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Week 2: Pittsburgh Preview

By Ryan Roberts

After blowing Eastern Kentucky out of the water in the season opener at Nippert Stadium, 66-13, the Bearcats will now turn their attention to the Pitt Panthers as they travel to Acrisure Stadium this Saturday for a 6:30 pm kickoff.

Game Storylines:

- Pittsburgh is coming off a 45-7 win over Wofford. Quarterback Phil Jurkovec completed 17 of 23 passes for 214 yards and a touchdown. The 6'5 235 lb Boston College transfer has the ability to use his legs when needed but is most comfortable sitting in the pocket.. Putting pressure on him and making him uncomfortable will be crucial as Jurkovec is a guy that can put up huge numbers through the air.

- Pitt returns 6 starters on offense. 5 starters on defense. Overall, the Panthers return 18 lettermen on the offensive side of the ball and 26 lettermen on the defensive side of the ball.

- All ACC offensive tackle Matt Gonclaves returns, along with third team All ACC guard Blake Zubovic and third team All ACC cornerback MJ Devonshire.

- Pitt's strength is their defense. The starting cornerbacks have logged over 2,000 career snaps and Pitt has been top 5 in sacks for the season multiple times under Narduzzi. The Pitt defense finished with 4 sacks and 6 tackles for loss in game 1 against Wofford. The Cincinnati offensive line will have to play well and establish the run early to open up the passing game for Emory Jones and his talented receivers.

- Pitt holds an 8-4 series advantage against Cincinnati. The Bearcats, however, have won the past two meetings (2011-12). Scott Sattefield was 1-1 against Pitt and Pat Narduzzi while at Louisville.

- Pat Narduzzi spent three years as defensive coordinator at Cincinnati (2004-06) under Coach Mark Dantonio, helping the Bearcats to a pair of bowl appearances.

- Pitt linebacker coach Ryan Manalac was a standout player at that same position for Cincinnati from 2005-08, compiling nearly 200 career tackles and helping the Bearcats to the 2008 Big East title.

Former UC wide receiver and current hall of fame broadcaster Jim Kelly Jr joined the At Large Bid Podcast for an in depth look at Pitt, as well as a quick recap of the win against Eastern Kentucky.


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