Don’t forget we have Fran’s POV Tailgate going on in parking Lot Red5A – between the Red parking garage and the Residence Inn on General Robinson Street. Tailgate starts 10:30 am when the gates open…Fran now drives a silver 4Runner SUV. POV and Pitt script flags will be flying. Red lot 5A and I’ll limp over from downtown around noon or a bit after.
OK – season’s opener and who are we playing? Well that would be Head Coach Greg Gattuso and his D1 FCS Albany Great Danes of the Colonial Athletic Association. Here is an overview of the team from ESPN.
The ‘Danes were 4-8 last season but I would have loved to watch some of their games. If you like defense you would have enjoyed their match against Elon where they came up short on a 6-0 score. Or how about this? In their game against Maine the final score was 12-10 with the ‘Danes sniffing the Black Bears’ butts. Fun!!
Albany wasn’t a that good last season – here are their stats as compared to the rest of the Football Championship Subdivision (FCS). Burt they did excel in overall defense (9th nationally) in giving up only 282 yards per game and good at scoring Defense (17th) giving up only 17.7 ppg. Not too shabby for a 4-7 team but you might expect that from a defensive minded Gattuso.
Obviously their offense was poor where they did a 180 from their good defense with being 104th in Scoring Offense (17.4 ppg) and 108th in Total Offense at only 273 ypg.
But where they made their mark was with 19 Turnovers gained including 15 opponent’s fumbles recovered…so let’s hope the staff saw that and pushed ball security hard in this last week of practice. Because if Albany is going to keep this game close or – even possibly win – it will be because of Pitt turnovers.
This should be a good game to watch. Vegas hasn’t a line on it that I can find but ESPN came out this week with Pitt giving 24 points. I’ll take Albany getting 24 and do think it will be a closer game than some fans have written. I believe we’ll win but, as I did before the YSU game last opener, I’ll also say let’s not overlook this team. The Great Danes’ bite just might be as bad as its bark.
Reeds Pick: Pitt 27 – Albany 13
Editor’s Note: I’ll grab some of this games predictions by our readers off of the “Predictions” article published on Thursday and list them. But if you haven’t done so yet put your own predictions for the Panthers vs Great Danes match in a comment for the world to see.
Also – this will serve as the game thread for saturday. Looking forward to see all at Frans tailgate…