The Pittsburgh Panthers and Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets clash at Bobby Dodd Stadium on Thursday night for a game in the ACC. This is a meaningful game for Pitt, kind of. They are on the bowl bubble at the moment with a record of 5-5. Even if they secure six games with a win tonight, there’s no guarantee that a bowl committee is going to come calling.
There is no six-win rule in college football this season, so a committee could select another school that has played fewer games and didn’t get to six wins. This has been a disappointing season for Pitt, though. Whether they get into a bowl or not is irrelevant at this point. They’ve been playing below expectations.
The Panthers would certainly like to go out on a positive note with some momentum going into next season. If there was any season to fall below expectations it has to be this year. There are some people that don’t take this season seriously, so teams with a bad season have a mulligan of sorts. If you’re reading this Jim Harbaugh, sorry, that doesn’t include you.
Michigan has a big decision to make soon regarding Harbaugh. If Matt Campbell is available, I don’t see how they don’t jump on the opportunity. That’s not to say Campbell is going to be an instant fix for Michigan. The development of 5-star signee J.J. McCarthy, who is the No. 2 ranked QB in the nation is going to be imperative.
Anyway, back to Pitt and Georgia Tech on Thursday night. The Panthers are coming off a lopsided loss against the Clemson Tigers. They failed to show up and received a 52-17 beatdown. Pitt expected to lose, but some life would have been nice from the Panthers. It’s the second blowout loss in four weeks after Notre Dame torched them for a 45-3 final.
For Georgia Tech, they’ve been going through a major transition period with new head coach Geoff Collins the last two years. Collins removed the Paul Johnson triple-option and went back to a more traditional college offense. Calvin Johnson was still a Yellow Jacket in the last era of a pass-happy offense at Georgia Tech. Growing pains have been felt, but they’ve been growing. The Yellow Jackets enter at 3-6 after a 23-13 loss against NC State last week. Head below for our free Pittsburgh vs. Georgia Tech pick for December 10, 2020.
Pittsburgh Panthers vs. Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets NCAAF Betting Odds:
Pittsburgh vs. Georgia Tech Prediction:
Georgia Tech might have lost last week against NC State, but credit them for making a game of it on the road. That’s a good NC State team who are in the Top 25. Quarterback Jeff Sims didn’t make the big mistake which was the key to staying in reaching distance of the Wolfpack. Sims, who is coveted for his ability to run the football on the ground, gained 93 yards and a touchdown on 5.5 yards per carry. He also passed for 151 yards with no interceptions.
Running back Jordan Mason also had a nice game, as he carried the rock for 99 yards on 4.7 yards a carry. A wide receiver also showed up for the Yellow Jackets, as Adonicas Sanders caught 7 receptions for 105 yards. Sims was recruited as a 4-star quarterback and should have a bright future ahead of him. The Freshman has had moments where you think this guy is going to be really good in the future.
However, he’s still been prone to rookie mistakes, which he cleaned up against NC State for a game. Sims has passed for 11 touchdowns and 11 interceptions on 54.9% completions. His ability to sit in the pocket and hit receivers will have to improve in the offseason and it likely will. Sims has rushed for 478 yards and 5 touchdowns on 4.3 yards a carry. His legs have been his most dangerous weapon as a freshman.
The Panthers were expecting big things out of Kenny Pickett this season. It was a big year for the senior who was hoping to get NFL attention. However, Pickett has been a disappointment with 12 touchdowns and 8 interceptions on 62.4% completions. He has failed to show improvement over his first two seasons as the starting QB at Pitt.
Motivation wise it’s hard to see Pitt getting too amped up for this game. Maybe they think a win here and they’re going bowling, but in a season like this, it’s hardly a reward for anything. That’s especially true for Pitt in a season where they expected a lot more. Bowl committees can choose whoever they want to play in their game. Expect Sims and Georgia Tech to make this a game at home.