Pitt Football rocking the best defense in college football

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Pitt football has one of the most talented defenses in the nation, loaded with players that can make an impact at both the college and pro level. The defensive line for the Panthers is the best in the nation and is supported by some excellent linebackers and defensive backs as well. Pitt’s defense is stacked even with the loss of one of its top players, defensive tackle Jaylen Twyman, who opted out of the season.

Twyman was named as a first-team preseason All-American and will certainly be missed, but this defense has shown it can fill in holes when it loses players, as a number of players stepped up last year to cover the loss of Rashad Weaver and Keyshon Camp. The Pitt defense is oozing with talent and is still quite possibly the best defense in the nation, even without Twyman.

Pitt showed its excellence on the defensive side of the ball when it shut out Austin Peay last Saturday, allowing only 137 yards, with only one coming on the ground. The Panthers were one of only three teams in college football that did not allow a point through last week and although it was against a less than formidable opponent, the feat is nonetheless impressive.

Facing a more respectable opponent this week in the Syracuse Orange, Pitt proved it belongs in the conversation of the best defenses in college football. Allowing only 171 yards and 10 points, the Pittsburgh defense was beyond dominant. The Panthers were living in the Syracuse backfield with seemingly constant pressure, seven sacks and 13 tackles for a loss.

Defensive end Rashad Weaver played his first game in over a year on Saturday after missing all of 2019 with a torn ACL, and he wasted no time getting back to his old form. He put up seven total tackles with three tackles for a loss and two sacks in his first game back since the injury. This performance led to Weaver being named the Defensive Player of the Week by the Walter Camp Football Foundation.

Another notable performance came from safety Paris Ford, who was placed on the preseason watch list for the Jim Thorpe Award, which is given to the best defensive back in college football. Ford picked up one tackle for a loss and an interception in the Pitt win.

This performance matched his tackle for a loss and interception he had in the Panthers’ opener against Austin Peay and has him tied for the most interceptions in college football.

Led by the likes of Ford and Weaver, the Pitt defense is currently the top defense in total yards among all teams that have played two games, having given up a total of only 308 yards. The Pitt defense is also tied for the lead in sacks with 10 and is first in rush defense and fourth in pass defense.

Looking at these numbers, Pitt is currently the best defense in college football. The defense is loaded with talent and has proven through their performance on the field that they are the real deal and that opposing offenses should be concerned. Although Pitt has not taken on any top tier opponents, the defense has proven that it has what it takes to shut a team down and it can be expected that this defense will go out and cause problems for some high powered offenses later on in the season.

Photo by Kaycee Orwig | The Pitt News