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2016 Opponent Preview: Pittsburgh Panthers

Previewing Week 3.

NCAA Football: Youngstown State at Pittsburgh Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sports

We continue our preview of the 2016 Cowboy football schedule with week 3 opponent, Pittsburgh.

When/Where: 2:30 p.m. CST on September 17th at Boone Pickens Stadium

Watch/Listen: ESPN, WatchESPN App, Cowboy Radio Network

Meet the Panthers:

Second-year coach Pat Narduzzi lead Pitt to a 8-5 (6-2 in ACC) record in his first season at the helm in 2015.

2014 ACC Player of the Year, RB James Conner returns to the Pittsburgh backfield after an MCL tear and a victorious bout with cancer that kept him sidelined for nearly all of the 2015 season.

Along with Conner, Pitt returns last year’s starting QB and Tennessee transfer, Nathan Peterman and both of the running backs who filled in for Conner last season.

On defense the Panthers return 4 of their top 5 leading tacklers from a season ago, including 2015 ACC Rookie of the Year S Jordan Whitehead. Whitehead lead Pitt with 110 tackles last year.

What We Will Learn:

Pitt plays a style of football the Cowboys don’t see every week in the Big 12. With an offensive line that averages 314 lbs. and a running back trio that averages 230 lbs., the Cowboy front 7 will be tested early and often. We’ll learn a lot about the young defensive ends in this non-conference match-up.

Prediction: OSU 38 - Pitt 28

Pitt is big and physical with more of a pro style mentality that could causes problems for a Cowboy defense that is accustom to being spread out. I think early in the game Pitt’s running backs will have success but the BPS crowd and the Cowboy offense will prove to be too much. Pokes win a tough win before they head to Waco for a September 24 date with Baylor.