OAKLAND (PR) – After a near upset of MAC juggernaut Bowling Green, the Pitt Panthers embark on a crucial week of preparation for Saturday’s home contest with Buffalo. Knowing that they’ll likely face Marv Levy’s vaunted no-huddle offense and the likes of Bruce Smith and Darryl Talley on defense, Dave Wannstedt is consulting the NFL Films archives for this week’s game plan.
“We know what they’ll do on offense in the no-huddle spread with their pro bowl talent, but since I’ve been coaching defense for years that’s the least of our worries,” Wannstedt said from his IROC Camaro in Blawnox. “It’s our offense that has to get going, their defense has great players who make great plays at great speeds.” The coaching staff believes the answer could be in the Super Bowl XXV game film, which saw Buffalo lose the first of four Super Bowls to the New York Giants.
“We talked to Steve Sabol down at NFL Films, and we got a copy of that film to look at for this week,” said Wannstedt. “The Giants used the same game plan as we had last week: by trying to run the ball every chance they got with some short 5-yard pass routes on 3rd and 10’s. We’re confident that if the Giants can beat the Bills with 20 points and a good kicker like Matt Bahr, we can do the same and that’s where we’re at.”
Offensive Coordinator Matt Cavanaugh is equally excited by his offense’s potential. “Seeing Otis Anderson bust through the Buffalo defense and watching Jeff Hostetler engineer 15-play drives that end in field goals gives us a lot of confidence,” Cavanaugh said from his bungalow in Oakland. “We played for field position and for 3 points against Bowling Green and we all saw how well that went, so we’re confident that this time we can win one that no one expects us to,” Cavanaugh remarked. “Besides, you know Scott Norwood is gonna choke when it gets down to it, so why worry?”
Pitt receiver Oderick Turner is especially ecstatic about Saturday’s matchup as his father, Odessa, was a receiver on that Super Bowl-winning Giants team. “Dad always told me stories growing up about that game, so I’m pumped to be playing that same Buffalo team,” Turner said. “When he heard that we were using that game film to study Buffalo this week, he assured me that Coaches Wannstedt and Cavanaugh were geniuses.” Odessa also had some more fatherly advice for his son. “Pops told me that he didn’t even see the field in Super Bowl XXV, let alone catch a ball, so I shouldn’t be worried if they don’t throw to me at all.”
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