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12:30 P.M. | CSN | HEINZ FIELD
Virginia running back Kevin Parks (25) lunges forward for extra yardage against Virginia Military Institute in Charlottesville on Saturday.
Friday, September 27, 2013
OFFENSE: EDGE PANTHERS
The Panthers are coming off a 598-yard afternoon last week in a 58-55 victory at Duke, that following a 49-27 triumph over New Mexico in which Pitt had 527 yards. Quarterback Tom Savage has thrown eight touchdown passes in the last two games and a pair of wide receivers, Devin Street and freshman Tyler Boyd, each has two 100-yard receiving days. Another freshman, James Conner, has two 100-yard rushing days.
DEFENSE: EDGE CAVALIERS
On the flip side, Pittsburgh gave up 533 yards in a 41-13 loss to Florida State in the opener and 532 yards to Duke last week, when the Blue Devils scored 27 points in the final 18:05. The heart of Pitt's defense is a pair of senior lineman, 6-4, 305-pound NT Tyrone Ezell and 6-foot, 285-pound DT Aaron Donald, who has seven tackles for loss, including four sacks. Pitt is ranked 102nd out of 123 FBS teams in total defense.
SPECIAL TEAMS: EDGE CAVALIERS
Pitt freshman kicker Chris Blewitt from West Potomac High School in Alexandria missed an extra point and was the victim of a blocked field-goal attempt at Duke. Punter Matt Yoklic has averaged 46 yards on his 10 punts but dropped a snap on a punt attempt last week. Unlike Virginia, which has assigned all of its special teams to assistant Larry Lewis, Pitt coach Paul Chryst has spread those duties among various assistants
INTANGIBLES: EDGE PANTHERS
UVa was 1-4 on the road last year, although the Cavaliers played better in their last two trips, a 33-6 win over N.C. State and a 17-14 loss at Virginia Tech. After drawing a capacity crowd of 65,000 for its ACC opener at Heinz Field, Pitt saw attendance fall off to 40,249 the next week against New Mexico. The teams have not faced each other since 2007, when the opposing coaches were Al Groh and Dave Wannstedt.
PREDICTION: Pittsburgh 31, Virginia 20
-- Doug Doughty, The Roanoke Times
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