Will the real Pitt please stand up?

Here we are, six weeks into the season, and Pitt remains the most confounding team in the Big East. Maybe even the country.

Will the real Pitt please stand up?

We have seen two radically different versions of the Panthers football team this season. Is Pitt the team that struggles up front, that cannot run the football, that cannot take the ball away? Or is Pitt the team that has a dominant rushing attack, an efficient quarterback, and lines that can control the line of scrimmage?

Let us take a deeper look at what has happened in three losses, and two wins.

Bad Pitt

  • The Panthers lost the season opener to Youngstown State. Enough said.

  • Defensively, Pitt has given up an average of 194.3 yards rushing, with three total sacks and one total takeaway in three losses.

  • Offensively, Pitt has allowed 11 sacks, run for an average of 98 yards per game, and turned the ball over six times in three losses.

Good Pitt

  • In its back-to-back September victories, Pitt produced a combined 1,163 yards in total offense (626 vs. Gardner-Webb and 537 vs. Virginia Tech). This two-game total set a school record for offensive output in consecutive games.

  • Defensively, Pitt has allowed an average of 45.5 yards rushing, and produced a combined five sacks and seven takeaways in both wins.

  • Offensively, Pitt has averaged 241.5 yards rushing, allowed two sacks, and has two turnovers in both wins.

Pitt opened with two straight losses, then won two straight, then lost to Syracuse last week. So, which team shows up Saturday against Louisville?

"I think the guys certainly after that game were disappointed," coach Paul Chryst said of the 14-13 loss to the Orange. "I felt like guys prepared well for it and competed, did all the things you’d want them to do and also felt like we saw them after the game, they’re resilient and looking forward to this week. To me, it was the response you’d want out of your guys. Certainly, we need to have a good week of practice. We’ve got a great team coming in and that presents challenges but it’s an opportunity the guys are looking forward to."