Boston College brings the baggage of its first loss in six games to Pitt on Thursday night, but the Panthers are unpacking much bigger problems.
The Eagles (6-4, 3-3 ACC) had a five-game winning streak snapped last week when Virginia Tech scored 35 straight points en route to a 48-22 victory. BC was outgained 600-262 (including 363-124 on the ground) in suffering its first defeat since Sept. 23.
“We didn’t play like we have for the last six weeks,” BC coach Jeff Hafley said. “We got beat up pretty good.”
The Panthers (2-8, 1-5) have mustered only a solitary victory since a win in the season opener. The Panthers are coming off a 28-13 loss to Syracuse, a team that essentially operated without a viable quarterback. The banged-up Orange attempted only eight passes, ran the ball 66 times, leaving coach Pat Narduzzi with plenty of questions to answer.
Among the issues facing the team: Who starts at quarterback against Boston College?
“I don’t know,” Narduzzi said of whether struggling incumbent Christian Veilleux or seldom-used backup Nate Yarnell would get the call. “We’ll see Thursday night.”
Things are so bleak for Pitt at the moment that the university’s athletic director put out a statement to the Post-Gazzette on Monday saying, in part, that “this season is not up to Coach Narduzzi’s or Pitt’s standards” before indicating that Narduzzi will be back in 2024 to help turn around the program he helped resurrect with an ACC championship and consecutive Top 25 finishes the past two seasons.
The Panthers have already clinched the worst finish in Narduzzi’s nine seasons at the helm.
First priority for Pitt on Thursday is finding a way to slow BC quarterback Thomas Castellanos, who ranks second in the country among quarterbacks with 806 rushing yards. He also has 10 rushing touchdowns.
Veilleux, meanwhile, has minus-14 net rushing yards on the season and has more interceptions (eight) than passing touchdowns (seven). Yarnell is just 5 of 8 for 123 yards and a touchdown in limited action.
The Panthers have scored a total of 44 points during their four-game losing streak.
Pitt leads the all-time series 17-15. BC has won the last two matchups.
–Field Level Media
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