When Pitt took the field against Virginia Tech on Saturday, only a small group of fans may have felt they would pull off the upset. That didn't matter to the team, though, and when it comes down to it, that's all that counts.
Pitt got off to a fast start and never looked back. On the opening drive, the team went in for a touchdown. One turned into three as the Panthers took a 21-0 lead and even though the Hokies challenged a few times after some big plays, the Panthers had a double-digit lead throughout the game.
For the fans, this win should play a big role in drumming up interest for the team. No, it doesn't fully erase the first two games where Pitt was thoroughly dominated, but it should help alleviate the fears that the Panthers simply can't compete. Virginia Tech may have been the most difficult team on their schedule (though after today, the Hokies have a lot of questions of their own) and today's contest should prove that Pitt is capable of at least playing the rest of their opponents closely.
An 0-3 start may have meant that Pitt fans would be ready to pack it in, but a win over a nationally-ranked team should jumpstart the fanbase. The next game at Heinz Field against Gardner-Webb probably won't be all that heavily attended, but if they win that game, suddenly at 2-2, things aren't all that bad. And not to get too far ahead of ourselves, but if the Panthers can somehow beat Syracuse on the road in their next contest, you can expect a great turnout at Heinz Field for a huge contest against Louisville.
There's still a lot of season left and the win against Virginia Tech should help to keep fan interest for a while.
For more on Pitt football, check out SB Nation blog, Cardiac Hill.