Pitt (1-1) vs Iowa (3-0) Preview
PITT v. Buffalo Wrap Up
Pitt had an lackluster performance until the 4th Quarter when they opened up the offense and utilized their deep receiving corp. It was great to see T.J. Porter, Oderick Turner and Cedric McGee make some plays. Bill Stull did a great job of spreading the ball around. The defense played solidly and LeSean McCoy had 3 touchdowns. It all added up to a 27-16 Panthers victory.
Buffalo Keys to the Game
1. ‚ÄúPLAYMAKERS MAKE PLAYS‚Äù Pitt opened up the offense a bit and did spread the ball around. Some unlikely playmakers stepped up and made big plays. I would call their effort very efficient.
2. ‚ÄúTURN THE TIDE‚Äù Pitt‚Äôs defense played well and harassed Drew Willy, but only 1 turnover. This team has to do better.
3. ‚ÄúRETURN ON INVESTMENT‚Äù Pitt‚Äôs return teams did a nice job with 102 return yards and the Field Goal block team had another blocked kick. That‚Äôs 2 in 2 weeks.
This game showed some promise and I expect a good showing against Iowa. I predicted a 24-10 Pitt victory and that is just about what we got.
PITT v. Iowa ‚Äì Heinz Field 12:00 p.m.
Pitt needs this win to reclaim the high expectations it had in August. Iowa is 3-0 beating Maine, Florida International and Iowa State. Iowa‚Äôs defense has not given up a touchdown this year. The defense is anchored by third year starting DT‚Äôs Matt Kroul (53) and Mitch King (47) but behind them the defense is a little shaky. The offense is nothing to write home about. They have ran the ball well against poor competition, but their QB play is average at best. Iowa has been alternating Jr. Jake Christensen (6) and So. Ricky Stanzi (12) and they have not named a starter for Saturday but I am not sure it matters.
Keys to the Game
Offense ‚Äì Throw the ball to the tight ends. Iowa is stout against the run but the linebackers and secondary are suspect in coverage. Get the ball to Nate Byham or try to get some WR v. LB matchups.
Defense ‚Äì Sell out to stop the run. The Iowa passing game is non-existent. Pitt should put 8 in the box all day. Expect a big day from Scott McKillop.
Special Teams ‚Äì Keep it clean. Pitt needs to tackle well and avoid mistakes in the kicking game. Iowa is very sound and Pitt can lose this game if Iowa makes a big play on Special Teams
Inside Pittsburgh Sports Prediction Pitt wins 17-14 in a squeaker.