Tennessee football vs. Pitt: Five Panthers to watch

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Sep 4, 2021; Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, USA; Pittsburgh Panthers linebacker Cam Bright (38) takes the field to warm up before the game against the Massachusetts Minutemen at Heinz Field. Mandatory Credit: Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sports

It’s no secret that the Pittsburgh Panthers have an identity under Pat Narduzzi. That identity doesn’t always translate to wins, but you know what their strength is going to be. If Tennessee football is going to pull off the victory Saturday afternoon when Pitt travels to Neyland Stadium, the Vols will have to be prepared for the players who thrive under that identity.

As we get set to break down the key players for Pitt in that matchup, Narduzzi’s system means a bunch of them will stand out from a specific group. Josh Heupel knows exactly what he has to prepare for, as he has faced Narduzzi twice before.

The question is whether or not Heupel’s team will actually be able to handle it. Well, doing so means accounting for a bunch of key playmakers, and we’re going to break down who all of those guys are in this post. These are the five Panthers to keep an eye on when they visit Tennessee football for the Johnny Majors Classic Saturday.

Cam Bright
Linebacker Redshirt senior

6’0″ 220 pounds; Hometown: Montgomery, Ala.

So this is somewhat based off of reputation. Cam Bright is one of the captains of Pitt and a major leader for them on defense. However, he didn’t register any stats last week in their 51-7 victory over the UMASS Minutemen. That’s honestly the only reason we have him down at No. 5 and not in the top three on this list.

To be fair, Bright’s abilities are what he does as an off-ball linebacker. Those traits are why he made the preseason Pro Football Focus All-ACC first team at linebacker. He grades really high in how he adjusts plays for other playmakers, not how he racks up stats.

Because of that, Bright may not rack up a lot of big plays for Pitt on Saturday. However, if Tennessee football’s offense is going to play the way it needs to play under Heupel, it will always have to account for where he is. Bright will force miscues by the Vols, which they showed they are prone to last week.

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