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Even with the big names sitting out, the Panthers and Spartans are ready for the 2021 Chick-fil-A Peach Bowl – CBS Pittsburgh

By: Patrick Damp

ATLANTA (KDKA) – ACC . Champion Panthers is ready and so is the 10-2 Sparta for the Chick-fil-A Peach Bowl in 2021.

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However, without two standout talents matching this, it could be an exciting night in Atlanta.

Pickett prepares for the draft

Midfielder Pitt Kenny Pickett put together one of the seasons, if not the best, of a Panthers quarterback. So much so that he was in New York City as a finalist for the Heisman Trophy, the award given to the best player in NCAA Division I Soccer.

With Pickett’s sights on the NFL Draft, the man in the center will not be on the field in tonight’s game.

Pickett remains in Atlanta with the team and will play a side role for the Panthers throughout the game.

Last week, Panthers Head Coach Pat Narduzzi announced that Nick Patti would be the starting quarterback for the Peach Bowl.

“Now, Nick is a guy, and he deserves to be a guy,” Narduzzi said during the press conference.

Patti made 16 appearances for the Panthers in three years, throwing 458 yards, three touchdowns and just one interception.

Continue without Kenneth

The Panthers won’t be the only team lacking a key element in their attack.

Michigan State won’t have their star run back to Kenneth Walker III.

Walker is dominating the Michigan State backyard, running the second most among FBS players with 1,636 in 236 runs. He scored 18 rush touches and one more pick up touch for good measure.

He was the Walter Camp Player of the Year and named the winner of the Doak Walker Award as the country’s best back runner.

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While the Panthers will call redshirt junior quarterback Nick Patti, the Spartans are hoping to get a glimpse of their future.

Replacing Walker as the standout return will be sophomore Jordan Simmons.

In this year’s limited time, Simmons dashed 255 yards, catching six passes and one touchdown.

“It’s hard to replace a guy like Ken,” said coach Mel Tucker. “You can’t really do that, but we have other players clearly on our list in a position to be next. They’re going to go ahead and get the job done and we have a plan for that and I feel really good about our running game. ”

Addison Up

While the Panthers won’t have the Heisman-nominated quarterback, they will still have the top receiver in college football.

Biletnikoff winner Jordan Addison will still be in attendance tonight.

The second-year wide receiver took home the award with 17 touchdowns, the most in the country.

That’s good news for the Panthers, but bad news for Sparta, who have the worst pass defense in FBS, ranked 130th out of 130, allowing 337.7 yards of passes per game.

Even with Addison still around, Pitt will have tight finale coach Tim Salem serve as offensive coordinator after Mark Whipple’s surprise resignation.

Whipple was later hired as an attack coordinator for Nebraska.

Blue and yellow

Panthers will go with the classic white shirt, yellow helmet and yellow pants.

On the other side, the Spartans are wearing green jerseys, green helmets, and white pants.

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Kickoff is set for 7:00 p.m. tonight, and the match can be watched on ESPN and listened to on Panthers Radio Network on 93.7 The Fan.

https://pittsburgh.cbslocal.com/2021/12/30/pitt-michigan-state-set-for-2021-peach-bowl/ Even with the big names sitting out, the Panthers and Spartans are ready for the 2021 Chick-fil-A Peach Bowl – CBS Pittsburgh

Aila Slisco

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