Both teams are focused and that is the important thing because lets face it, this game means nothing. The two bottom feeders of the Big East square off in what should becalled the Insight.com Irrelevant Bowl. Sorry to start this off on such a negative note, but despite all of this "improvement" we have seen from the team (the players, not coaches), we still have to face the fact that the team will not make a bowl game for the 3rd consecutive year. Before I break this thing down, ask yourself a question. If you died and went to hell and your job was to give interviews for an eternity, who would you rather give them to, Wannstedt or Syracuse Head Coach Greg Robinson?
On to the game! Gone are the days of our favorite Cuse player, Diamond Ferry. The man who singlehandedly got Pitt to the fiesta bowl isn't around to help Pitt anymore. Instead we have to rely upon ourselves which has gotten us to a solid 3-5 record. Don't think it's all that bad folks. Powerhouse Syracuse is 2-6 this year.
Looking at our team, you basically know who needs to be where and who needs to do what. However, the coaching staff won't let that happen. Cuse will put 8-9 guys in the box, and instead of lining up 4 wides to counteract that, we will see Shady and Hot-Rod running dives up the middle for a solid 1-2 yards. Nate Byham should be seeing the ball, instead he'll be picking up blitzing linebackers.
On defense, Ricky Gary should be starting over Kennard Cox, Dom DiCicco should be replacing Mike Phillips, and Greg Romeus should be in on every play. We know this won't happen because Wanny and Rhoads are trying to sabotage our chances of winning by not playing our best players and not calling effective defensive game plays.
The big thing about Syracuse is, they just don't have that WOW factor in any part of their game. We have a solid D-Line and Shady, but what does Cuse have? Otto the Orange? Syracuse's starting running back, Doug Hogue, is the backup for their currently injured starter, Curtis Brinkley. Hogue holds an impressive resume. He's a guy that was barely recruited. His best day ever in college was 24 carries for 84 yards. All of this leads me to believe that he is most likely the next inductee into the Paul Rhoads "Still Running Club". Now that's not really fair since we do still play USF, but WVU and Rutgers still have 2 current members in the "Still Running Club", so Hogue, get ready, tomorrow is your chance to shine.
Their defense is piss poor. They shut out the mighty Buffalo Bulls of the MAC. They held Louisville under 30 points, but other than that, they have nothing notable to talk about. Shady should be able to put up 150 and 2 tds easily. Bostick SHOULD be able to have a 300 yard passing day with 3 td's but won't since the coaches won't let him throw and mix in the fact his two starting receivers will be Turner and Pestano. Tell ya what Cavanaugh, we'll play a game. Let Bostick throw the ball down field (no screens included in this 20) but let Porter, Williams, Strong, Byham, and Shady be his targets. I know for a fact on those 20 passes he would get at least 200 yards passing and 2 tds. Realistically, Bostick will have about 10 passes in the first half and 8 of them will be screens/shovel passes to the running backs. I just don't see why we wouldn't take advantage of throwing against Donovan a.k.a. Joe Fields McNabb in the secondary.
I really can't see how this team can lost tomorrow based upon talent alone. You could let the players call the plays tomorrow and we would still win. Shady is your offensive MVP tomorrow, Bostick will be criticized for having poor mobility, we will scream about how Nate didn't get the ball enough, and our fans will say we still stand a chance since we beat Syracuse. I say, enjoy the game, this is our last win of the season. Pitt 31 (should be about 60) - Syracuse 10.
~ The One and Only ~