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Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Pitt-Notre Dame: A Half Assed Preview


Well it's time to look forward to this Saturday as the Panthers head to South Bend to face the Fighting Fat Charlie's. If only the whole team was fat. Maybe not the receivers. They'd squash Aaron Berry and Jovanni Chappel. Let's look at the tale of the tape.

Pitt

Is 5-2 and no longer ranked. Bill Stull left last week's game in the 3rd quarter due to injury. Before he left, he was having one of the best games so far this season. Nothing has been official about his status for this Saturday. If he's not ready go, It's up to Pat Bostick.

Pitt's offensive line took a big hit when Rob Houser was lost for the season. This so reminds me of 2006 when Simonitis went down. CJ Davis will move to center and Dom Williams will take his place.

LeSean McCoy had a monster game and probably should have gotten the ball a lot more. Jonathan Baldwin and TJ Porter also put up some nice stats.

On defense, they had their worst game of the season. Enough said.

Notre Dame

They're 5-2 on the season, but 1-2 against teams .500 and over.

They're led by Jimmy Clausen who is putting up some big numbers in a few games this season. When he's on his game, he's dangerous to opposing defenses. When he's off his game, he's dangerous to his own team.

As for the running game, the carries seem to be split between Armando Allen, Robert Hughes, and James Aldridge. Their best rushing output was against Purdue when Armando Allen ran for 134 yards.

At receiver, they are led by Golden Tate. Michael Floyd is also a big targetat 6'2 and he's been getting some attention as well. They also have a big 6'6 Tight End in Kyle Rudolph.

Defensively, they've been up and down. Judging from the stats, they seem to have issues in stopping the running game.

Key Matchups

Pitt Passing Game vs. Notre Dame Defense: This all comes down to who takes the snaps for Pitt on Saturday. If it's Bill Stull, Pitt has a chance. If it's Pat Bostick, it's not going to look good. It depends if it's the Pat Bostick of last season. ND is big on defense. They play a 3-4 where they have a lot of height in the front seven. Pitt will need big plays from TJ Porter and Jonathan Baldwin. They may even consider getting Nate Byham and Dorin Dickerson involved.

ND Passing Game vs. Pitt Secondary: This matchup could make or break the game. If Pitt's secondary has a repeat performance from last week, it will be another long day. Jimmy Clausen is not the same player from last season. He's confident and will air the ball out. Aaron Berry will need to make up for last week's debacle and Pitt will need their safeties to attempt to cover somebody. If Jimmy is off his game, Pitt may be in luck. ND has receivers that can make plays. They'll have to keep that to a minimum.
Other Key Items

LeSean McCoy: Can he have another big game? He'll face a 3-4 defense with four linebackers coming after him. Pitt will need him the most.

ND Running Game: Mike Teel didn't have a breakout game until he met Pitt. Will ND break out against Pitt?

Pitt defense: Can they pressure Clausen? ND's big offensive line will be a challenge. If they can't touch Clausen, they're screwed.

Prediction: Last week, Pitt seemed focused on stopping the run. This game, they may be focused on stopping the pass. First off, can they recover from last week? It's no secret that Weis will attack Pitt's weaknesses like he did back in 2005. Look for ND to use screen passes again against Pitt. They'll most likely go after Pitt's safeties as well. Pitt's luck against ND has never been good.

Edited: Last week, I predicted a Pitt win..we lost. I predicted an Irish win today, we won. Hmmm....

1 comment:

John A said...

Wow nice ass