Pitt looks to shake of a disappointing 2017 season and hopefully set itself up for a bowl appearance in 2018. A step toward the upcoming season will be taken on Saturday as the Panthers play in their annual spring football game.
Find kickoff time, live updates and other information for the game below:
Pitt spring football game live updates
Pitt spring football date, kickoff time
Time: 1 p.m. ET
Date: Saturday, April 14
Location: Heinz Field, Pittsburgh, Pa.
What TV channel is the Pitt spring football game on?
The Pitt spring football game can only be watched online.
How can I watch the Pitt spring football game online?
The Pitt spring football game will be streaming on ACCNExtra.
Pitt spring football game preview
After a pair of bowl games and back-to-back second place finishes in the ACC Coastal Division, Pat Narduzzi and his Pitt team hoped that the program could take the next step in 2017. The former Michigan State defensive coordinator was hired in December 2014 to take over for Paul Chryst, who left for Wisconsin.
Unfortunately for the Panthers, Narduzzi’s third season was one of digression.
The Panthers struggled to a 5-7 record, finishing 3-5 in the ACC and placing in a fourth-place tie in the Coastal Division. A stretch of five lost games in seven tries set the tone for what was to come for the team. What’s more, the team lost three games by six points or less.
If there’s any consolation for the Panthers, though, there were a couple of positives. The biggest one of all was a 24-14 victory over then-No. 2 Miami at Heinz Field on November 24, all but putting an end to the Hurricanes’ College Football Playoff hopes. Those hopes would be dashed altogether as the Hurricanes were hammered by Clemson in the ACC Championship Game.
There’s still much work to be done if Pitt wants to return to the postseason.
One expected position battle turned out to not be a battle at all: Kenny Pickett will be the starter at quarterback for the Panthers. That’s because Ben DiNucci transferred to FCS James Madison in the offseason.
There will be a little uncertainty since Pickett didn’t play a great deal in 2017, but did show some bright spots in the times he did see the field. He went 15-of-23 in a loss to Virginia Tech, throwing for 242 yards. The next week, he was 18-for-29 for 193 yards and a touchdown – adding 60 yards and 2 touchdowns on 13 carries – in the win against Miami.
In the running game, Pitt will lean on returnees Darrin Hall and Qadree Ollison, who combined for 1,026 yards and 14 touchdowns on 218 carries. However, Ollison won’t play on Saturday as he recovers from an injury.
The Panthers hope that Pickett, Hall and Ollison – along with returning wide receivers Rafael Araujo-Lopes and Maurice Ffrench and highly-touted freshman Shocky Jacques-Louis – can provide a boost to a Pitt offense that was poor last year. The team finished third-last in the ACC in rushing yards per game (148.5) and toward the bottom in total yards per game and points per game.