It’s hard to find anything bad to say about the Pittsburgh Panthers 62-0 victory yesterday over the Delaware Blue Hens. Pitt dominated in every single phase of the game and put up the most points of any team throughout all of college football in week one.
The Panthers did what they wanted, whenever they wanted, running for over 400 yards in the game, while holding the Blue Hens to just 57 total yards. Running back James Conner stood out to say the least, as he tallied 153 yards and four touchdowns on 14 carries, just in the first half.
Like Conner, most Pitt starters only played the first half or three quarters at the most. Pitt shuffled their quarterbacks, using Chad Voytik for the first three quarters, except for one drive where Trey Anderson lead the team 99 yards down the field for a touchdown, before coming back in to finish the fourth quarter.
The most impressive unit of the game however was the Pitt defense. Coming in with a lot of speculation about how good they would be, and facing a Delaware team that was regarded to have a solid offense (albeit at the FCS level), the defense completely shut them down. Tallying three interception and holding Delaware to just 57 total yards, the defense looked about as good as anyone could have possibly imagined.
While the game was as impressive as any Pitt fan could have hoped for in a season opener, there were a few areas of concern. First off is Tyler Boyd’s injury. Seeing Boyd walk off the field in pain holding his arm, while already up by 30+ points, was about as low of a moment as their could have been in the game. Good news came however when it was announced Boyd had only suffered a dislocated left pinky. While that is not good news of course, it is better than it being a major arm injury to the team’s star player.
Another area of concern is the punt return game. Boyd, who got injured on a punt return, is clearly the best returner on the team but the risk of injury is always there. The next choice is receiver Kevin Weatherspoon. Weatherspoon was sent back to return punts and was looked at as the “safe returner”. With solid hands and less explosive ability than Boyd, Weatherspoon was the guy who could field the punt and gain a couple solid yards. However, he fumbled two punts. With Boyd’s injury and the fear of another, Weatherspoon could be called on more often to be the returner and the Panthers need him to field the ball cleanly.
Overall, the game went about as well as it possibly could have as the Panthers broke multiple records during the day. The win is clearly a positive and it will be interesting to see the Panthers go in to Boston on Friday to take on Boston College.