Virginia Cavaliers vs. Pitt Panthers
Time: 12:30 p.m. ET
Location: Scott Stadium, Charlottesville, VA
TV: ACC Network (Affiliates)
Online Streaming: WatchESPN or TheACC.com
Radio: Virginia Sports Radio Network or Sirius 145 or XM 193
Latest Point Spread: Pitt is favored to win by 3 points.
After a week off, we’re back at it. The Hoos ride a two-game winning streak and an off week into a three straight home games that get progressively more difficult each week. First up is ACC question mark Pittsburgh. The Panthers are solid 4-2, with their two losses coming by a combined 8 points and on the road at UNC and Oklahoma State. They’ve also got a couple eyebrow raisers in the win column, especially last week’s comeback 37-34 victory over a Georgia Tech squad that does not look good right now.
Pitt has made a habit of scoring lots of points and moving the ball on the ground. The Panthers also concede a lot of points, and allow their opponents to move the ball through the air. Both are good fits for a Virginia team that is still a work in progress.
Bronco Mendenhall’s master plan at defense – apparently taking a chainsaw to the playbook - definitely paid serious dividends last time out with 6 takeaways against Duke. Fan probably shouldn’t expect another five picks against the run-happy Panthers, so look for who is winning the battle upfront early when Pitt has the ball. Luckily, Virginia will have the services of Andrew Brown for this task.
On offense, the game will be on the shoulders of Kurt Benkert to test the Pitt secondary early and often. In their losses, the Panthers allowed the opposing quarterbacks to throw for over 450 yards each. If Benkert is sharp, points will be available.
The gamethread, for lack of a better word, is good…and open.