Junior; 6’1″ 230 pounds; Syracuse, N.Y.
By far the most standout player for the Pittsburgh Panthers from a stats perspective is Sirvocea Dennis. There’s a reason he made preseason All-ACC. He may not be touted as much by Pro Football Focus, but he’s the guy who makes all the key plays.
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The graduate of Christian Brothers Academy in New York’s Onondaga County had 14 tackles for a loss last year, tied with Rashad Weaver for leader on the team. Weaver has since left, leaving Dennis as the top playmaker on defense in the backfield. Finding ways to stop the run and go after the quarterback is his calling card, and that could be a problem for Tennessee football.
Dennis also had four sacks, which was tied for fifth on the team last year but was tied for second among players who are coming back this year. He was also second on the team in total tackles with 55 and solo tackles with 36, both of which led all players coming back to Pitt this year given the departure of defensive back Damar Hamlin.
Simply put, Dennis is the playmaker for Pitt. Josh Heupel will have to account for him at all times while trying to run his offense, and given how crucial of a game this is for the Vols, neutralizing his abilities is going to be a huge deal.