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ESPN Analyst Desmond Howard Names Sam James and Bryce Ford-Wheaton as Players to Watch



In an interview with a pool of local reporters, ESPN analyst Desmond Howard named Sam James and Bryce Ford-Wheaton as players to watch in the Backyard Brawl. Howard cited the new offense as the reasoning behind his picks.

The offense will be a variation of an air raid which, as it’s name suggests, strongly leans towards the passing attack. However new offensive coordinator Graham Harrell runs typically more than a normal air raid offense.

That being said, it will still be built around the passing attack which benefits tall and fast receivers like Ford-Wheaton (6-foot-5) and James (6-foot), who put up 575 and 505 receiving yards last year.

Howard also cited JT Daniels as a reassign for why he’s excited about the wide receivers. The new quarterback is expected to improve a passing game that was led by Jarrett Doege, the current back-up for Troy.

Pitt’s defense has been known to be feast or famine in the secondary with a large number of turnovers last year, but also allowing a large amount of receiving yards. They had 15 interceptions, the 10th most in college football, but gave up gave up 264.3 passing yards a game last year which was tied with Vanderbilt for the 17th most in college football.

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