Panther Rants is The Onion of Pitt Sports. Formerly a serious recruiting blog written by a serious recruiting writer, the site was taken over by mediocre bloggers that provide satire, sarcasm and anything but serious information. Everything on this site is tongue-in-cheek and is not meant for serious consumption.
Wednesday, October 1, 2008
Half Assed Pitt-USF Preview
Pitt will head to Tampa to face the South Florida Bulls on Thursday night. Panther Rants gives you a half assed preview of what to look out for when you turn on the television. You made some Jim Beam or some Valium. Hell, you might need both.
Pitt is coming off a big win over a traditional Big East power in Syracuse. The Panthers fell early, but got back up and ran their way to victory. Pitt is 3-1 on the year. Their key win is against Iowa.
They have lost their last two games against South Florida and you can thank Matt Grothe for that. Grothe has had the Pitt defense's number the last two games. South Florida's defense has had their way with us in terms of everything ranging from sacks to turnovers.
Pitt's offense will be led by LeSean McCoy and Larod Stephens. Both backs had big games against Syracuse and are hoping to fill the void in case their offense "Stulls". Derek Kinder has re-emerged from the wideout spot. Pitt's offensive line has some issues as usual.
Pitt's defense had an off game at Syracuse. The secondary didn't have a great game and will need to step up if the front seven can't catch Grothe.
They're 5-0 and in the Top Ten. They had some scares against UCF and Florida International. Both of those schools are in state rivals. They had big wins against Kansas and NC State.
Matt Grothe has been a one man gang. He has a passer efficiency of 150.2 and he leads the team in rushing yards. Their backfield has a group that pitches in. Moise Plancher, Jamar Taylor, and Mike Ford have combined for eleven rushing touchdowns. At receiver, Jessie Hester is their lead man. They have several other receivers who are averaging over 10 yards per catch.
On defense, there's not much to say. They force turnovers, pressure the quarterback, etc. They're also hard to run the ball against.
Pitt's Backfield vs. USF's front seven - This will be an entirely different matchup than what LeSean Mcoy/Larod Stephens faced at Syracuse. USF's defense has yet to allow their opponents to rush over 100 yards. They have only allowed three rushing touchdowns this year as well. McCoy didn't have a good rushing game against USF last. Pitt will need to establish the run or they'll have to rely on Bill Stull. Yeah...we're screwed......
Pitt Passing Game vs. USF Secondary - USF's secondary is full of ball grabbers. No, we're not talking about Richard Simmons. We're talking about their ability to intercept passes. They've intercepted 29 passes in the last 18 games. Pitt had three passes picked off last year and two got returned for touchdowns. In other words, they do things that our defense can't. This may not be a good idea for Bill Stull to force anything.
Pitt will need it's wide receivers to step up as well. Maybe now it's time to get the ball to Dorin Dickerson some more. Derek Kinder may need to really to bring it. In other words, they'll need to do something on offense or it will be a long game.
Pitt Defense vs. USF Offense - USF is big on the offensive line. Pitt's defense will need to attack Grothe in any way possible. They will need to create havoc and stay in his face. If Grothe can't pass, he'll run. Which means the linebackers will need to tackle well. Shane Murray is back, which helps, but is he ready? I don't think I can stomach another game with Austin Ransom at linebacker. Greg Williams will need to step up and Scott Mckillop needs a big game.
Overall: Pitt has a very tall order this Thursday. On paper, they're overmatched on both sides of the ball. The offensive line will need to open some holes for the running game and not the opposing team. They'll need to give Stull time or it may lead to very bad decisions.