With one more game left in Pitt’s regular season, the question is, can the team stay motivated after a disappointing season?
The Panthers had high hopes coming into this season. Even after a slow start when the team began the season 2-3, Pitt experienced new life when the team opened up a two-game lead in the Big East standings. But after a tough loss on the road to UConn and a blowout defeat in the Backyard Brawl to West Virginia, all hopes of winning the conference outright and going to a BCS bowl are virtually lost.
To get to the BCS, the Panthers not only need UConn and West Virginia to lose on Saturday, but they need to win themselves against a high-scoring Cincinnati Bearcats offense. The Bearcats feature the 22nd best passing offense in the nation, led by QB Zach Collaros and WRs Armon Binns and D.J. Woods. Binns and Woods have racked up just under 2,000 receiving yards this season.
But Cincinnati’s offense hasn’t been the issue. After all, they’ve put up 30 points or more in nearly half the team’s games this year, including a 69-point outburst against Rutgers a few weeks ago. The problem with the 4-7 Bearcats has been the defense, which gives up nearly 30 points per game.
Pitt isn’t only playing for pride – they’re playing for a guaranteed spot in a bowl game for the third straight season. The team can still get to a bowl even if it loses, but a loss could mean they get passed up.
Pitt has too many weapons on offense to not score any points against a bad defense. The question is, though, will the defense be able to stop the potent Bearcats’ passing game?