Thu, 30 Nov 2023

Virginia Tech seeking consistency when Pitt visits

Field Level Media
26 Sep 2023, 13:19 GMT+10

(Photo credit: Ben Queen-USA TODAY Sports)

Two teams in need of a positive result meet on Saturday when Pitt faces Virginia Tech in an Atlantic Coast Conference matchup in Blacksburg, Va.

This will be the ACC opener for Virginia Tech (1-3), which has lost three games in a row. The past two have come in road encounters with Rutgers and Marshall.

"We're not consistent enough to be a good team," Virginia Tech coach Brent Pry said. "We're falling short in areas at different times."

Pitt, which lost 41-24 to North Carolina last Saturday in its ACC opener, is 1-3 through four games for the first time since 2017. Since the Panthers just started conference play, there's no reason to panic, according to coach Pat Narduzzi.

"The two teams that will be in the (ACC) championship game at the end of the year will have one loss, guaranteed," Narduzzi said. "There's too much parity in this conference, and there's going to be two teams with one loss I think. ... So everything we'll do is still ahead of us.

"We'll be back and go down to Virginia Tech and get it done."

Pitt might be going through a shakeup on offense. Quarterback Phil Jurkovec left Saturday's loss to UNC due to an undisclosed first-half injury. Christian Veilleux filled in, but he threw two interceptions.

"It doesn't matter who is out there," Narduzzi said. "We still had a chance to win with a makeshift offensive line."

The Panthers' work on special teams was easy to spot in the game against the Tar Heels. While Pitt gave up a punt return for a touchdown, it also benefited from Kenny Johnson's 100-yard kickoff return for a score and Rasheem Biles' second blocked punt in as many games.

Virginia Tech expects a physically demanding game with Pitt, so moving the ball on the ground could help the Hokies after they racked up 184 rushing yards in the 24-17 loss to Marshall.

Pitt and Virginia Tech have split 22 games in the all-time series, though the Panthers have won the last three meetings. The Hokies have won seven of 10 matchups in Blacksburg.

Pitt won 45-29 at home last October in the most recent meeting between the teams.

--Field Level Media

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