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Tuesday, October 14, 2008

A Half-Assed Preview: Pitt vs. Navy

Last season, we saw the Panthers lose an absolute heartbreaker to Navy in overtime. It was a bad game on the defensive front. Navy tore the Pitt defense for over 300 yards in that game. It reminiscent in that scene from "Animal House" where Kevin Bacon is bent over being paddle saying "Thank You Sir! May I have another?!?". You know just writing that last sentence, I just got a horrible visual.

The game itself was a horrible visual on the defensive front. Navy moved the ball at will while the Pitt defense just sat back and took it. On offense, Pitt put up 45 points....and lost. So how will it look on Saturday.

Pitt comes off a bye week again. They haven't fared too well on bye weeks under the Wanny regime. They're 4-1 coming off a big win against tenth ranked South Florida.

Pitt's offense is powered by their running game. The running game has started to take hold in recent weeks and the offensive line is showing some promise. LeSean McCoy had a big game against Navy last year, and could be up for a repeat performace. Pat Bostick didn't have a bad game, but Bill Stull is now the quarterback.

Pitt's offense needs to repeat what they did last year: Score and score at will.

On defense, Pitt did a remarkable job of bitch-slapping Matt Grothe. This week, they'll face the dreaded triple option. This play did them in last year. This time around, the staff knows they'll need penetrate the Navy Offense and sink their battleship.


Navy is 4-2 with losses to Duke and Ball State. Their key win is the win over Wake Forest.

On offense, Navy is averaging over 300 yards rushing per game. They're led by a quarterback whom I will not spell out his name. They have a brusing running back in Erick Kettani.

On defense, they give up a lot of yards rushing and passing. One thing you can't do is make mistakes. If you do, their offense is back on the field making you pay for them.

Key Matchups

Navy Offense vs. Pitt Defense: Navy's offense had Pitt's number last time they met. Navy is small on the offensive line. Don't let that fool you. The type of offense they run, the linemen have to be smaller and mobile. This means you'll see the Pitt Dline move around a good bit. Expect to see Pitt use their depth on this line to keep their linemen fresh.

Navy can also sneak a pass or two so Pitt's secondary will have to stay alert and on top of their game.

Pitt's defense will have to torpedo their way through the Navy offense and keep the gains and possessions very minimal.

Pitt Passing Game vs. Navy Secondary: Navy made a fool of Riley Skinner when they played Wake Forest picking him off four times. Pitt can't afford to do the same thing. Stull is coming off his better games of the season. He needs to find his open receivers and not to force anything that could be costly. In other words, get screw up or we'll be on your ass in this blog next week.

Overall: On offense, Pitt needs to establish the run like they did last year. They need to keep scoring and not let the defense be so submissive like some skank in a bukakke film. In other words, don't let the Navy offense piss all over you. Let them dump their waste into the ocean instead. Bill Stull just needs to protect the ball and not make mistakes.

The coaching staff also can't afford punts from the 35. They've gotten better at that lately. Let's hope the program has learned a lot from last year's game.

Prediction: I'm not good at these. I'll predict Pitt 34 Navy 28.

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