Coach Dave Doeren's Pittsburgh Scouting Report

Brett Friedlander

The assignment doesn't get any easier for the NC State football team this Saturday as it takes to the road for the second straight game. 

Unlike Virginia Tech, this week's opponent Pittsburgh comes into its matchup with the Wolfpack sporting a 3-0 record and coming off an impressive 23-20 win against Louisville.

Here's what State coach Dave Doeren had to say about the 20th-ranked Panthers during his regular weekly media conference on Monday:

"(Coach) Pat Narduzzi does a really good job with his football team. He’s got an experienced staff. They’re a very physical, experienced football team. They play complimentary football. Offensively, (coordinator) Mark Whipple is a really good football coach. I’ve known him a while. I’ve coached against him. He is very creative. He uses a lot of formations; tackle-over formations, motions. He has good receivers, good backs.

I think their quarterback Kenny Pickett is a really good football player. (He's got) a 66%  completion rate. He’s played a lot, a 31-game starter, very accurate and mobile. I think he’s a very underrated quarterback. He has a very good receiving corps. The freshman, (Jordan) Addison, is electric with 21 catches. 

They have a bunch of backs they bring in, the Davises (Vincent and A.J.) and their freshman (Israel Abanikanda), who played a lot in the last game. He’s a physical guy. I think they are all different from each other and they do a good job behind the offensive line and probably the best center in the conference, if not the country, in (Jimmy) Morrissey. They’ve only given up two sacks.

"Their defense is fast, they’re disruptive. They pressure, press coverage. They’re only giving up 10 points per game and 177 yards per game (with) 17 sacks in three games and 34 tackles for loss. They’ve created six interceptions. They’ve got a lot of defensive linemen. Charlie Partridge coaches them, and he does a great job with those guys. Whether it’s (Patrick) Jones, (Rashad) Weaver, (Calijah) Kancey, (Deslin) Alexander or (Devin) Danielson, they’ve got a crew that they rotate that is disruptive.

"(Paris) Ford, (Jason) Pinnock and (Damar) Hamlin have played a lot of football for them in the secondary. Their linebackers and nickels all do a good job and they’re used in their blitz game. They do a good job of disguising. They’re going to put a lot of guys in the box. They’re going to force you to throw against press coverage.

"Special teams-wise, they’ve got a very experienced special teams coordinator who’s been there a long time with Pat. Their punter is averaging 43 yards and does a nice job there. (It's a) great challenge for us and a great opportunity to get back on the field and get better. I look forward to that."

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