Josh Heupel details his experience attacking Pittsburgh’s defense

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First-year Tennessee head coach Josh Heupel is set to compete against Pittsburgh for the third time since 2018.

Heupel served as UCF’s head coach from 2018-20 and played the Panthers twice.

UCF defeated the Panthers, 45-14, in 2018 at Spectrum Stadium in Orlando, Florida. During the 2019 campaign, Pittsburgh was victorious against the Knights, 35-34, at Heinz Field in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.

In 2019, UCF totaled 423 offensive yards (338 passing, 85 rushing). Heupel’s offense totaled 568 yards (328 passing, 240 rushing) in 2018 against the Panthers.

Heupel met with media for the final time on Thursday ahead of playing Pittsburgh in Week 2 (noon EDT, ESPN).

Heupel discussed his experience playing Pittsburgh as a head coach and how he was able to attack on offense.

“In some ways, you’ve got to be patient,” Heupel said. “You’ve got to be able to create big plays in the run game and pass game. It’s a physical football game. The difference in the game between the two years, in particular, was the turnovers early, and not taking advantage of some of the opportunities. In 2019, we started extremely slow and there were some things we could have controlled on offense and some things that they did too. We made some adjustments over the course of the game and started to make some plays.

“It’s a good football team in all three phases, but on the defensive side of it, veteran, physical front seven. Their safeties do a great job in run support. You’ve got to be able to create some seams and make some big plays. It’s going to be man-press on the outside. You’ve got to be able to make some one-on-one plays.”

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