As the 6th game of the season this game will mean a lot toward our fan’s feelings about how the second half of the schedule will go.
Win and we jump up in the ACC Coastal Division rankings with a 1-1 conference record and sit at 3-3 even steven… Lose and we probably drop to the bottom of the division and have a 2-4 mark overall. Syracuse has a mirror 0-1 conference record and a same 2-3 overall.
So, the game’s on at 12:30 today up in the Dome, we set our predictions out yesterday and we’ll see how things shake out. I will say this though – if our line play doesn’t improve dramatically we are in for a long day, especially if our DEs can’t contain their excellent passing and running QB.
Here is an Orange look at five reasons either team can win and remember this is their homecoming game. This one scares me:
It’s quickly become apparent that some teams are unwilling or unable to put a defensive back on SU slot receiver Erv Philips. NC State didn’t do it despite the senior going off for an ACC record 17 catches and career-best 188 receiving yards.
With top Pitt corner Avonte Maddox likely to stick with Steve Ishmael on the outside, it will be interesting to see who the Panthers put on Philips. Strong safety Jordan Whitehead is the secondary’s only other returning starter while Pitt’s outside linebackers are also inexperienced.
Give Philips an inch and he’ll take a foot.
But then the writer counters with this positive for Pitt:
Former SU head coach Scott Shafer drew up and executed an effective gameplan as Middle Tennessee State’s defensive coordinator in Week 2. His unit applied pressure on Dungey early and clearly threw him off his game as a passer in the Blue Raiders’ upset.
Will Shafer be in touch with old friend Pat Narduzzi, Pitt’s head coach this week? Seems like a safe bet. But without the emotional ties that came with Shafer’s return, the Orange seems better prepared to handle the pressure schemes.
Let’s hope we get either that or Divine intervention…
Have at it guys and gals… And let’s hope the kids bring home a win.