PITT at Syracuse Wrap Up
Syracuse started fast and made some plays, but Pitt proved they were the better team in the 2nd half and won the game 34-24. It wasn‚Äôt the blowout everyone expected, but in the past that was the type of game Pitt usually lost. Pitt almost scored on every drive, but unfortunately they were most often field goals instead of touchdowns. The Pitt running game had a huge day and the defense owned the 4th Quarter like they have for the past 3 games. Pitt is now 3-1 heading into a crucial game on Thursday Night vs. South Florida.
PITT at #10 South Florida Thursday 8 P.M. ESPN
South Florida is 5-0 defeating Tennessee Martin, UCF (1-3), Kansas (3-1), Florida International (1-3), and N.C. State (2-3). South Florida has struggled a little on the road, unfortunately for the Panthers they play South Florida in Tampa. South Florida is a very good football team, but at times they play down to their competition. South Florida is led by 3rd year starter Matt Grothe (8). Grothe is a dual threat QB who will remind you of Brett Favre. On Defense South Florida is led by All American Defensive End George Selvie (95). Last year Selvie had 31.5 tackles for loss and was 1 tfl away from the NCAA record. However, Selvie did not play in the Bulls last game and his status for the Pitt game is still undetermined. Even without Selvie USF is very difficult to run the ball on, but is inexperienced at LB and CB.
Keys to the Game
Offense ‚Äì Pitt needs win the turnover battle, spread South Florida out and try to get the game into the fourth quarter. For Pitt to win Bill Stull must make good decisions with the ball and Pitt must score touchdowns and not settle for field goals. They need to take some chances down field
Defense ‚Äì Grothe will move the ball but Pitt needs to stop the run and force Grothe to make some mistakes. Look for Aaron Berry to be tested on Thursday
Special Teams ‚Äì Pitt needs a blocked punt or some big plays in the return game. If Pitt can make this game come down to a field goal they could pull the upset. USF‚Äôs kicking game is shaky.
South Florida is good, but Pitt can play with them. However, that may not be enough playing on Four days rest in Tampa. Prediction South Florida wins 35-21.
Photo courtesy of Inside Pittsburgh Sports