Pitt football: 5 things to watch in 2016

If there were ever a time for the Pittsburgh Panthers to go after their first conference championship since 2010, it would be the 2016 season. They return a bevy of talented players on both sides of the ball and it certainly seems like this team is ready to compete in the ACC.

Running back James Conner, who won ACC Player of the Year in 2014, returns after tearing his MCL and going through treatments for Hodgkin’s Lymphoma┬álast year. Running back Qadre Ollison is ready to make an impact if need be and quarterback Nathan Peterman emerged as a great talent for Pitt last year.

On the defense, they return 2015 true freshman All-American safety Jordan Whitehead and senior linebacker Matt Galambos. They both look to help the team improve, especially on stopping teams from getting into the endzone.

The Panthers are poised to win the ACC Coastal and get to the conference title game, but can they make good on that? Here are five things to watch for Pittsburgh going into the 2016 college football season.