Well folks we are 2 days away from what should be our toughest game of the season. The U returns to Heinz Field after their last trip here prevented Pitt from making the Orange Bowl. The big difference these days is that Miami is not the powerhouse, national championship contender, they once were. Today they are a shell of their former self with a few good play makers but many average college players.
Both teams have already been tested in big games with the Panthers falling at Utah and the Hurricanes falling against Ohio State. You don't see two BCS teams like Pitt and Miami heading into their 2nd big game of the season after 3 weeks of college football, usually that time is reserved for cupcakes (just ask VTech).
The story of the game is how the Panthers will stop the overrated Jacory Harris. Let's set this straight folks. Harris just isn't as good as he is made out to be. He can make plays and does show some good flashes now and again, but doesn't do enough, or enough of it consistently to be an elite quarterback.
What he does possess is the skill set to defeat the Panthers. He is a mobile qb who can throw the ball out of the spread. This spread is something different than what we saw vs. Utah as the Hurricanes offense tends to go for longer plays putting more pressure on the defensive backs than Utah did. So while both spreads could hurt us, they are different styles. The good thing about their system is that it helps bring back the defensive line into the game instead of eliminating them through quick passes.
I don't think Randy Shannon is dumb enough to ignore our major weaknesses in the back 7. I expect to see Miami come out with different looks and different over the middle passes that we haven't seen from them yet this season.
Now on the offensive side of the ball for Pitt expect to see a little more of an even split between Dion and Ray. The key is does it matter with the way our line is playing? Lippert and Turnley should be seeing some time this week over the injured Karabin and the struggling Greg Gaskins.
On a prime time Thursday night game, I fully expect Wanny to go into all out conservative mode like we saw against Utah before the end of regulation. If we don't adjust to the stacked box, we won't be seeing Dion have too much success for the 3rd straight game as we are playing directly into the opponents hands.
Overall I see Miami frustrating us with their passing ability. This countered with stopping the run is the recipe of disaster for the Panthers.
The game will be close at first, but eventually I just see Miami pulling away with a score of 31 to 20.