The Panthers exorcised another demon by going on the road and beating Akron 24-7, in a constant rainstorm. Panthers go to 2-0 and play next Saturday night at Iowa. Some thoughts:
1. Chad Voytik started and began the gamer going 6-6. But he played his usual cautious, anxious self, and he was eventually replaced for the rest of the game during the second quarter. He ended up going 6-8 for 33 yards. Peterman was much more poised and while he was hardly dominating he did at least make normal quarterback plays. He ended up going 12-17 for 147 yards and a touchdown. I'd be surprised if he didn't start next week, but the offensive decision making has been curious so you never know.
2. Qadree Ollison was solid, but for some reason offensive coordinator Jim Chaney ran between the tackles almost exclusively. Ollison had 21 carries for 81 hard fought yards. Darrin Hall looked quick and confident, and he ended up with 12 carries for 52 yards. Neither are James Conner but combining for 133 yards is not chopped liver.
3. Tyler Boyd had 11 catches for 95 yards, but he really didn't break anything. Zach Challingsworth is the only other wide receiver to make a catch, and it went for a first down. JP Holtz had three catches for 42 yards, including a touchdown on a nice Peterman pass.
4. Defensively, Avonte Maddox and Tyrique Jarrett flashed again, but maybe the most impressive player on defense was Rori Blair. The combination of Blair and Dwayne Hendrix at DE next year is exciting, especially with Jarrett returning in the middle. By the way, the Panthers gave up only 110 yards tonight.
5. Jordan Whitehead didn't do anything spectacular but he made a lot of good little players. He's only going to get better.
Bottom line, it wasn't pretty, but neither was the weather. Without Conner, no real receiving option outside of Boyd, and without a topnotch quarterback, Pitt will have to gut it out all year, but 2-0 is a good confidence builder.