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Blackledge expects a more competitive game when Pitt meets Penn State

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ABC analyst and former Penn State quarterback Todd Blackledge is predicting a competitive game between the Nittany Lions and Panthers on Saturday.

Todd Blackledge was in Beaver Stadium last year, analyzing Penn State’s convincing 33-14 victory against Pitt for ABC-TV.

The former Nittany Lions quarterback seemingly can’t stay away from Pitt/Penn State. He’ll be back in the ABC booth again Saturday night, along with play-by-play man Sean McDonough, sideline reporter Holly Rowe and 70,000 people at Heinz Field.

This one may be different, he said.

“I didn’t think Pitt was the same caliber of team (last year), just a notch below Penn State,” he said.

“I think Pitt is a much better football team this year. They found a quarterback (Kenny Pickett). I really like him. He gives them a chance offensively. “Defensively, from a depth standpoint, particularly in the front seven, this might be the best defense (Pitt coach Pat Narduzzi) has had since he’s been at Pitt.

“Coupled with the fact they’re playing at home, I think this is going to be a really competitive football game.

“Penn State will be a better than they were week 1 (in the overtime victory against Appalachian State), but Pitt will give them all they can handle.”

Jerry DiPaola is a Tribune-Review staff writer. You can contact Jerry at [email protected] or via Twitter @JDiPaola_Trib.

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