BYLINE: Chris Logue
It’s that time again where we finally get to look, objectively, at our opponents and it starts this week with an anticipated re-match with a 2015 foe. Yes, Pitt did win that game, closer than desired, but this time around, for growth and the loyalty of fans, it must be a blow-out. But, how does Pitt stack up against this FCS power?
Youngstown State is coming off a season where they went 12-4 and amassed that fourth defeat in the FCS Championship where they fell to James Madison. Still, it is a program reborn under Bo Pelini, who more than doubled their win output in just his second season.
YSU is a senior-laden team (20) that drives on experience and discipline, but now lacks a running back duo that vaulted the Penguins into contention last season. That being said, YSU will trot out a running back that is looking to complete a dream that extends back to high school. If the name Tevin McCaster sounds even the slightest familiar, you’ll know that he grew up and attended high school at New Castle.
His dream was to play at Heinz Field and win, as far as the Panthers are concerned, they want to wash that dream away. The most crucial position on any field is the quarterback, and YSU returns a solid one in Hunter Wells. This will be Wells’ second trip to Heinz Field where he started in 2015 and went 19-38 for 274 yards and a single touchdown – which equates to a 119.3 passer rating.