Pitt quarterback Kenny Pickett off to fast start, leads Panthers past Tennessee

Pittsburgh’s quarterback Kenny Pickett came to the rescue for the Panthers on Saturday afternoon’s game against Tennessee at the inaugural Johnny Majors Classic. This was Pitt’s first win against an SEC opponent since 2011.

After being down 10-0 in the first quarter, Pickett threw for two touchdowns and ran another one in, eventually winning 41-34. His total yards during the game was 285.

Pitt finished the 2020 season 5-5, but they’re already up 2-0 this season, and this is creating a lot of hope for Panthers fans. And, the person behind the improvement? Fifth-year senior Pickett.

Pickett, who is in his fourth season as starter, almost left Pitt after last season for the NFL. But, it was coincidentally Tennessee alum Peyton Manning who told Pickett to return to Pitt and play another year. If Pickett wants a chance to make the NFL after the 2021 season, he has to prove himself capable. And, so far, he’s doing just that.

At Pitt, Pickett has the second most total yards in school history at 8,863 yards, via his profile on Pitt’s football website. He’s also ranked one of the best ACC quarterbacks, which for a conference that has D.J. Uiagalelei and Sam Howell, that’s saying a lot. PFF College has put Pickett at the number four top rated quarterback spot for the first week. 

Pickett was 27-for-37 for 272 yards and two touchdowns in a romp of UMass in Week 1.Pickett is the candidate for quarterback awards such as the Davey O’Brien Award (nation’s best college quarterback), the Johnny Unitas Golden Arm Award (nation’s top senior/fourth-year junior quarterback) and the Manning Award (college football’s outstanding quarterback) this year.

Pitt will return home next week to play against Western Michigan, where Pickett will have another chance to continue making a name for himself.

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