Staff Columnist • 12:09 am
Column | Blake Hinson has pro potential
By Aidan Kasner, Staff Writer • February 29, 2024
Women’s History Month event roundup
By Ryleigh Lord, News Editor • February 29, 2024

Preview | Panthers’ offense needs to take shots, win the turnover battle to beat Boston College on senior day

First-year+linebacker+Jordan+Bass+%2820%29+celebrates+after+a+play+during+the+game+against+FSU+at+Acrisure+Stadium+on+Sunday%2C+Nov.+4.
Pamela Smith | Contributing Editor
First-year linebacker Jordan Bass (20) celebrates after a play during the game against FSU at Acrisure Stadium on Sunday, Nov. 4.

Coming off a disastrous showing against ACC foe Syracuse, Pitt football returns home to Acrisure Stadium for the last time in the 2023 season as they take on Boston College. As the season transformed from bad to worse, the Panthers look to capitalize on what is their last chance to win at home.

In a season punctuated by a listless offense and a defense that cannot do all the heavy lifting, the Panthers look for one more needle of success in a haystack of disappointment.

Over the course of the past two years, the Pitt football team went from 2021 ACC Champions to the undisputed worst-performing team in the conference. The Boston College game gives the Panthers one last home game to show some semblance of hope for the future, with bowl eligibility far out of the question at this point.

Boston College, on the other hand, went from a three-win season in 2022 to garnering six wins so far this year, with the opportunity for two more. Led last year by current Pitt fifth-year quarterback Phil Jurkovec, Boston College could not get much going on either side of the ball in last year’s campaign. This year, however, helmed by sophomore quarterback Thomas Castellanos, Boston College is flourishing compared to years past.

Here are the keys to this week’s matchup against Boston College:

The offense must take risks

The Panthers offense ranks No. 117 out of 130 teams in total yards per game. In a conference dominated by high scoring offenses such as Florida State and North Carolina, who both rank in the top 25, the Panthers must drastically improve their yardage numbers in order to have a chance of winning. Much of the frustration in the Syracuse game stemmed from offensive play calling. Such issues included taking fiveyard check-down passes when the offense often needed 10 or more yards. 

Much of the offensive production came from deep passes from sophomore quarterback Christian Veilleux, who had multiple passes of more than 25 yards in the contest. In order for Pitt to succeed against Boston College, they must take advantage of Veilleux’s powerful arm and the speed of their wide receivers. 

Pitt’s offense will likely perform similarly to their subpar performance throughout the entire season for two reasons. First, the play calling will likely remain the same, leading to the recycling of many plays that simply do not work for the Panthers. 

The other reason is that Boston College ranks No. 67 in the country in fewest yards given up. 

Pitt must win the turnover battle

In order to perform well against Boston College, Pitt must both limit their own turnovers whilst also forcing them. Pitt currently ranks first in the ACC in most turnovers given up per game, averaging two and having four against Syracuse. Boston College ranks eighth, with an average of 1.4 turnovers per game. 

On the defensive side of the ball, the Panthers rank third to last, forcing just 1.3 turnovers per game, while Boston College ranks eighth once again with 1.5 turnovers per game. 

Syracuse scored 14 of their 28 points capitalizing off of Pitt’s turnovers in last week’s contest, so they must also be able to limit Boston College from converting their mistakes into points. 

Prediction: Pitt loses 

Boston College takes advantage of a floundering Panthers team and wins pretty resoundingly on the back of sophomore wide receiver Lewis Bond, who scores two touchdowns. Pitt’s offense doesn’t get going for the fourth week in a row, as the Panthers’ schemes and play calls remain stale. The defense can only do so much and is unable to stop Bond and the rest of Boston College’s offense. Pitt falls to Boston College 33-9 and moves to 2-9 on the season. 

Pitt hosts Boston College at Acrisure Stadium Nov. 16 at 7 p.m. on ESPN.

About the Contributor
Ari Meyer, Staff Writer