6’3″ 220 pounds; Hometown: Oakhurst, N.J.
Although Pitt averaged nearly five and a half yards a carry and went for 222 yards on the ground against the UMASS Minutemen last week, the consensus is still that they can’t run the ball. After all, they averaged less than three and a half yards on the ground last year and less than 120 yards a game. That can’t change because of a performance against a horrible Group of Five opponent.
Simply put, Pitt’s success on offense will still come down to the passing game. Kenny Pickett could have been an NFL quarterback last year but is back for his senior season. In the opener, he completed 27 of 37 passes (73 percent) for 272 yards (7.4 yards per attempt), two touchdowns and no interceptoions.
Pickett was also a reason for Pitt’s rushing success, as he had six carries for 39 yards. It helps that he has six of his top seven receiving weapons from last year back, including leading receiver Jordan Addison, but he spreads the ball around so much that he’s the star.
As a result, Tennessee football will have its hands full with Pickett this week. Given the questions surrounding the linebackers, Pickett’s versatility could become a huge problem for the Vols. They have to contain him at all times, as he’s one of the most efficient quarterbacks they’ll face.