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.

Thursday, October 23, 2008

Pitt vs. Rutgers: A Half Assed Preview


They're 5-1 coming off a victory against the Midshipmen. Bill Stull is 5-1 as the starter which has really started to frighten most Pitt fans. He's showing improvement every week and he's even making use of the deep ball to Jonathan Baldwin.

LeSean McCoy and Larod Stephens have been tearing up opposing defenses as of late. Even Conredge Collins has joined the act. Derek Kinder is getting back to his old form and Oderick Turner is showing signs of life.

On defense, they getting pressure on the quarterback. They forced their share of turnovers against Navy last week.


Rutgers is 2-5 coming off an upset against Connecticut. Mike Teel has shown some improvement since the time he punched his teammate. Statistically, he's put up decent passing numbers the last three games. The only minus is the offense has issues getting into the endzone. Teel also hasn't thrown an interception the last three weeks.

Their running game is still a work in progress and Kenny Britt is starting to put up decent numbers receiving. How lucky Pitt will be to face them as this offense is improving.

On defense, they haven't allowed a lot points not counting the UNC debacle.

Key Matchups

Pitt defensive line vs. Rutgers offensive line: The reason why Mike Teel hasn't thrown an interception the last three games? He hasn't been sacked in any of those three games. When not being pressured, he's been able to move the ball. Rutgers is big up front, but Pitt will need to get to Teel and shut him down.

Pitt has also allowed a good bit of rushing yards. Ray Rice isn't there so they'll need to shut down Kordell Young and keep this offense off the field.

Last year, Teel did not have a good game against Pitt. Thanks to the one of many bad calls against Oderick Turner, Rutgers escaped with a win.

Pitt offensive line vs. Rutgers defensive line: Last year, Pitt didn't run the ball on the ground well. It may have been due to their issues at quarterback. Rutgers will most likely send the house on Bill Stull. It will be up to him not to make any mistakes. He made a huge one last game against Navy, but was able to recover. This defense is better than Navy's.

Pitt's line will need to establish the line of scrimmage. If Pitt can run the ball effectively, everything should take care of itself.

Other things to watch for:

Rutger's Receivers: Kenny Britt has been putting up decent numbers as of late. Pitt's secondary needs to shut him down.

Austin Ransom and Greg Williams: Pitt will need good performaces from both of these linebackers. Scott Mckillop can't do it alone.

LeSean McCoy: Can he continue on his hot streak?

Rutgers Linebackers: This group played in limiting Donald Brown's yardage. Can they do the same this weekend?

Overall: In 2006, Pitt was 6-1 with high hopes against Rutgers. Rutgers had one of their best seasons in a long time. Pitt was down 13-10 until Ray Rice torched them for big run pretty much ending Pitt's season. This time around is different. Rutgers has nothing to lose while Pitt has plenty to lose if they blow this game.

No comments: