Tomorrow will mark the end of an era. It will be the first game that I've ever missed at Heinz Field. I was a freshman at Pitt in 2001 and even though 7 years later I'm still a student, I was proud to say that I made it to every home game. My old roommate is getting married so Jason Jones and I will be attending the wedding. Luckily Jones will have access to a TV so he should be able to check out most of the game.
I was going to write a nice big preview for this game, but yet again PantherRants has done a great job looking at things in their preview.
I will just throw some opinions out there for this week. The world is finding out that Mr. Teel is not a very good quarterback. He has been luckily enough to hide behind the talent of Ray Rice and Brian Leonard. However, with them gone, Rutgers has come back down to earth. They have had 3 decent seasons, but nothing great enough and nothing sustained long enough for us to forget how awful they were before that little 3 year run.
One concern I have is our potential game plan due to the weather. Rutgers' greatest strength is stopping things in the middle. That includes runs up the middle and passes over the middle. I hope Wanny, Cavanaugh, and Bennett have been paying attention to how big Rutgers' weaknesses are. Hopefully the rains hold off so that we can be more dynamic and unpredictable with our offense to keep Rutgers guessing.
Defensively we should be able to stop Rutgers without any problems. They have a big offensive line, but this isn't the first time we will be sending our DLine out against some giants. This is one week where if we get a 10 point lead early on, that could spell the end of the game. The best way for us to win is to put the ball in Teel's hand and make him beat us by throwing. I don't think there is any scenario where Teel has to win the game and he can actually come through.
We owe Rutgers a big beating for the embarrassment we've had the past few seasons. While I don't know if the team feels like they need to punish Rutgers because of our past failures, I don't see any way we lose this game.
My prediction for this week is Pitt 31 - Rutgers - 13.