BIG EAST FOOTBALL PREVIEW: GAME #9 PITTSBURGH
November 7, 2008
Led by Lesean McCoy's 169 yards rushing and Conor Lee's five fields goals, Pittsburgh earned a huge road victory by upending Notre Dame in South Bend, 36-33. Lee was clutch all afternoon and into the early evening, hitting four of four fields goals in each overtime 'session', including a 22-yarder that followed Brandon Walker's miss in the Irish offensive series of the fourth OT to give the Panthers the win.
Pittsburgh used the win as a bounceback from their previous game, a 54-34 home loss to Rutgers. Now they need to gain some momentum again in the conference as the host Louisville this weekend. The Panthers are 6-2 overall and 2-1 in the conference. For the first time in Dave Wannstedt's four years as the Pitt head coach, the college bowls are in his site and the conference's BCS berth is a legitimate chance for his team.
Louisville on the other hand continues to struggle with inconsistency. The Cards could have put themselves into the conference mix, but a 28-21 loss to Syracuse last weekend was just another reminder of the problems the Cards have. The Orange had yet to beat a 1-A team this season, but Louisville allowed the anemic Orange to roll up over 200 yards rushing to earn their first Big East win since their upset of Louisville in September of 2007.
Victor Anderson continues to be a bright spot for the Cards as he piled up another 100-yard game last week. On the year, he is averaging over 6 yards a carry and 100 yards a game.
The NCAA Odds currently show the Panthers a 6 1/2-pt favorites on their home field. It definitely has the makings of a Pitt win as Lesean McCoy will be the best player in the game, once again, and if SU could rack up over 200 yards against the UL defense last week on the ground, expect Pitt to find success as well.
Dealing with success does seem to be something the Panthers struggle with. Home losses to Bowling Green and Rutgers offer a reminder not to go too heavy into falling for Pitt quite yet. While I fully expect the Panther ground atatck to have a lot of success and their solid defense to keep UL at bay, this does has the makings of a game Pitt allows Louisville to hang around. Once again, I think Pitt will be glad to hve Conor Lee and his foot will be the difference.
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