Ok, while the preview for this game should only entail my prediction of Pitt by at least 17 points, I'll throw some information for all of you junkies out there. So before we do some comparisons, let me tell you a little more about the Fighting Charlie Batchs. Last season one one of the most...well, not exciting, not rewarding, not even mention-worthy season for the Fighting C.B.'s. They were 1-11 in the powerful MAC conference. We understand how hard it is to win in the MAC when they have to face powerhouses such as Ohio and Toledo who have given Pitt more than they can handle. We also realize that Garrett Wolfe didn't make life easier, but c'mon 1-11? I really didn't spend much time on their schedule from last year because I already fell asleep once in class today and don't want to fall asleep in front of the computer right now. I'm just guessing that they didn't play in too many games that came down to the wire. So with all of that said, lets take a look.
Jason Jones is breaking down the Panthers as we speak, so I will try to avoid stealing his thunder and will try to focus as much as possible on the Fighting C.B.'S.
The EMU offense is very confusing. Not from a design perspective, but from a personnel perspective. Their leading rusher last season was QB Andy Schmitt who threw for 2 tds and 6 ints....(WTF???) Their two top receivers are gone and the running back situation is in shambles. Returning from injury for the Fighting C.B.'S to play running back is a guy named Pierre.....yes Pierre Walker. The guy challenging him for the starting job is QB Tyler Jones (who?) Tyler Jones. That is always funny to me when you see small schools switching RB's to QB's and vice versa. Their line is small and should get pushed around easily. So judging from the info at hand we can safely say, Pitt D, we expect you to have atleast 6 sacks, 3 turnovers, and hold them to under 100 yards.
The EMU defense: Last year they gave up 26.8 points per game....not exactly the best stat when you consider they only averaged 14 points on offense. However they do have something to look forward to. They return most of their starters and have a very solid DLineman in Jason Jones (not our Jason Jones here at catbasket, but i'm sure our JJones could earn a starting spot somewhere on the EMU roster). Other than Jason Jones, there are not any notable players on the roster. The Pitt offense should be able to roll over their undersized and slow defense very easily. If shady gets 20+ carries I predict he will have over 200 yards rushing and atleast 3 TD's.
Special teams: I really hate special teams, they have given me some of the most frustrating memories of my life (swinging-gate, and the troy brown punt return td). The EMU special teams department did something pretty smart. In order to cut down on scholarships and wasting time on recruiting players who probably don't care too much about EMU, they have one player who does the Kickoffs, Field goals, and punting. Zach Johnson, rest your leg up because I see alot of 3 and outs in the future for your offense.
Basically Pitt will use this game as a tune up game to fix any problems. There is no reason to expect Pitt not to score at least 40 points and to hold EMU under 10. If we do not score on our first two possessions, I think it should be Cat Basket (pat bostick) time. Although, you could line me up at QB and i'll gladly hand the ball off to Shady and Hot-Rod which would be enough to sustain a long scoring drive.
I have a wedding to go to on saturday but I will make it down for the game, keep an eye out for the Cat Basket sign in the student section. Pitt, don't embarrass us, open the season firing on all cylinders and lets get a double digit win season.
DPJ's final prediction: Pitt 45 The Fighting Charlie Batch's 6.