The Student Voice of North Allegheny Senior High School

The Uproar

The Student Voice of North Allegheny Senior High School

The Uproar

The Student Voice of North Allegheny Senior High School

The Uproar

Season Recap: Penn State, Pitt, WVU

With bowl season on the horizon, three local favorites are contending with varying odds.
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Beaver Stadium: Home of the Penn State Nittany Lions

Over nine weeks through and the college football season is rife with thrill and heartbreak. Only a fraction of the teams still have playoff hopes, while others are just looking to make the six-win bowl game threshold. As for local teams Penn State, Pittsburgh, and West Virginia, the aim is to finish off the seasons strong. 

Penn State Nittany Lions

The Nittany Lions have had another strong showing, sitting at 7-1 and 11th in the year’s first College Football Playoff rankings. However, Penn State finds themselves outside the fringe of being a championship caliber team yet again.

James Franklin seems to never beat teams better than his, and this year is no exception. Penn State lost to the now top-ranked Ohio State Buckeyes by a score of 20-12.

Drew Allar’s first season as a starter at Penn State has been incredible up to this point, throwing for over 1600 yards, 16 touchdowns and only 1 interception. Penn State’s defense has also been exceptional, ranking 2nd in yards allowed per game in the nation and 3rd in both points allowed per game and total sacks.

Unfortunately for the Lions, their two division rivals in Ohio State and Michigan are performing at a higher level on the defensive side of the ball. Penn State’s loss is killer to their hopes at a conference championship, let alone the playoffs. The Nittany Lions will not only have to win out, including defeating third-ranked Michigan, but they then need Ohio State to lose two games in the remainder of the season to go to the Big Ten Championship. If Penn State were to win the Big Ten Championship and be 12-1 at the end of the season, they still would be behind undefeated Georgia, Florida State, Washington and a one-loss Texas.

At the end of the day, Penn State’s one loss to Ohio State crushes their hopes for a breakout season, keeping them in the cycle they have been in the last few years. Their remaining schedule consists of Maryland, #3 Michigan, Rutgers, and Michigan State, still on track for a 10-2 season. 

Pittsburgh Panthers

This season for the Panthers can only be described as disastrous. They sit at 2-6 after an absolute embarrassment from Notre Dame last week.

Boston College transfer Phil Jurkovec and Offensive Coordinator Frank Cignetti, Jr. have found themselves as the detriment to the season. Jurkovec’s tenure as the starting quarterback lasted five games with a record of 1-4 before switching positions to tight end. Penn State transfer Christian Veilleux took down #14 Louisville in his first career start, throwing for 200 yards and 2 touchdowns. However, the team’s performance in many games this season has been nothing short of pitiful. Their horrific offense has plagued them throughout the season, particularly in games they should have won like Cincinnati, West Virginia, and Virginia Tech.

Looking forward, Pittsburgh plays #4 Florida State, Syracuse, Boston College, and Duke. The Panthers would have to win out to make a bowl game. Realistically, they are looking at a 4-8 season — a tough pill to swallow for Head Coach Pat Narduzzi and a program that won 20 games in the last two seasons. 

West Virginia Mountaineers

Neal Brown has done enough to save his job for another year. The Mountaineers sit at a solid 5-3 that could have been 6-2 if it were not for Houston’s Hail Mary victory. After a tough loss at Penn State to start the season, West Virginia ran the table, winning four straight, a feat highly unexpected from the same team a year ago.

Junior quarterback Garrett Greene leads the Mountaineers with over 1300 yards, eight touchdowns and only two interceptions. Brown looks for more wins to secure his job in the weeks to come, as WVU faces BYU, #9 Oklahoma, Cincinnati and Baylor. West Virginia is looking for their best season since 2018, when they won eight games. The Mountaineers are realistically looking at an 8-4 season. 

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About the Contributor
Thomas Thirkell
Thomas Thirkell, Staff Writer
Thomas Thirkell is a senior at NASH who loves watching college football and playing chess.

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