Georgia Tech has a victory, a defeat and a cancelation so far in the opening month of its season, so it looks to Saturday’s home game against Pittsburgh as a chance to establish a normal rhythm. A loss to Tennessee on Labor Day was followed five days later with a victory over Jacksonville State before Hurricane Irma scrubbed last week’s trip to UCF, giving coach Paul Johnson a chance to revisit fundamentals entering this week’s ACC opener.
“We took the time and had a couple of practices, some fundamental stuff and a little bit about Pitt,” Johnson told reporters on Tuesday, acknowledging that, “it’s good to be back on a normal week.” The Panthers have dropped two of their first three games, both losses coming against top 10 opponents Oklahoma State and Penn State. Pitt coach Pat Narduzzi refused Tuesday to confirm whether senior Max Browne or sophomore Ben DiNucci would start at quarterback for the Panthers, who needed overtime to beat Youngstown State in the season opener before being outscored 92-35 in their two losses. “We’ve got to sustain drives this week,” Narduzzi told reporters.
TV: 12:20 p.m. ET, ACC Network, FSN South. LINE: Georgia Tech -7 ½
ABOUT PITTSBURGH (1-2): The Panthers will look to establish the run with junior Qadree Ollison, who rushed for 1,121 yards in 2015 and recorded 91 against Youngstown State and 96 against Penn State. Browne has started the first three games and passed for just 338 yards, while DiNucci has recorded 277 yards passing in two contests. The Panthers have allowed 37.7 points and 468.7 yards per game.
ABOUT GEORGIA TECH (1-1): There is no doubt who lines up at quarterback for the Yellow Jackets, as junior TaQuon Marshall has accounted for nine touchdowns (six rushing, three passing) through two games while leading the team in rushing (274 yards). Freshman Jerry Howard ran for 82 yards against Jacksonville State, including a 65-yard touchdown. Georgia Tech’s defense forced turnovers on three consecutive possessions in the victory, holding the Gamecocks to 99 yards in the final three quarters.
1. Pitt, which opens ACC play on the road for the fourth consecutive season, has not started a campaign at 1-3 since 2005.
2. The Yellow Jackets have scored 28 or more points in each of their last six games, dating back to last season.
3. The Panthers have won the last two contests on late field goals and lead the all-time series 7-4.
PREDICTION: Georgia Tech 34, Pitt 21