The Panthers are halfway through the season and have turned in a 4-2 record and are 2-2 in their inaugural year in the ACC. Pitt's two bye weeks have passed, and six straights games lie ahead, four being conference opponents.
Head coach Paul Chryst and his team have confidence in their abilities on both offense and defense, but fans have yet to see the two come together successfully in the first six games.
"Each week it's a different team with different defensive schemes, which means every offensive scheme we make might not be the same," said tight end Manasseh Garner. "It changes and even during the game it switches so maybe the running game is working or maybe it's the passing game that's working. It goes back and forth."
The pieces are there, it's just a matter of consistency at this point. Tom Savage has shown he can certainly throw the ball after racking up a total of 424 passing yards against Duke. Isaac Bennett proved what this running game is capable of against Old Dominion after rushing for 240-yards on 30 carriers. The freshmen have given a glimpse of the Panthers' future early on in the season just between James Conner and Tyler Boyd.
Bennett's 240-yards rushing and three touchdowns did more than just help this team win on Saturday, it helped bring back the line's confidence.
Offensive lineman Matt Rotheram and the rest of the line had experienced a share of their own success after New Mexico and Duke. The offense was averaging 53-points in just those two games. The line gave Savage and his offensive weapons a chance to thrive in their roles.
But lately this line has created more thoughts of concerns than instilling any type of confidence. That was up until this past Saturday against ODU, and the confidence that was once shaken from this line, is now back."
"It's high after that game, after what we've been through," said Rotheram. "It's where it needs to be heading into the rest of the season."
The pieces again are there and even with injuries, the players can make do. Against ODU, Cory King was out at left guard because of a back injury, but Ryan Schlieper filled the hole. Bennett excelled with the bulk of the carries with Conner not quite ready to play. And with Devin Street out at wide receiver, Garner stepped smoothly into the starting job.
"I think I'm still a tight end," smiled Garner. "I'm just able to help the team out at the wide receiver position. Right now, I'm the best of both worlds with being able to play at either position.
Whether it's Street or Garner lining up at wide receiver, or Conner or Bennett starting in the backfield, Chryst and his staff have full confidence in their players to get the job done.
That includes the defense, which has turned the corner in their last three contests by holding all three opponents to under a 100-yards rushing. The Pitt D has shown their capable of stopping the run and effective in the pass rush, but also capable of forcing turnovers. The Panthers had seven total turnovers in their last four games.
Halfway through the season, this team only gives themselves about a day to reflect on the past then the focus shifts to their next opponent, this week being Navy.
A matchup that is unfamiliar to an experienced middle linebacker like Shane Gordon. However, It's makes no difference to this Pitt team, who faces a new set of challenges every week.
"Throughout camp, the coaches introduced us to all the different types of defense we could possibly run," said Gordon. "So far there has not been anything brand new. We know what were suppose to do already. As a defense we're ready for a new challenge, and as a defense we're going to try to stuff this Navy team."
Pitt will face Navy this Saturday in Annapolis, with a kickoff set for 1 p.m. The Panthers lead the series over Navy, 22-13-3.