Ok, it's wednesday and you might be asking yourself, DPJ WHY POST THIS SO EARLY???
Well, I have a full day of classes tomorrow followed by a night on the town with Jason Jones. Plus, as Rage against the machine said "What better place than here, what better time than now?"
SO AWAY WE GOO!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
The first thing I have to say about this preview is, while we may have lose to Uconn, UVA lost to frickin WYOMING!!! Yes, that Wyoming who is always ranked around 110 come the end of the season. I'm shocked they still play football there, there's about a combined 13 people that live in the entire state, yet they play football and were able to beat UVA.
UVA's other top opponents include Duke (win), UNC (win) and GTech (win). Not exactly the toughest schedule, but I'll give some credit for the GTech win. Following us, the only real tough teams that UVA has are UConn, Miami, and VTech. Outside of that I could see them winning the rest of their games. Giving them a 7-5 record.
Now incase you forgot, last year we played the Fighting Earl "Heath" Miller's and won fairly easy. This season though is different. Pitt is fresh off of a tough loss (msu) , and an embarrassing loss (uconn). UVA is coming off of two big wins. When you have situations like this, predicting the game becomes a bit harder because UVA could be ready for a let down and Pitt could come out pissed and take over the game. So to better look at this matchup, lets go a little in detail.
UVA returns all 11 starters on defense. Now usually that is a bad sign for an opponent, but UVA hasn't been tested this year, and we destroyed that defense last year. Granted, Palko and Kinder are gone. Instead we'll be inserting Bostick and McCoy. I really think that these two should be able to put up 28 points on a bad day vs. this team. If the receivers decide to come around, or if we put in Wright and Williams, then Pitt should have some fun putting up some points.
On offense, UVA will be facing a much tougher defense, one that I hope features Dorin Dickerson and "The DOMinator" Dicicco. A big factor for this game is UVA's offensive line. Pitt's DL has been playing very well this year and UVA is facing the possibility of not having their starting LT for the game. Another injury problem for UVA will provide Pitt with a huge advantage. In case you haven't noticed, our secondary hasn't been that great this year. Kennard has been inconsistent, Aaron Berry hasn't made the plays he should, and Mike Phillips is not playing good football at this time. BUT! UVA's will be without two of their top WR's this week. One is out with an ACL injury, the other with a busted up hand. This will put more pressure on UVA's running backs which plays to the favor of Pitt. UVA has one main runner, Peerman, a junior who has played well so far this season. The next leading rusher, Pearman (no relation) has very few carries and doesn't pose to be a threat in this game. UVA's qb's are a Sophomore and a Freshman who split time, much like Pitt should have done with Smith and Bostick earlier in the season. Both have been able to move then ball when they have been in the game but will be without some WR's.
Based on what we have seen thus far in the season, it is completely reasonable for UVA to be the favorites. They have a lot of experience, 3 wins in a row, and are at home. Their disadvantages are a mental disadvantage from getting destroyed by us last year, lack of a passing game, and an offensive line injury that could have a huge impact on the outcome of this game.
My guess is that the Pitt D stays strong and shuts down UVA's running game early on. Depending upon the pass and unproven WR's, UVA falters and their offense isn't able to maintain consistent drives. On the defensive side of the ball, UVA's prepares for another "Shady" day and lines up 9 guys in the box. Pitt busts out the play action, and uses Strong and the wide receivers to stretch the field. This gives room to Shady who picks up another 100 yard game.
Pitt wins 34-10 and Pat Bostick silences all of his critics.