BIG EAST FOOTBALL PREVIEW: GAME #8 PITTSBURGH
October 31, 2008
The Pittsburgh Panthers will look to rebound from a demoralizing 54-34 home loss to Rutgers last week when they travel to South Bend to meet the Fighting Irish of Notre Dame. Both teams will enter the contest with identical 5-2 records.
While the Panthers were embarrased on their home field as Rutgers' anemic offense rolled to a 54-point explosion, just 25 points less than they had scored in their first six games against 1-A opponents, there is reason to be cautious if your an Irish backer this week. The combined record of the opponents ND has beaten in their five wins is 9-30, with 4-4 Stanford being the best of the sorry bunch. That probably sheds some light on why Notre Dame is just a 4 and a half point home favorite according to the latest NCAA Football Lines.
The match-up to watch might center around the Pitt secondary against the Irish spread offense. Last week, Rutgers shredded the Panther defense for 371 yards in the air and six touchdowns and since moving towards the spread offense, Irish QB Jimmy Clausen has averaged over 300 yards passing the last four games.
The biggest concern for the Panthers is the Pittsburgh injury report which lists Bill Stull as doubtful for the game after suffering a concussion last week in the RU game that had him carted off the field. The likely replacement is sophomore Pat Bostick and JUCO transfer Greg Cross will also likely see action as well. The Panthers need a balance through the air to give room to their superb running back, LeSean McCoy, who is usually the best player on the field when he plays.
Tough game to call, we are not sold on the Irish as a good football team, however, playing at home against a team with a major quarterback question mark, we look for them to get the win by passing the ball against a secondary that was just exposed by a poor passing team. it will be close, because LeSean McCoy IS that good...
Notre Dame 27
Labels: Football Previews