PITT v. Iowa Wrap Up
Pitt reclaimed some of the high expectations it had in August, beating the 3-1 Iowa Hawkeyes 21-20. The Panthers were 3 for 3 on 4th down conversions, which led to all three of their Touchdowns. The offense was adequate and LeSean McCoy made some big plays when the team needed them most. The defense was a little soft on the run early, but tightened down in the fourth quarter, saved the game and had six sacks on the day. The return game was very mediocre, but Dave Brytus was the star of the game averaging 47.8 yards per punt and pinning the Hawkeyes on the 1 for there final drive.
I had predicted Pitt in a Squeaker 17-14 and a 21-20 Pitt win was just what the Dr. ordered.
PITT at Syracuse ‚Äì WTAE and ESPN Regional Coverage 12:00 p.m.
Right now the Syracuse Program is one of the worst programs in Division I football. The Panthers need to bury Syracuse right from the opening kickoff. Syracuse is 1-3 after getting blown out by Northwestern, Akron and Penn State. Their only win was against Northeastern barely beating the D-1AA Huskies 30-21. Syracuse has a decent stable of backs led by Curtis Brinkley (22), but you will also see Doug Hogue (32) and Delone Carter (3) is questionable with a strained hamstring. The Orange have used two QB‚Äôs this season Cameron Dantley (4) and Andrew Robinson (9) with very little success. The Defense really lacks playmakers with the headliner being DT Arthur Jones (97). The only way Syracuse can win on Saturday is if Pitt lets them hang around until the Fourth Quarter.
Keys to the Game
Offense ‚Äì Pitt needs to try to score on every possession. There is no way this game should be close. Pitt cannot be content with a 14 point lead. Pitt‚Äôs running game should have a big day. Watch out for LaRod Stephens Howling the last time he was in the Carrier Dome he rushed for 221 yards.
Defense ‚Äì The defensive game plan should be the similar to the one put together for Iowa. Sell out to stop the run and pressure the Syracuse QB‚Äôs into making mistakes.
Special Teams ‚Äì Pitt‚Äôs return game needs to start making some plays.
Inside Pittsburgh Sports prediction: Pitt wins going away 35-10.