The Panthers look to keep their Big East lead with a win tonight at Connecticut.
Pitt has had some trouble with UConn, so even in a year when the Huskies look less talented than Pitt, this could still be a difficult game. The Panthers are only 3-3 against UConn in their past six games.
The Panthers also have a few other things working against them, at least by past history. The game will be nationally televised and this season, the team has yet to win such a game (0-3). Defensive End Jabaal Sheard knows Pitt has another chance to turn some heads tonight:
“This is our week to show up on big-time TV,” said Sheard, who leads the conference in sacks (1.12 per game) and forced fumbles. "Everyone’s got to step up and play.
Another issue Pitt faces tonight is that of playing a team on a bye week. Since 2005 when head coach Dave Wannstedt took over, Pitt has been horrible in games after a bye, going 3-8.
The Panthers will do battle with
Cody Endres, Michael Box, Zach Frazer, who is the Huskies third starting QB of the season. Connecticut struggles with its passing game and Pitt may look to disrupt the quarterback even more than normal. For the second straight time, Pitt will face a potential NFL running back in Jordan Todman. The Huskies’ hopes may be in controlling the clock and keeping Pitt’s suddenly potent offense off the field.
It’s still undecided if Pitt star DE Greg Romeus will play, but even if he does, he might not see too much action on the field as the coaches will probably look to work him slowly.
Check out my Q&A with The UConn Blog and game preview earlier this week over at Pitt blog Cardiac Hill.