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Monday, October 22, 2007
Enter the Irrational Exuberance Zone
Welcome overjoyed Panther fans, to the Factor for this Monday, October 22nd, 2007. I'm your host, and I'm always in my seat 90 minutes before kickoff, especially when we are about to whoop some Bearcat ass. As many of you who still follow this team are aware, Pitt defeated the University of Cincinnati Fighting Blackwater USA's 24-17 in front of literally thousands of screaming Panther fans at Heinz Field on Saturday. The victory, the first over a ranked team, and first as an underdog, in Dave Wannstedt's tenure, may mark a turning point in the season for the young Panthers. Solid offensive line play paved the way for two 100-yard rushers in LeSean McCoy and LaRod Stephens-Howling, and quarterback Pat Bostick was sacked just once. Additionally, the Panthers committed just one turnover against the ball-hungry Bearcats, who came into the game leading the nation in turnovers forced. Perhaps most impressively, Pitt overcame a 7-point halftime deficit in acheiving victory. But now, much like Justin Timberlake did to Britney, we must put Cincy in the rearview mirror and focus on this week's opponent, the Louisville Cardinals, the object of this week's He Who Went to Bowl Gaming Points Memo.
The Louisville Cardinals, led by first-year coach Steve Caveman Kragthorpe, come into this week's game fresh off of a loss on the road to the UConn Huskies. The Cardinals, a pre-season top-10 team, have struggled to a 4-4 record with embarassing losses to Utah, Syracuse, and UConn this year. Their once high-powered offense has been reduced to Jack Nicholson aged impotency, scoring just 28 and 17 points in their last two games. Many have questioned the wisdom of Brian Brohm returning to school to lead this ragtag group of miscreants, however one look at his down syndromish face gives you all the information you need to understand that particular decision. Seriously, was his mother drinking moonshine during the entire 9 months she was pregnant, or just the first two trimesters?
We here at the Factor were encouraged by the defensive performance of your Pitt Panthers on Saturday, providing hope that the Cardinals just might not return to their Houston Cougarish days on offense this weekend. And Louisville's sieve defense offers more opportunity for growth for the young skill players on the Panther's offense. It is possible LeSean McCoy could get to 1,000 yards on the season this weekend, as he's at just a shade over 800 currently.
In any event, make sure you're sitting in front of your TVs 90 minutes before kickoff this weekend, and cheer your BCS-bound Panthers as they take on the fighting Cavemen. And check back frequently this week as Panther Rants provides the hard-hitting analysis you need to make your college football weekend enjoyable.