LOUISVILLE CARDINALS (4-3, 1-1) vs. PITTSBURGH PANTHERS (4-3, 2-0)
Game Time: Noon
Location: Heinz Field: Pittsburgh, Pa.
Television: Big East TV/WHAS-11
Announcers: Mike Gleason/John Congemi
Favorite: Pittsburgh by 9 1/2
All-Time Series: Louisville leads 7-6
Last Meeting: Pittsburgh won 35-10 last year.
Excitement Level (1-10): 9.1
Connecticut just beat West Virginia. A Louisville win at Pittsburgh not only keeps alive irrational thoughts of a conference championship, it makes those thoughts rational.
Game Attire: Grey Louisville football shirt.
Pre-Game Meal: Doughnuts...maybe a beer.
Predicted Star of the Game: Doug Beaumont
He's still a step or two away from full speed, but with the Panther defense locked in so tightly on Bilai, I'll Dougie gets close to hauling in double-digit receptions.
Bold Prediction: We get reamed by the refs.
Pitt in the BCS has become the best-case-scenario for the league. Just watch.
Quick Pitt Summary
The lone undefeated team in Big East play, Pitt eyes a third consecutive conference victory when it hosts Louisville at Heinz Field. The Panthers are trying to achieve a 3-0 Big East start for the second straight year.
A key matchup will be the Pitt defense vs. Louisville senior tailback Bilal Powell. The Panthers boast the nation's No. 9 rush defense (first in the Big East), yielding just 92.43 yards per game. Powell leads the Big East and ranks fourth nationally with 143.29 rushing yards per game.
The Pitt passing game has been laser accurate the past two contests. In victories over Syracuse and Rutgers, first-year starter Tino Sunseri has completed 75% of his passes for 588 yards and seven TDs with just one interception.
The Panthers are 24-10 over their last 34 games, the program's win- ningest stretch since the 2001-04 seasons.
--Louisville has lost ten straight Big East road games.
--Louisville has taken seven of the last nine games from Pitt.
--Louisville has been held to 10 points or less in the last two meetings (scored 10 points in 2009 and 7 in 2008) and has lost the last two encounters by an average of 24.5 points.
--Pittsburgh is coming off of back-to-back 40+ point Big East performances for the first time in program history.
--"We have a good running back; we have a good run game. We feel like we can go run the football." --Charlie Strong
--"I didn't realize how good (Powell) was until we watched him on film. He's the real deal. He's the best running back and the best player we've played to this point."--Pitt safety Dom DeCicco
--"Some of the runs he's made are just unbelievable with how many tackles he breaks every single play." --Pitt linebacker Max Gruder
--"We have a goal every week of what we want to rush for. It gives us motivation hearing Bilal saying, 'We are going to get that.' We like the mentality that we are physical and we are going in there and running the football."--Josh Byrom
--"I've been getting better every week, and I got into that rhythm early. If you have success early, you can feel more comfortable."--Pitt running back Dion Lewis
--"It seems like with the new coach there's a new swagger and confidence. don't really know, but that's what it seems like watching the film. This isn't the Louisville of old. They're a very good team." --Gruder
--"Their offensive line is the most physical we've seen this year. Our D-line needs to buckle up their chinstraps and be ready to go. It's going to be a physical game." --Vance Bedford
CC Prediction - Pittsburgh 31, Louisville 20