Pitt Vs. South Florida: Panthers Hold On For 17-10 Win

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Pitt Vs. South Florida: Panthers Regroup In Second Half, Win 17-10

Pitt hung in and pulled out a 17-10 win over South Florida. Both teams were only able to muster a field goal in the first half and neither quarterback played particularly well, each passing for less than 150 yards.

The Panthers looked like the better team for much of the game, but were hampered by poor pass interference penalties time after time. In all, Pitt racked up 11 penalties for 116 yards.

Offensively, Pitt couldn’t get much of anything going as far as big plays. But the Panthers rushed for 150 yards, which included a 100-yard performance by Dion Lewis. Lewis has now found the end zone in his past five straight games and his 22-yard run to put Pitt ahead for good was spectacular.

Pitt had a chance to ice the game and go up by ten with under two minutes left, but kicker Dan Hutchins missed a 43-yard field goal, giving life to USF.

It was short lived, though.

While Pitt hasn’t always done a good job with time management under Dave Wannstedt, South Florida couldn’t have done much worse at the end of the game. They got the ball back with 1:31 left in the fourth quarter, but couldn’t get out of bounds on several plays and repeatedly took too much time. The kicker came when there was about 20 seconds left and USF was around midfield. Instead of spiking the ball, QB B.J. Daniels took up a lot of time before completing a short pass near the middle of the field.

Pitt is now 6-4 on the season and with two games remaining, still controls its own destiny to win the conference. The Panthers are now faced with a short week before the Friday Backyard Brawl with West Virginia.

For more post-game analysis, stop by Pitt blog Cardiac Hill.


Pitt Vs. South Florida: Panthers Will Fight To Stay On BCS Path

With a fairly comfortable lead and only four games left to play, Pitt seemed ready to grab hold of the conference’s BCS berth. But a disappointing road loss to UConn changed everything and now the Panthers have gone from favorites to potential underdogs.

Pitt has three games remaining and if it wins out, the team will win the conference. But two of those games are on the road and the lone home game is on a short week against bitter rival, West Virginia.

None of the three games will likely be easy and the chance the Panthers can pull off a 3-0 record may not be all that great.

Pitt starts its journey with a road game at South Florida. Unlike the UConn game, Pitt won’t have to contend with a team on a weeknight. Mock the game against UConn all you want, but any road conference game on a weeknight when fans are even more into the game is a challenge. Still, Pitt will have an improving South Florida team on its hands – one that includes dynamic QB B.J. Daniels.

However, while the Bulls are 6-3, even with the season almost over, it’s hard what to make of them. Facing Florida, West Virginia, and Syracuse, USF’s toughest opponents, the Bulls went 0-3 and only put up a total of 29 points. The team’s best win is an overtime win at Louisville. Not exactly awe-inspiring.

The Bulls also have won its past three games, but only done so by a total of 12 points. They won by eight at Cincinnati, but struggled to beat Rutgers by one and then won the Louisville game by a field goal. USF could almost just as easily be 3-6.

The game will likely come down to USF QB B.J. Daniels. He’s thrown a total of nine interceptions (and at least two in each game) in South Florida’s three losses. In their six wins, he’s thrown only two interceptions total against eight touchdowns. The Bulls are without many offensive stars, so the formula is simple for Pitt – keep B.J. Daniels in check.

This isn’t to say the Bulls can’t beat Pitt. We’ve all seen how crazy the conference can be this season and anyone can beat anyone on any day. I expect South Florida to come out fighting, but in the end, I think the UConn serves as plenty of motivation for Pitt to get back on track.


Pitt Vs. South Florida - Q&A Between Pitt and South Florida SB Nation Blogs

SB Nation bloggers from Cardiac Hill (Pitt) and Voodoo Five (South Florida) participated in a Q&A session prior to the Pitt-USF game on Saturday.

Ken over at Voodoo Five answered some of my questions about USF and you can check out what he said over at Cardiac Hill.


Pitt Vs. South Florida: Big East Football Picks

Pitt's loss to UConn last week opened up the door for many of the other teams in the Big East, and several teams have a shot in the wide-open Big East. This week could go a long way in determining who wins the conference's BCS berth. Let's take a look at this week's games:

Pitt vs. South Florida. This is a tough game to call, as Pitt faces another tough road game against an improving team. After seeing the Panthers last week, there's no way to feel safe picking Pitt to win this game. USF dropped its first two conference games to WVU and Syracuse, but has come back to win three straight. But while they've won each of the past three, they've only done so by a total of 12 points. That's not to say a win isn't a win, but USF has had some close calls. Pitt 24, USF 17

WVU vs. Louisville. West Virginia smells blood after watching Pitt lose at UConn. The Mountaineers could run into trouble with Big East tiebreakers after losing to both Syracuse and UConn, but the conference race is far from over. West Virginia knows it can still win the conference and I think we'll see some of its talented players step up in this game. I'd feel more comfortable picking this game if it were at WVU, but I still think the Mountaineers get it done. WVU 20, Louisville 13

UConn vs. Syracuse. This could be the game of the week. Syracuse is bowl-eligible, but the team is looking for more. Both teams are playing well and have some nice wins under their belts. Syracuse gets this game at home, and that could be the deciding factor. UConn running back Jordan Todman will get his yards, but winning three straight might be too much to ask. Both Pitt and WVU had costly miscues and without those, I'm not sure the Huskies would have won those games. Let's say the Orange protect the ball. Syracuse 28, UConn 17

Rutgers vs. Cincinnati. Cincinnati isn't a good team, but Zach Collaros is back. The Bearcats have been routed in each of their past two games against West Virginia and Syracuse, but the team beat Louisville and played South Florida tough. Cincinnati has one of the best passing attacks in college football and can score a ton of points. At home and with its star quarterback, I think they've got what it takes. Cincinnati 30, Rutgers 23

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