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Pitt's Defense Sets The Tone Early

Pitt's defense has been maligned a bit this season, mostly for their fourth quarter collapses. But one thing that's not usually mentioned is just how dominant the team has been early in the games.

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I stumbled upon this nugget today on the ESPN.com Big East blog: Pitt's defense has held teams scoreless in the first quarter this season. That's right - the Panthers haven't given up a single point to opposing teams in the first quarter through the first four games.

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No one will dispute that the team needs to get better in the fourth quarter - that's where great teams separate themselves from good teams. But the fact is that Pitt's defense has held teams in check early on and helped set the tempo for the games. Those good starts on defense have helped Pitt jump out to some early leads and as a result, they've been in every game thus far.

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The defense needs to get better, but they've played extremely well in the first quarter so far this season.

Photographs by dizfunk used in background montage under Creative Commons. Thank you.